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What Is Panic Disorder
If you’re having lots of panic attacks at unpredictable times and there doesn’t seem to be a particular trigger or cause, you might be given a diagnosis of panic disorder. It’s common to experience panic disorder and certain types of phobia together. People who experience panic disorder may have some periods with few or no panic attacks, but have lots at other times.
Panic disorder and high sensitivity
Some research suggests that people who have panic disorder might be very sensitive to sensory experiences , but there’s not enough evidence yet to say for sure.
Also it’s not clear whether having a high level of sensitivity to these sorts of things is something that might cause you to develop panic disorder, or whether it may be an effect of having it.
“Never knowing when I was going to have a panic attack was the worst feeling in the world.”
Chest Pain Or Discomfort
Between heart palpitations and hyperventilating, you may also experience anxiety and chest pain. The first time this happens is often the scariest, since you may assume its your heart and not realize its anxiety.
Even though chest discomfort is a common panic attack symptom, its important to seek medical care if youve never had chest pain before. This can help you rule out any underlying cardiac conditions.
A doctor can run tests and ask questions to let them know whether its heart-related or anxiety.
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Should You See Your Doctor About Panic Attacks
A panic attack can make you feel like youre about to collapse or even die, but it’s usually harmless. However, in some cases, you may need medical advice to rule out an underlying physical cause.
Get medical advice if:
- your panic attack continues after doing 20 minutes of slow breathing
- you still feel unwell after your breathing returns to normal
- you still have a rapid or irregular heartbeat or chest pains after your panic attack
- you regularly have panic attacks, as this could be a sign that you have panic disorder
What Is A Panic Attack
Panic attacks can definitely make people think that they’re dying, and this is primarily because they share so many symptoms in common with heart attacks.
Panic attack and heart attack victims both typically experience sudden chest pains, heavy heart palpitations, sweating, shortness of breath, and a number of other symptoms.
The “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” defines panic attacks as “a sudden sense of fear and dread.”
That said, in order to be classified as a panic attack, this sudden sense of fear and dread must be accompanied by at least four other mental, emotional, and physical symptoms. These symptoms can include any of the general symptoms of anxiety listed earlier if they occur in a sudden manner.
It’s also important to note that there are two main types of panic attacks:
An example of an expected panic attack would be if a person with a known phobia knows that they’re going to be exposed to that fear. Unexpected panic attacks come out of nowhere and aren’t a result of any mental or external triggers.
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Physical Symptoms Of Anxiety
Anxiety may be taking place in your mind, but the side effects can certainly manifest in a physical way. While there are lots of physical side effects that can pop up, these are the most common.
General anxiety may include one or more of these symptoms,however, panic attacks often include many of them at once:
- Sudden sweating or chills
Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorders:
Anyone may experience these symptoms during stressful times. However, individuals with anxiety disorders may experience them in absence of stress, with more severe symptoms and/or with several symptoms appearing together.
- Inability to relax
- Rapid pulse or pounding, skipping, racing heart
- Nausea, chest pain or pressure
- Feeling a “lump in the throat”
- Dry mouth
- Feelings of dread, apprehension or losing control
- Trembling or shaking, sweating or chills
- Fainting or dizziness, feelings of detachment
- Thoughts of death
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Types Of Panic Attacks
Some people might experience panic attack symptoms every time theyre in a specific situation, like when they get stuck in an elevator or when speaking in public.
In some cases, panic attacks can also result from medical conditions or injuries, or even as side effects of some medications.
Not all panic attack symptoms have the same causes and they can be both expected or unexpected.
Panic Attack Treatment Options
Anxiety disorders are not a permanent mental health concern. There are many ways that you can reduce its frequency and severity. With the proper treatment, you can prevent future episodes from happening. Here are some treatment options available:
- Therapy and support groups: Many private therapy sessions or support group discussions can help you express your feelings of fear and anxiety. These can help you widen your knowledge about your situation and learn to develop some coping skills.
- Medication: Your doctor may require you to take anti-anxiety and anti-depressant drugs to lessen the occurrence of episodes.
- Lifestyle changes:Keeping a healthy and positive lifestyle can help improve your outlook towards stressful situations. Including exercise and meditation as a part of your daily routines keeps your mind and body connected.
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What To Do When You Have An Anxiety Attack
Anxiety attacks often need to run their course. Once they’ve started, there is very little that you can do to stop them completely. They’re a reaction that your body has that is somewhat beyond your control. They can be prevented, and their severity can be lessened, but they are very hard to stop.
