Panic Attack

Panic Attacks are triggered by anxiety.   Anxiety can be characterized as the body’s response to the anticipation of something the mind dreads.  Panic attacks commonly occur in people diagnosed with Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  Various phobias or fears of phobic stimuli can also trigger panic attacks.  Common phobic stimuli include: spiders, snakes, cockroaches, heights, water, driving, flying, elevators, and even clowns.

Symptoms of a panic attack include:

  • A rapid heartbeat and chest pain that can resemble a heart attack, accompanied by profound sensations of being choked or smothered.
  • An enormous and unexplained fear, including a fear of dying or impending doom, are also common; often including physical responses such as tingling of the hands, shaking, and trembling.
  •  Dizziness, nausea, headaches, and irritability are other symptoms of an anxiety-induced panic attack.

First Aid for people experiencing panic attacks starts with a medical checkup.  Your doctor will need to rule out other causes such as a thyroid problem, hypoglycemia, or asthma.  Certain drugs, medications, and supplements have also been found to cause anxiety attacks.  Your doctor will likely ask about any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies, and if any recreational drugs are being taken before prescribing treatment.

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