Panic Attack: Causes and Treatments

A panic disorder is a rapid bout of great dread that causes intense bodily symptoms despite no apparent reason or genuine threat. Panic attacks may be incredibly unsettling to experience. When you’re suffering from a panic attack, you may believe that you’re about to die, have a stroke, or even lose control.

The majority of individuals will only have one or three anxiety symptoms in their lives, and then the issue will go away, maybe when they are no longer in a stressful setting. However, you might have the panic disorder if you’ve had several sudden panic attacks and spent long periods living in constant fear of having another one.

Attacks of panic are pretty prevalent. Thirty-five percent of people will have what is known as a manic episode at some point in their life. An anxiety attack is synonymous with a panic attack and vice versa.

What does a panic attack feel like?

People with panic attacks might think they are about to die or go mad. However, during a panic attack, a person’s feelings of dread and terror are disproportionate to the actual circumstances, and they may have nothing to do with the events that are taking place in their immediate environment.

You may also believe your heart problems, and it’s accurate that most of the two conditions’ symptoms may be very similar to one another. But on the other hand, most people who have a panic attack have already had one brought on by a similar event or situation.

Discomfort in the chest associated with a panic attack often does not go beyond the middle of the chest. Still, the pain associated with a heart attack frequently travels towards the left hand or jawline. In addition to that, you might be experiencing quick breathing, rapid heartbeat, and dread. Anxiety episodes come on abruptly and pass quickly, yet they drain your energy.

Why do I have panic attacks?

The reasons behind why some individuals have anxiety symptoms or develop panic disorders are a mystery to the experts. However, your brain and neurological system are responsible for a significant portion of how you experience and react to feelings of dread and anxiety. Therefore, your likelihood of getting panic attacks goes up if you:

The history of the family

Anxiety disorders, especially panic disorders, are often inherited from one generation to another. However, the reasons for this remain a mystery to the specialists.

Problems with one’s mental health

Panic attacks are more likely to happen to people who have anxiety disorders, depression, or other mental illnesses.

Substance misuse difficulties

Substance abuse and alcohol and drug dependency can boost the likelihood of panic episodes.

Is there a test for panic attacks?

Professionals in medicine and mental health may make the diagnosis of panic disorder. When you have panic attacks over and over and meet the following criteria, your doctor may say you have the panic disorder:

  • Continue to be concerned about having other panic episodes or their effects.
  • During a panic episode, preoccupy yourself with the fear of losing control.
  • Make adjustments to your habits to avoid circumstances that might bring on a panic attack.

How to get professional help with panic attacks?

It is possible to end panic attacks via psychotherapy, medicine, or a combination of the two. Treatment is based on how bad your illness is and how well you respond to treatment.

Among the choices are:

Anti-anxiety medications

Benzodiazepines are the anti-anxiety medications administered to patients the most often to treat and prevent panic attacks. They alleviate anxiety, but there is a danger of becoming addicted to or dependent on them. These prescription drugs include lorazepam and alprazolam, among others.

Antidepressants

Certain antidepressant drugs have been shown to reduce the frequency of manic episodes and their severity. Medical professionals may prescribe serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors or tricyclic antidepressants for antidepressants such as SSRIs. Both fluoxetine and paroxetine are examples of SSRIs. Duloxetine and venlafaxine are SNRIs. TCAs consist of medications such as amitriptyline and doxepin.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, sometimes known as “talk therapy,” is another name for CBT. You meet with a trained practitioner in mental health, such as a certified counselor or psychologist, and you talk about your ideas and feelings.

This professional assists in determining the reasons for panic attacks so that you may make adjustments to your thoughts, habits, and emotions. The episodes will get less intense and eventually stop as you change how you respond to things.

In a nutshell

The incredible thing is that distress is a condition that medical professionals can address. Both talk therapy and medication, either alone or in combination, have shown to be effective treatments for panic disorder, either on their own or in combination. In cases when a medicine is required, your physician may recommend anti-anxiety drugs for you to use.

There are antidepressants and anticonvulsant medications that also have anti-anxiety qualities. In addition, some antidepressants also have these characteristics. Beta-blockers are a family of medicines for the heart that may help prevent or reduce panic attacks in those with panic disorder.

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