Facts About Panic Attacks

Panic attacks are a common ailment and affect many people, often making daily life difficult and causing a large amount of distress. The best weapon against panic attacks though is knowledge; the most effective way to overcome an anxiety attack when it’s in full swing is to acknowledge it for what it is and to do your best to ‘ignore it’ as much as possible and the best way to prevent it is to understand the triggers.

Doing all this becomes much easier once you are able to step back and objectively analyze what a panic attack is and why it happened in the first place. Read on and we will look at some of the basic facts about panic attacks so that you have better ammunition to combat them.

Basic Facts About Panic Attacks

  • Panic attacks are also known as anxiety attacks
  • Panic disorder is a condition that describes someone who commonly experiences panic attacks
  • About 1.7% of the population has a panic disorder at any given time
  • Women are twice as likely to develop panic disorder
  • Young adults are particularly susceptible to panic attacks
  • Panic attacks last anywhere from 20 minutes to several hour
  • Many people mistake panic attacks for heart attacks at first
  • Alcohol can actually increase panic attacks

Symptoms of Panic Attacks

Panic attack symptoms include:

  • Racing heart rate
  • Pacing
  • Anxious thoughts
  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Pacing
  • Hyperventilation (lack of CO2 in the blood due to rapid breathing)
  • Shaking
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Tingling in the hands and feet
  • Feinting
  • Sense of ‘surrealism’ and detachment

Facts About Panic Attack Causes

  • Panic attacks are somewhat hereditary but also appear to be caused by environmental factors
  • Panic attacks can often be triggered by agoraphobia
  • As well as other phobias
  • In other cases, panic attacks can come on when you’re trying to get to sleep

Facts About Panic Attack Treatments

  • Treatment is effective in about 70-90% of cases using therapy
  • The most effective form of therapy for panic attacks is cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Exposure therapy is also effective
  • Breathing techniques, meditation and lifestyle changes may all also be helpful
  • Medication will sometimes be used including benzodiazepines, SSRIs and beta blockers
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