My name is Matthew. For many years I suffered from anxiety, panic attacks, which led to panic disorder and agoraphobia. Eventually, I was able to beat these things and I now want to help others.
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You came here to understand and get information on panic attacks. Like most people who experience panic attacks, you will probably find it reassuring to understand what is happening, biologically and psychologically. This knowledge can be a real and initial form of help (don’t worry, there’s plenty more help after this) with panic attacks. That is what I will provide you credible sources of information.
So we should start there…
As per the Mayo Clinic’s website:
A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear that develops for no apparent reason and that triggers severe physical reactions. Panic attacks can be very frightening. When panic attacks occur, you might think you’re losing control, having a heart attack or even dying.
You may have only one or two panic attacks in your lifetime. But if you have had several panic attacks and have spent long periods in constant fear of another attack, you may have a chronic condition called panic disorder.
Panic attacks were once dismissed as nerves or stress, but they’re now recognized as a real medical condition. Although panic attacks can significantly affect your quality of life, treatment is very effective.
According to the American Psychological Association:
Only a licensed therapist can diagnose a panic disorder. There are certain signs you may already be aware of, though.
One study found that people sometimes see 10 or more doctors before being properly diagnosed, and that only one out of four people with the disorder receive the treatment they need. That’s why it’s important to know what the symptoms are, and to make sure you get the right help.
Many people experience occasional panic attacks, and if you have had one or two such attacks, there probably isn’t any reason to worry. The key symptom of panic disorder is the persistent fear of having future panic attacks. If you suffer from repeated (four or more) panic attacks, and especially if you have had a panic attack and are in continued fear of having another, these are signs that you should consider finding a mental health professional who specializes in panic or anxiety disorders.
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In the next page I will describe in detail the process of a panic attack.
References (Help and Recovery from Panic Attacks / Disorder & Agoraphobia)
1.Mayo Clinic. Panic Attacks. Retrieved on September 2, 2011, from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/panic-attacks/DS00338
2. American Psychological Association. Answers to Your Questions about Panic Disorder. Retrieved on April 2, 2016, from: http://www.apa.org/topics/anxiety/panic-disorder.aspx