What Is Panic Attack

Panic attack - an attack of extreme fear (panic), accompanied by massive autonomic symptoms and some other symptoms Components of a panic attack:

Anxiety and its equivalents:

  • pronounced fear (panic) (death, unconscious, vague fear)
  • muscular tension
  • unpleasant sensations in the chest

Vegetative symptoms:

  • marked palpitation
  • increase in blood pressure
  • a shiver,
  • a sense of lack of air,
  • sweating of the palms
  • chills
  • nausea or other gastrointestinal symptoms

Other symptoms:

  • dizziness,
  • unpleasant bodily sensations,
  • a sense of unreality surrounding or own change

A panic attack can begin suddenly or be provoked by being in a place (with agoraphobia). The panic attack lasts from a few minutes to an hour, although this time is subjectively stretched several times. After a panic attack for the rest of the day, a person feels tension, discomfort, expressed fatigue, weakness.

Panic disorder - the periodic occurrence of repeated sudden panic attacks.

People with panic disorder are anxiously awaiting repetition of attacks, worried about its possible consequences (death, car accident, inability to perform their duties).

People with a panic disorder often associate their attacks with certain situations (being in the metro, removing away from home) and can fill future panic attacks by waiting to get into this situation. When approaching a place where a panic attack may occur, a person experiences its harbingers - growing at a feeling of discomfort, muscle tension and anxiety. They can start avoiding situations that they think are capable of causing panic attacks, while avoiding transport - they change jobs to the one that is closer to home. This avoidance is called agoraphobia. At the same time, being in a place that a patient usually avoids is carried much easier in the presence of a loved one. Very often, people experiencing panic attacks, consider them to be a manifestation of severe deadly diseases: heart disease, bronchial asthma or other diseases of internal organs. They persistently visit cardiologists, therapists, pulmonologists, demanding a lot of research of internal organs. Getting a result about the normal state of the body, they do not calm down and continue to re-take tests, seeking an explanation for their feelings.

The effects of panic disorder and agoraphobia

  • Focus on your condition
  • Avoiding travel in transport and other places limits the ability of people-in communication, in work, up to disability, when it is impossible to leave the house on their own.
  • Panic disorder can provoke endogenous depression

The Origin of Panic Disorder

At the heart of the panic disorder lie disorders of the exchange of neurotransmitters (serotonin, norepinephrine, GABA). Quite often the first panic attack appears in a state of severe hangover, when the autonomic nervous system is shattered. Factors contributing to the emergence of panic attacks are:

  • organic brain damage (consequences of pregnancy pathology, asphyxia in childbirth, craniocerebral trauma, brain concussion)
  • Alcohol abuse
  • hereditary predisposition
  • stress, emotional exhaustion