Panic – Information
A panic attack is a sudden surge of overwhelming fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause for this intense reaction. Panic attacks can occur at any time, even during sleep. A panic attack may seem to come out of the blue. Panicked individuals may believe they are dying, losing control, or going crazy.
Panic symptoms include chest pains (like heart attacks), sweating, trembling, and shortness of breath. People having panic attacks often think they are having a heart attack or other medical emergency that requires immediate attention. Many people feel detached from their surroundings, as though what is happening to them is not real. They may have panic symptoms just before passing out if there is an underlying health problem that causes panic symptoms during certain activities or in certain situations, such as dizziness with exercise, nausea with public speaking, faintness when seeing blood or needles, etc…
Panic – Causes
The cause of the panic disorder isn’t clear but probably involves a combination of factors including biological, psychological, and environmental influences. Some panic attacks seem to occur out of the blue without any obvious or immediately preceding cause. If your panic attacks are in response to specific events, they may be related in some way to emotional issues in your past – this includes traumas that you experienced (even in childhood) or loss of loved ones (eg, death).
Panic – Attacks
Physical symptoms typically emerge first in panic disorder; these typically begin abruptly and reach their peak within 10 minutes, which can leave you feeling terrified. These physical symptoms include:
Increased heart rate (tachycardia) – people experiencing panic often believe they are having a heart attack when their heart is pounding like this.
Shortness of breath (dyspnea) – panic attacks often feel like suffocation. The more a panic attack feels like you can’t breathe, the more urgent that panic becomes until many people start to believe they will pass out or die if their breathing doesn’t return to normal. This is the main reason panic attacks become worse and more intense as time goes on – because it creates even greater terror about not being able to breathe! These panic symptoms are also strong indicators that you might pass out or have a heart attack if your panic continues, which feeds into this cycle causing more intense panic symptoms creating a vicious cycle.
Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) – panic attacks are often mistaken for heart attacks by many people.
Chest pain or discomfort – This is not a sign of panic but if you have chest pains when having panic attacks, don’t think it’s your panic that is causing the problem, it may be another serious medical issue, so seek immediate assistance.
Crushing chest pain – Some panic attacks produce chest pains that are very uncomfortable and may even be painful enough to seem like a heart attack. If you panic during exercise, it can cause crushing chest pains, but this is temporary.
A feeling` of choking – panic-inducing feelings of suffocation
Dizziness and lightheadedness – panic attacks, especially in the absence of their treatment, can cause you to feel dizzy because your blood pressure has dropped dramatically. Severe panic may even cause you to faint. Some panic attack sufferers report feeling as if they were floating and detached from their bodies.
Feeling numb and tingling – panic attacks sometimes give rise to a feeling of numbness or tingling in different parts of the body, such as hands and feet. This is because panic causes the blood pressure to drop suddenly which reduces blood flow all throughout your body including your extremities.
Panic is something that many people experience at some point in their lives, but panic attacks can be debilitating. The panic attack symptoms are overwhelming and the feeling of suffocation is terrifying. This article has given you an overview of panic disorder so you know what to look for if someone close to you starts experiencing panic or panic-like episodes. If this sounds like an issue your loved one might have, please reach out to us for help!