Reducing its severity has to do with reacting correctly to the symptoms. Remember – the physical symptoms you experience are very real, and very disruptive. But they’re not related to any health problem, and solely a result of your anxiety. If you believe you feel an anxiety attack coming or you’re certain you’re in the middle of the one, try the following:
Drinking water may also calm the mind, and if you feel strong enough, a good jog can get your body to breathe better and use oxygen at a healthier pace.
Can You Die From Anxiety Attacks
ByAndrew Lin | Submitted On August 06, 2008
Anxiety attacks are associated with anxiety and getting anxious is a normal tendency for people. In the worst case, it will affect the person’s way of thinking, including his decision making ability. He may develop irrational fears and his perception towards his surroundings becomes extremely negative.
The most common symptoms of anxiety attacks are: Increase in blood pressure, irregular palpitation of the heart, nausea, difficulty in breathing, etc. The sufferer may also feel that his under threat and becomes helpless against it.
After this barrage of uncomfortable symptoms, the most pressing issue on the person’s mind is that he is about to die from anxiety attacks. His convinced that the symptoms are warning signs from the body, that something is wrong somewhere. Somehow, he comes to the conclusion that his heart is about to give up any second and he will just die.
To dispel any rumors and misconception once at for all…you CANNOT die from anxiety attacks, Period!
Its may not seem like it, but understand that the symptoms are the result of the body being in a state of high alert. Its suppose to feel that way when your panicking, when your under REAL danger – except there’s no danger!
Its not heart attack. You’re not going to faint. Your’re not suffocating. You’re not going crazy. Last but not least, you cannot just drop dead!
Unless you have an existing medical or physical condition, you cannot die just like that.
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How Does A Panic Attack Feel Like
During a panic attack, the dramatic physical sensations you feel can be so upsetting that some people mistake it for a heart attack.
The emotional and mental symptoms can be overwhelming, too. You might feel like something catastrophic will happen or that you need to escape the situation youre in because youre in imminent danger.
These sensations and feelings arent always related to a specific trigger. Panic attack symptoms can take you by surprise and might even happen when youre resting or asleep. Its often the suddenness of panic attacks thats most upsetting.
Some people experience panic attack symptoms just once, but you may also experience them several times or chronically throughout your life.
Anxiety And Heart Disease
The association between anxiety and heart disease has not been as fully studied as the relationship between depression and heart disease.
However, Una D McCann, M.D., director of the Anxiety Disorders Program at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, believes the connection is strong.
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Can You Die From Having An Anxiety Attack
What is a an anxiety attack?
How do you stop an anxiety attack?
Here are 11 strategies you can use to try to stop a panic attack when you’re having one or when you feel one coming on:
Why Its Bad To Overreact About Anxiety Symptoms
Some people unknowingly respond to their anxiety in ways that worsen their symptoms, even leading to panic attacks. Becoming overly concerned and watchful for physical signs of anxiety can sensitize people to these sensations, making them more likely to overreact to them. Overreacting to symptoms also worsens anxiety by reinforcing the idea that the anxiety is dangerous. People who avoid feared situations can bypass immediate anxiety, but often make it more likely to return the next time they are in this situation.
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When To Get Help
See a GP if you’ve been experiencing symptoms of panic disorder.
They’ll ask you to describe your symptoms, how often you get them, and how long you have had them.
They may also carry out a physical examination to rule out other conditions that could be causing your symptoms.
It can sometimes be difficult to talk about your feelings, emotions and personal life, but try not to feel anxious or embarrassed.
You may be diagnosed with panic disorder if you have regular and unexpected panic attacks followed by at least a month of continuous worry or concern about having further attacks.
What Are The Symptoms Of Thanatophobia
If you have thanatophobia, thoughts of death may cause intense feelings of panic, fear, dread or depression. You may avoid places or situations that seem dangerous. You might also become obsessed with your health, constantly checking for signs of illness. Its not uncommon for people with death anxiety to spend a lot of time looking for abnormal moles, checking their blood pressure or researching medical information. They can develop hypochondriasis, which is a disorder that causes excessive worry about becoming ill.
Other symptoms might resemble those of a panic attack. Intense thoughts of death may trigger:
- Upset stomach or indigestion .
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When Might I Have Panic Attacks
Panic attacks happen at different times for everyone. Some people have one panic attack then don’t ever experience another, or you might find that you have them regularly, or several in a short space of time. You might notice that particular places, situations or activities seem to trigger panic attacks. For example, they might happen before a stressful appointment.
