Anxiety is a normal reaction to situations that cause unrest and disquiet. Most life experiences evoke differing amounts of anxiety. However, what if anxiety becomes for you a chronic and even uncontrollable experience? And worse, what if you suddenly experience feeling terribly anxious for no reason at all?
If this is so, then you are probably experiencing a panic attack – a chronic, pathological experience of unwarranted anxiety. In the USA alone, close to three million people suffer from this kind of illness. Anxiety attacks could happen in any place, at any time and any situation – making it a very unpredictable and worrying illness.
Anxiety attacks differ from other disorders by the simple fact that they happen almost instantaneously and without provocation. It can occur even in the most inauspicious of places. Be it a trivial gathering or an important performance.
Most that suffer from this sort of disorder are often amazed and bewildered at how unpredictable an attack may be. The severity of such can range from mild discomfort to a nervous condition that effectively disables a person.
Panic attacks are so unpredictable; they can even bother one in their sleep. This can cause a major inconvenience and can seriously affect one's lifestyle. Those that do not understand the illness might make fun of or think that the person suffering from such an illness are overreacting or are doing things of their own accord to make things worse.
They do not understand that this condition is truly an illness that should be remedied and given attention as soon as possible. This is because this condition steadily increases in duration and intensity. Those that experience anxiety attacks for the first time typically suffer through the condition for ten minutes at a time.
As the condition progresses, this number steadily increases, and along with this increase in duration can come an increase in intensity.
Unfortunately, this type of disorder gets worse without treatment. Whenever one experiences a panic attack during any activity, the person's tendency is to associate that activity with the fear. This could cause trauma for many different activities, ultimately causing one to avoid performing these activities.
1. Sudden Fear – As mentioned earlier, those that suffer from anxiety attacks encounter them suddenly, unexpectedly and without provocation. They also experience nausea and stomach maladies at the same time.
2. Sudden Change of Demeanor – During a panic attack one may become either suddenly inactive – effectively paralyzed by fear or on the far end of the spectrum, suddenly hysteric. The patient may or may not have control of the faculties during such an episode.
3. Chest Pain and Dizziness – Chest pains and dizziness often accompany such attacks. These symptoms are usually company to nervous-related disorders. Some patients have also described being in a dream-like state; feeling chills, terror, sudden thanatophobia (fear of dying), palpitation, and other symptoms.
The causes of panic attack syndromes are quite hazy; it could be a deeply-rooted emotional problem, a trauma, or a nervous physiological condition. Some people are even genetically predisposed to such illnesses, having a marked imbalance of chemicals in the brain.
Most patients admitted with panic/anxiety disorders are treated with a mix of medication and psychiatric therapy. This mix addresses both the physical and mental faculties affected by the illness. The prognosis for such illnesses is good as long as it is treated early and consistently.