Health & Fitness

What are the Signs and Causes of Panic Attacks?

The intense and sudden anxiety attack causes the individual to feel out of control and terrorized. The physiological symptoms of a panic attack include a racing heartbeat, nausea, and shortness of breath. Women with a family history of mental health disorders are at a higher risk of suffering from panic attacks and related complications. The prevailing problems in societies cause unbearable stress that can lead to a panic attack.

Symptoms of Panic Attack

The panic attack symptoms occur without warning, at any time, and on occasion. It affects the health and overall functioning of the person. The common symptoms of panic attacks are:

  • Loss of Control: The anxiety causes the individual to feel no control over the situation, feelings, and behavior. The person feels that they are going to die.
  • Sense of Impending Doom: The panic attack makes the person feel that something tragic will happen. They sense threats around them, which worsens the physiological symptoms.
  • Physiological Response: The individual suffering from a panic attack experiences multiple physiological symptoms. The common physiological responses of anxiety and panic include; breathlessness, flashing vision, abdominal cramps, shaking, sweating, and numbness.
  • Suicidal Ideation: The individual experiences recurrent panic attacks need help. Without timely treatment, the individual may suffer from suicidal ideation, which causes further deterioration of physical and mental health.
  • Detachment: The individual suffering from an anxiety or panic attack feels detached from reality.
  • Physical Pain: During a panic attack, the person experiences headaches, chest aches, and cramps that lead to a sense of impending doom.

Known Causes of a Panic Attack

  • Family History: Genetics plays a crucial role in physical and mental health. Individuals with close family members suffering from panic attacks are at a higher risk of suffering from the same condition. Thus, it is essential to be aware of the symptoms and triggers. It allows the individual to seek professional help for timely diagnosis and treatment to avoid further complications.
  • Modification in Brain Chemicals:  The changes in the hormones responsible for fight and flight can cause panic attacks.
  • Stress: The individual who fails to balance personal and professional life remains under stress. Stress affects productivity and increases the risk of anxiety attacks. Therefore, people must not assert pressure on themselves to enhance their functioning and mental health.
  • Other Mental Health Problems: Individuals diagnosed with PTSD, OCD, Wilson’s disease, phobias, and hyperthyroidism should consult a specialist and take treatment to avoid complications, such as a panic attack.
  • Use of Drugs: Consumption of alcohol and illicit drugs causes changes in the brain chemicals that can trigger a panic attack.
  • Traumatic Events: Undealt trauma increases the risk of panic attacks and clinical depression. People who have been through an accident or seen the death of close family members should learn a healthy way to deal with the trauma, as they are at a higher risk of suffering from panic attacks. It is advisable to join a support group to cope with the stress related to traumatic events to prevent panic attacks

The panic attack treatment includes the use of medication, psychotherapy, and learning relaxation techniques. Thus, individuals exhibiting signs of panic attacks must seek professional help to prevent complications.

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