What are Panic Attacks?
Panic attacks are quite common and involve a feeling of terror in a person which may strike without any warning. The problem with panic attacks is that they can occur at any time and there are many persons who experience such attacks even in their sleep.
There are many situations where the person who has been struck by a panic attack, often feels that he or she about to die either because of a heart attack or other such unprecedented medical conditions. These people try to relate their true situation with such horrible and unwanted experiences and feel as though they are very much in such unwanted situations.
Panic Attacks Symptoms
There are a number of symptoms associated with panic attacks and a few major ones are being given below.
- Racing heart is the most common symptom associated with panic attacks.
- They also complain of general feeling of weakness, a feeling of dizziness and often faint without any specific reason.
- Numbness of both hands and fingers is another common problem associated with such people.
- They always live in a sense of terror where death of disaster is lurking around the corner.
- They often complain of having episodes of chills and also feel sweaty when they are subject to such panic attacks.
- They also complain of chest pains with or without breathing difficulties.
- They have a general feeling of loss of control of their mind and body and often tend to become listless and directionless.
However, the duration of most of the panic attacks are very brief and they never last for more than 10 minutes. Very rarely do these symptoms last beyond 10 minutes. People who have had such panic attacks are at a higher risk of subsequent attacks.
When such panic attacks become a regular feature, these patients are often diagnosed with a condition that is termed as panic disorder. In USA alone around 1.7% of the adult population are victims of such panic attacks (in the age group of 18 to 54). Women are more at risk to such attacks.
There are many reasons attributable to panic attacks and women who have gone through marriages, childbirth or going in for the first job are the ones who are most likely to be affected by such attacks.
The best way to stop panic attacks problem is through a combination of psychotherapy and medications. There are a number of anti-anxiety medicines and anti-depressants which could be very effective in managing the situation. However, such drugs must be evaluated from the safety and side-effect angles too.