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Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder

Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder

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Published by MavenCu
Learn about the treatment options currently available to sufferers of panic attacks and panic disorder.
Learn about the treatment options currently available to sufferers of panic attacks and panic disorder.

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Published by: MavenCu on May 20, 2010
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01/24/2013

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Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder
A Report On Your Treatment Options
Written by:Michael H. Karowski
Though anxiety disorders were only recognized in 1980, they have been around for years. There aremany famous people throughout history who (based on accounts of their lives) seem to have had ananxiety disorder. Their strange character was often blamed on nerves or the stress that came from the position or role they had to carry.Doctors and medicine men at the time tried to find ways to alleviate the problem by designingtreatments they believed would help. Ranging from hydrotherapy (the application of extremetemperatures to the body) to blood letting through leaches, many of the treatments failed. This is probably because the problem itself was not fully understood. (There were some treatments, like herbaltreatments, that did provide a measure of relief.)It wasn't until the birth of psychology and psychological treatment methods did those who sufferedfrom anxiety disorders truly get the attention and care they needed for their ailment. Since then, andsince the formal recognition of anxiety disorders in the medical world, scientists and researchers have been striving to find better and more effective treatment methods for these patients.This report focuses on panic attacks and panic disorder, which is a psychological disorder that fallsunder the category of anxiety disorders. Panic disorder is a serious problem which can debilitate andhalt a person's life. One of the goals of this free report is to raise awareness among people, as well as to be a source of knowledge and understanding to those who may be dealing with the ailment itself.Specifically, the report will discuss:
What is a panic attack?
What is panic disorder?
What causes panic attacks or panic disorder?
Can panic disorder be cured, and what are a person's options for treatment?
How are each of these treatment methods explained and supported by both medical professionalsand panic disorder patients?
Can panic disorder be prevented?
What tips do doctors give to patients suffering from panic disorder?By the end of this report, a person should have a good overview and understanding of panic attacks and panic disorder. They should have awareness of their treatment options, and basic knowledge of what
 
each option entails.For more detailed information on panic attacks, panic disorder, and the various treatment options, click onhttp://www.PanicDisorderAttacks.com.
What is a Panic Attack?
A panic attack is an period of time in which a person is gripped by intense feelings of apprehension,anxiety, worry, and fear or terror. The attack causes physical reactions such as:
a rapid heart beat and/or chest pains
sweat
chills
dizziness and/or nausea
stomach pain
hyperventilation or staggered breathing, sometimes to the point of choking
tingling or numbness in the extremities (hands and feet)
shaking or trembling
de-realization or de-personification (feeling detached from reality or from oneself)
feeling weak 
fear of dyingThese feelings and symptoms take over the body during the episode, usually leaving the person unableto continue with what they were doing. They literally “stop a person in his/her tracks.”The attack usually peaks within 10 minutes, and the symptoms begin to fade. Some symptoms fadeslowly, however, lingering for up to two hours after the initial attack. This leads many panic attack sufferers to believe that attacks last much longer, though during an attack, most patients do lose track of a sense of time and feel like it lasts very long.Sometimes, lingering symptoms worry the patient to the point of having another panic attack, whichreinforces their belief that they have lost control. Often, successive or multiple panic attacks are morethe result of lingering symptoms than of “new” anxious feelings.Panic attacks are different for each patient. They can come without warning or provocation or they cancome due to a trigger or cue (a phobia, for example.) Some patients experience successive or multiple panic attacks everyday or every few days, while others experience panic attacks every few months.Recurring panic attacks combined with the fear of having another attack, and allowing this fear to takeover one's life are the factors which lead people to develop panic disorder.
 
What is Panic Disorder?
Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by recurring unexpected panic attacks. There aretwo types of panic disorder. These are panic disorder with agoraphobia and panic disorder withoutagoraphobia. The characteristics of these two types are as follows:
 Panic disorder without agoraphobia
This type of panic disorder is characterized by recurring unexpected panic attacks which are not caused by a general medical condition or substance abuse. The patient also does not have agoraphobia, or thefear of not being able to escape a situation or not being able to escape a situation withoutembarrassment. Also, for one month or more after at least one panic attack, the patient has had one or more of the following:
worry about the importance of the attack or its consequences
constant concern that another attack will come
change in behavior (ex. avoidance)
Panic disorder with agoraphobia
This type of panic disorder is characterized by recurring unexpected panic attacks which are not caused by a general medical condition or substance abuse. For one month or more after at least one panicattack, the patient has had one or more of the following:
worry about the importance of the attack or its consequences
constant concern that another attack will come
change in behavior (ex. avoidance)
agoraphobiaIn both types of panic disorder, the panic attacks should not be better explained by another anxietydisorder or another psychological disorder. However, the disorder itself can often be accompanied byother mental health conditions such as depression and/or alcoholism.The change in behavior, specifically avoidance, is very characteristic of panic disorder because patientstend to avoid the place or situation in which the attack occurred or which (in their mind) “triggers”attacks. This often leads to the development of phobias.
What Causes Panic Attacks or Panic Disorder?
Panic Attacks
Everyone feels anxious every now and then. It is a natural feeling for humans. We can feel anxious

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