What is a panic attack like?

What is a panic attack like? Panic attack is a form of anxiety disorder. Panic attacks are frequent and bring much suffering to the patients. The difficulty is that in most cases the disease can not be recognized by general practitioners and without timely help the disorder can become chronic, significantly deteriorating the quality of life. So, in order to better understand if you are suffering from panic attacks, or from some other form of disorder, it may be wise to look at symptoms of panic attacks and see if any of them apply in your particular case.

Symptoms of panic attacks on the physiological level:

  • Shortness of breath, feeling of lack of the air;
  • Arrhythmia;
  • Dizziness or headaches;
  • Pain in the heart of the diverse nature – feeling of tightness, compression, burning, etc .;
  • Shivering;
  • Twitching of the arms and legs or the whole body trembling;
  • A feeling of weakness and lethargy;
  • Increased sweating;
  • Nausea;
  • Pain or discomfort in the stomach
  • Numbness, tingling in different parts of the body;
  • Fever or chills.

Panic disorder is diagnosed when there are four or more of the above symptoms.

In addition to physiological symptoms, panic attacks may have a number of psychological symptoms:

  • Feeling of unreality;
  • Feeling of self-alienation;
  • Increased concerns for different reasons;
  • Fear of losing control or consciousness, the fear of death due to suffocation, heart failure or other attacks, the fear of going insane. The panic attacks of this kind can appear suddenly, unpredictably, for no apparent reason and in the absence of a real threat to life.

Are panic attacks life-threatening?

Despite the fact that a panic attack is very unpleasant experience with frightening symptoms, it was proved that the panic disorder do not pose immediate and direct threat for the health of the patient and has no connection with severe outcomes, which the patients are so afraid of (strokes, heart attacks, etc.).

Do I need to treat panic disorder?

It often happens that the patient asks for help when the disease obtains protracted and serious symptoms. People with panic disorder have reduced working capacity and thus financial difficulties and domestic problems. The presence of panic disorder pushes the patients to seek medical help from different practitioners and do a lot of medical tests. Since there is no diagnosis, the patient still will suffer from persistent confidence that he has some specific physiological disease.

Typical complications of panic disorder:

  • Fear of expectation for the next attack leads to a withdrawal behavior – the patient panics while he is waiting for another panic attack, refusing to visit public places, use the public transportation system, and in severe cases – refuses to leave home at all;
  • Painful concerns about the state of his health, the patient focuses on the slightest changes in its physical well-being; irrational medical visits and laboratory tests;
  • Development of the secondary depression due to prolonged severe symptoms and loss of the hope for recovery;
  • Alcohol abuse, drugs, and other substances with the help of which patients relieve their stress gives rise to the various forms of addiction.