What are the Symptoms of a Panic Attack

It is estimated that one third of all the adults in the United States will experience some type of panic attack this year, whether it is a single event or part of an ongoing condition. If you were to ask one of those people, they will surely agree that panic attacks are terrifying. But what are the symptoms of a panic attack that you should watch out for.

Signs of a panic attack include periods of extreme, disabling fear or anxiety that is brought on by a certain trigger. It can be accompanied by shortness of breath, dizziness, and even severe chest pains. Sufferers may easily believe that they are experiencing a heart attack or some other, more serious medical problem, when what they are actually feeling are the physical symptoms of a psychological condition.

Panic disorder is the chronic condition of people who experience panic attacks as an ongoing medical problem. Those who have been diagnosed with an actual panic disorder are usually prescribed medication to curb their attacks. With the variable symptoms of panic attacks and the variety of things out there that trigger them, it may take a few different dosage amounts or a couple different types of medication before you find the one that works the best for you.

It is easy to forget to take your medication, or decide that you are done with it and don’t want to take it anymore for whatever reason, but your health professional knows what they are doing. If they prescribe you a medication for your panic attacks, it is important that you take it, to decrease the likelihood of you ever having another one of those terrifying episodes again. While panic attacks can be extremely troublesome, you can keep the control of your life that having panic attacks can sometimes make it feel like you are losing.

Outside of medication, therapy is also another way of possibly curbing these episodes. Panic attacks are often brought on by a certain trigger, or series of triggers. Triggers are things in your environment that cause your body to react. There are numerous different triggers in your environment that can cause you to have a panic attack. It can be very difficult to figure out on your own what your trigger is, and without knowing that, it can be hard to guarantee that the attacks will stop. Talking with a counselor or a therapist can help you to understand what it is that causes your panic attacks, so you can takes steps to prevent them from happening to you again.

If you drink alcohol or take drugs, these things can bring on panic episodes as well. Caffeine is also known to bring on panic attacks so if you partake in any of the aforementioned and you suffer from bouts of panic, consider quitting. This may help you reduce or even eliminate the panic attacks you are having.

Although panic attacks ARE terrifying, bear in mind that there are ways to get around them, and there are people that can help. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms, especially if you think the signs may be indicative of the symptoms of a panic attack.

Page Updated: November 11, 2016
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