If you’ve been suffering from extreme anxiety that comes on suddenly and doesn’t cause any real physical effects afterwards, then you’ll want to be asking, “What are panic attacks and is this what I have, too?”
A panic attack (also known as an anxiety attack) is an episode where fear surges through your mind and body. You will feel a combination of mental and physical symptoms that can last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour before easing.
In severe cases, the person thinks they’re having a heart attack and dying. That’s because the adrenaline is coursing through your veins and causing your body to amp up its blood supply – so you feel a pounding of your heart, flushed skin, and other physical symptoms.
People who get panic attacks frequently and have them over a long period of time may have panic disorder. This is a real medical condition – it’s not something you just get over or lighten up about.
Because this type of ailment interrupts your lifestyle, paralyzing you with fear, it’s important to know what your treatment options are so that you can stop the dizziness, nausea, headaches, chest pain and tightness in your throat (among other symptoms).
A panic attack might strike without warning at any time – when you’re home alone eating breakfast, when you’re in the middle of carpool, at work in a meeting, or even while relaxing at a movie theater.
After an anxiety attack subsides, you might feel like it’s taken its toll on you. That’s normal. But the worst part is – wondering when this ailment will creep back into your life. It’s unusual for someone to simply have one panic attack and then never have one again unless it’s specific to one stressful situation that goes away.
While there’s no scientific evidence of what causes a panic attack, scientists believe it’s a combination of genes, mental focus and stress levels. Genetically, most panic attack sufferers are young women. But that doesn’t mean older or younger women (and males) aren’t afflicted, either – because they are. There might be a family history of anxiety attacks that contributes to your situation.
Unfortunately, the turmoil that a panic attack leaves in its wake can lead to more serious medical problems, such as depression and suicidal thoughts. Depression has been linked to many diseases, so it’s important that once you ask the question, “What are panic attacks,” you find the answer you need and a solution that helps you prevent this from getting out of hand.