About Panic Disorder

by admin

Panic disorder is a real condition that affects many in the world. It is characterized by sudden attacks of fear, accompanied by a series of physical symptoms that can cause even more fear, such as a heart pounding, chest pain, sweating, dizziness, weakness. During these attacks people may have a choking sensation, the extremities tend to feel numb or tingly. Panic attacks are accompanied, in addition to all these bodily manifestations, of a great fear of losing control or going crazy.

Because of its nature, all these sensations last for a few minutes, making it difficult to diagnose. They can also happen at any time, even during sleep. For the sufferer, it is very hard to handle, because it triggers a cycle of fear. Fear of the uncomfortable bodily sensations, fear of having another panic attack.

What happens?
Panic disorder is directly related to a state of generalized anxiety, which sensitizes the body and prepares it to deal with an imminent danger. Which is basically what anxiety is about; a mechanism for responding to a danger or threat and it is designed to protect us. When our body perceives danger, the brain sends a signal alerts the nervous system. Eventually, the brain also sends the signals of calm. These functions are controlled by two sections of the nervous system, the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous system.

The sympathetic system is responsible for releasing adrenaline to make us react better. For the body to regain its state of calm (work of the parasympathetic system) takes time, but it is certain that the body eventually will stop releasing adrenaline by itself, so even though a panic attack may seem eternal, you can trust the fact that it is going to end.

As a fact, all symptoms of a panic attack are related to the fight or flight reflex, since the idea is to prepare our bodies to deal with a threat. For this reason, the heart pumps faster and stronger, the digestive system shuts down causing nausea, the extremities tingle because the body limits blood flow to these areas to give priority to other parts, the pupils dilate to allow more light into the eyes, among other physical reactions, that out of place, can be very scary.

What to do?
As a first step, it is recommended to rule out any other possible diseases, so it is a good idea to visit a doctor and take some medical advice, because, as mentioned above, panic attacks symptoms are sometimes very similar to other conditions. Anyway, it is important to note that although at the time, panic attacks feel like something terrible, do not pose a threat to life.

Although the prognosis goes hand in hand with the severity of the disorder, most patients with proper treatment, can control the attacks, reducing intensity, frequency and gaining the confidence to deal with any eventual panic attack.

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