Everything You Should Understand About Panic Attacks – The Right Medications
What is a panic attack?
Panic attacks are mental illnesses that cause sudden and intense fear, resulting in physical symptoms. These attacks can occur without any apparent danger and are characterized by overwhelming terror. Physical symptoms such as sweating, difficulty breathing, and a racing heart may also accompany a panic attack.
How common are panic attacks?
Up to 11 percent of Americans experience a panic attack each year, with 2 to 3 percent developing a panic disorder. Women are twice as likely as men to develop a panic disorder, and stress can often trigger the onset of these attacks.
What are the symptoms and signs of a panic attack?
Signs of a panic attack include chest pain or a racing heart, smothering or choking sensations, fear of losing control, intense feelings of terror, and tingling or numbness in the fingers or toes. Panic attacks typically occur suddenly and without warning, peaking within 8 to 10 minutes before subsiding.
What are the causes of a panic attack?
Panic attacks can be caused by mental health issues, family history of panic disorders, and substance abuse problems. The nervous system and brain play crucial roles in perceiving anxiety and fear, increasing the risk of experiencing panic attacks.
Precautions for a panic attack
To lower the chances of having a panic attack, it is recommended to exercise regularly, reduce caffeine intake, manage stress, and maintain a healthy diet. Identifying triggers and learning strategies to manage them through psychotherapy can also be helpful.
How are panic attacks diagnosed?
Severe health problems with similar symptoms to panic attacks, such as respiratory, heart, or thyroid disease, must be ruled out through medical tests. A diagnosis of panic disorder may be made if a person experiences repeated panic attacks and exhibits persistent fear, obsession with losing control, and changes in behavioral patterns to avoid triggering attacks.
How are panic attacks managed or treated?
Panic attacks can be managed through a combination of medications and psychotherapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps individuals identify triggers and change their thinking and behaviors, reducing the frequency and severity of panic attacks. Anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants may also be prescribed to alleviate symptoms.
Panic attacks are sudden and irrational feelings of fear and anxiety. While home remedies such as meditation and a healthy diet may help manage panic attacks, seeking professional treatment options like psychotherapy and medication can provide further relief and control over these episodes.