You know that feeling when you miss a step going down the stairs? Your heartbeat elevates, the blood rushes into your ears, your breath spikes and you do all you can to make sure you don’t fall. But then you realize that you only got worked up because you missed a step, and you laughably shrug it off as something little that happened.
Now imagine that as an ongoing, persistent attack. That is what a panic attack feels like.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, panic attacks are described as sudden experiences of fear and discomfort. Accompanied by symptoms such as shortness of breath, sweating, trembling and heart palpitations, panic attacks also bring along sudden worries about losing control and even dying. But what makes them most terrifying is that these attacks come without warning or provocation.
Recognizing a Panic Attack
A panic attack usually lasts a few minutes, but the experience leaves a lasting imprint that takes a while to go away. Because of the memories of intense fear associated with the panic attack, the person in question suffers an emotional toll because they are forced to relive the fear they felt at a previous time. This effect negatively impacts the person’s self-confidence and causes serious disruption for them in their everyday life.
Eventually, when left without treatment, these attacks lead to the person developing a panic disorder.
Consequences of Panic Attacks
Because of the abrupt nature of panic disorders, people are never able to feel relaxed during their attacks, specifically because of their fear of attacks in the future. They feel anxious and tense and often limit themselves to certain places because they fear that they may get another panic attack if they move out of their comfort zone.
These people also become agoraphobic because they fear public reaction to their disorder. Many a times, these people fear that they may be ridiculed, and as such confine themselves to their homes, thinking that this is the best way to handle their attacks, if they happen.
Causes of Panic Attacks
Major life changes often cause panic attacks, even if the changes are positive. The tendency to have said attacks also runs in families so genetic disposition is also a major cause. However, there are also some medical reasons that cause panic attacks which many do not know of:
- Hypothyroidism (thyroid gland that is overactive)
- Stimulant use such as cocaine, caffeine or amphetamines
- Medication withdrawal
- Mitral valve prolapse (cardiac problem in which one valve of the heart does not close properly)
Treating Panic Attacks
Before considering cognitive behavioral therapy, it is essential that you find a source through which you can learn everything about panic disorders.
Comfort Zone Trap offers complete information on not just panic attacks and disorders, but many other aspects of mental health as well so people can understand the connection and focus their attention on the problem at hand.