WHAT ARE PANIC ATTACKS?
Panic attacks could be a part of an anxiety disorder that affects about three million adults in the United States. About 60 million people in the states have at least one panic attack in their lifetime, but it does not mean that they have a panic disorder. The average persons with panic disorder start with women who are ages 15-19 however, they are not the only ones who suffer from this illness. Panic attacks are unexpected and happen suddenly, enabling the victim to do anything about it.
It is not uncommon for persons who experience their first panic attack in a public place (grocery store, elevator, while driving) to develop fears or even phobias about these scenario’s, and they can often begin to avoid these places. The person’s fear can become so great that even a mere thought or suggestion about going to those particular places can trigger another panic attack. A person with panic disorder can develop other problems such as agoraphobia, to where they are even afraid to leave the house because of fear of another panic attack. If a child has panic attacks they may not want to go to school, separate from their parents, and may even become depressed.
- Constant irrational or anxious thinking
- Intense feeling that there is danger and something is physically wrong
- Fear that you may be dying, going crazy or just losing control
- Hot flashes
- Shaking and sweating
- Pounding heart
- Constricted chest
- Shortness of breath
- Dry mouth
- Nausea or abdominal distress
Persons who have just one or two panic attacks do not necessarily have panic disorder, and the attacks could very well be due to stress or some type of illness. If you or someone you know has suffered or is suffering from panic attacks, it is important to seek a health care provider that you are comfortable with. Track the symptoms and inform him/her of the incidents that occur, when and how often they occur, as well as where they have occurred.