Most panic attacks last between 5 to 20 minutes. They can come on very quickly. Your symptoms will usually be at their worst within 10 minutes. You might also experience symptoms of a panic attack over a longer period of time. This could be because you’re having a second panic attack, or you’re experiencing other symptoms of anxiety.
“My panic attacks seem to come out of the blue now. But in fact, they seem to be triggered mainly at night when I want to go to sleep but cannot stop my mind racing, experiencing worry and panic about anything that may be on my mind.”
Cause Of Anxiety Attacks
Anxiety attacks are usually although not always caused by severe stress. The symptoms depend on the type of attack. The term anxiety attack is sometimes used interchangeably with the term panic attack, but may also refer to any periods of extreme anxiety beyond what a person normally experiences.
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When To Seek Professional Help
While self-help coping strategies can be very effective, if your worries, fears, or anxiety attacks have become so great that theyre causing extreme distress or disrupting your daily routine, its important to seek professional help.
If youre experiencing a lot of physical symptoms, you should start by getting a medical checkup. Your doctor can check to make sure that your anxiety isnt caused by a medical condition, such as a thyroid problem, hypoglycemia, or asthma. Since certain drugs and supplements can cause anxiety, your doctor will also want to know about any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies, and recreational drugs youre taking.
If your physician rules out a medical cause, the next step is to consult with a therapist who has experience treating anxiety disorders. The therapist will work with you to determine the cause and type of your disorder and devise a course of treatment.
Can You Die From An Anxiety Attack
Please give me one less thing to worry about, and tell me that the answer is no
From a cursory Google search, the internet would have you believe its impossible to die from an anxiety or panic attack. But is that just what medical experts want anxious people to believe? After all, even if anxiety could kill, would they really tell a bunch of panicked people that?
Despite my paranoia, Bradley Katz, a physician and professor of neurology at the University of Utah Medical Center, maintains that its not possible to die of an anxiety attack. However, symptoms like heart palpitations, chest pain, breathlessness, feelings of choking, feeling like youre detached from yourself and hyperventilation can make a person seem as if theyre about to die from one.
it’s completely possible to die of anxiety.
Our brains are very much convinced of this, too, as the limbic system activates our sympathetic nervous system. Known as fight-or-flight, our bodys response to an anxiety attack causes a spike in stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol to give us extra energy for survival, which can last up to 30 minutes. Unfortunately, thats more than enough time to send a lot of freaked-out people who would rather err on the side of caution to the hospital. Research shows that over a million people with panic attacks wind up in the ER annually, and other studies show that 50 percent of patients with panic disorder have sought treatment in the ER at least six times.
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How To Handle Panic Attacks
A panic attack can overwhelm a persons coping mechanisms, making them feel as if they are in imminent danger.
Simply knowing that the symptoms are due to a panic attack and not something else can drain some of the intensity from the attack. Some potential symptoms to be aware of include:
- racing heart
- inability to think about anything else
During a panic attack, a person can try the following:
- Ride out the attack: Rather than trying to escape the situation, continue what you are doing and do not look for distractions. Remain present in the moment until the feelings of panic subside.
- Try not to fight feelings of fear: Trying to avoid anxiety can create anxiety, which only tends to worsen a panic attack. Instead, people should aim to observe and accept their feelings of anxiety without judgment.
- Try to remain mindful of the present moment: Being mindful can offer a simple distraction from anxiety and panic. One approach is to try to notice five sights, four smells, or three sounds. Another way is for a person to count how many objects they see around them.
- Breathe slowly and deeply: People sometimes hyperventilate during a panic attack, which in the blood, so the heart then races faster. This sequence can result in dizziness or fainting. Breathing slowly and deeply can counteract these effects.
PD is treatable the right treatment may reduce the frequency and severity of panic attacks and prevent future episodes.
Anxiety And The Development Of Heart Disease
Its my view and my personal clinical experience that anxiety disorders can play a major role in heart disease, says McCann. I believe that a really careful look at anxiety would reveal the ways it can severely impact heart disease, both as a contributing factor and as an obstacle in recovery.
A natural reaction to a sudden heart attack can be similar to post-traumatic stress disorder:
- Youre likely to be shocked by your near-death experience and extremely hesitant to do the things you used to do.
- You might constantly relive the life-threatening event, and avoid the activity or place associated with the heart attack.
- Recurring anxious thoughts may impede your ability to get regular sleep.
- Your thoughts about what lies ahead may be extremely negative and cause a drastically foreshortened outlook of the future.
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