Panic attacks

Panic attacks involve a sudden overwhelming feeling of anxiety and fear that strike for no reason and without warning. Also known as a panic disorder, panic attacks can take place at any time, even when asleep. Some of the main challenges people experience during this period include difficulties in breathing and feeling dizzy and weak.

Panic attacks Symptoms

Just like any other medical disorder, a panic attack has signs and symptoms that suggest its presence. In most cases, panic attacks last for approximately 20 to 30 minutes but reaches a peak after about 10 minutes. Symptoms and signs may differ from one individual to the other, but there are some which are similar and common. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • choking feeling
  • sweating
  • upset stomach
  • cold or hot flashes
  • shaking and trembling
  • fear of death
  • racing heart and
  • Nausea.

Since these are not the only signs that you might experience, consider sharing with your doctor any other abnormal sign.

Panic attacks Causes

Depending on your exposure to behavioral changes, panic attacks can be caused by a number of factors. According to scientific research, panic attacks and anxiety disorders have shown a tendency of being inherited. At times, the condition can be initiated but as an unwilling response to something. Some medical conditions will also increase the risk of getting panic attacks. Such conditions may include:

  • heart related diseases
  • Asthma
  • medications that involve the use of steroids
  • Nutritional deficiencies like magnesium and zinc deficiency have also shown some possibilities of causing panic attacks.
  • Those who use food additives like aspartame are also at a high risk of experiencing panic attacks

Panic attacks Diagnosis

If you have signs that suggest panic attacks, then you need to seek the help of a doctor before the situation worsens. There is no specific diagnostic test carried out for panic attacks, but the doctor can carry out some other relevant tests. Signs and symptoms are the key things the doctor consider, bearing in mind that they might be caused by other illnesses other than panic attacks. They, therefore, carry out a number of tests relating to those signs before concluding. A question answer session is also important with the doctor where you explain the number of times you have experienced panic attacks and if the condition has been experienced by other family members.

Panic attacks Treatment

Panic attacks are a condition that can be rectified with the help of a qualified medical practitioner. Apart from using medication, you can as well use a series of therapy techniques. During medication, one can only reduce the symptoms and signs, but cannot resolve the problem completely. This method is, however, most effective when used along with other treatments like therapy and lifestyle changes. Antidepressants and Benzodiazepines are among the key drugs used in Panic attacks treatment. While using psychotherapy sessions, cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy for panic disorders and attacks are the most effective techniques doctors use to help panic attack victims. Both therapies do not have any side effects and are recommended to anyone. Panic attacks cannot be cured, but they can be managed.