Signs and symptoms of panic attacks

Panic attacks seem to hit women more than men. The signs and symptoms of panic attacks are the “attacks” themselves.

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The attack may last for up to 30 minutes and it intensifies in the first minute or 2 and diminishes slowly.

Often, patients with panic attacks would present to the emergency room thinking they are having a heart attack and these panic attacks could hit or occur more than once a month and is just as bad or severe as the first attack.

The symptoms of panic attacks are: rapid heart rate, trembling or shakiness, sweating, shortness of breath, nausea, chest pain, abdominal pain or cramping, chills, headache, hyperventilation, tightness in throat, feeling faint, trouble swallowing and the feeling that life is about to end. These symptoms may all be present or just a few of them could be present but the worst part of it all is that there are no early warning signs and symptoms of panic attacks.

After the signs and symptoms of panic attacks, or after the attack itself, the patient may feel worn out or depressed or even after the worst attack is over lingering signs and symptoms of panic attacks may last for more than 30 minutes and in some patients it could last for more than a day. One of the biggest worries after a panic attack is the thought that another one would come on.

Signs and symptoms of panic attacks may strike at any time and any day. Some patients fear the on – set of the attack that they feel the best place to be would be the safety of their home and thus the beginning of agoraphobia.

For patients who suffer from the attack frequently may be suffering from panic disorder. If you feel that you suffer from panic attacks quite often and that the attacks are interfering with you life and makes you disabled or gets you depressed, see your doctor right away for you do not have to suffer from this.

There are 2 main causes of panic disorders: behavioral and biological

Behavioral theory is when the attack is due to an irrational response to a stimulus which is non-threatening. When the patient learns the cause and identifies and analyzes it then the patient will learn how to normally respond to the situation and not respond by panicking.

Biological theories is when the natural alarm system in the brain malfunctions due to genetics or environmental situations or circumstances which then causes panic. This is still being studies and investigated and it is believed that the 4 areas leading to or affected by this theory are: the locus ceruleus; gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA; septohippocampal interactions and ventrumedulla.

The panic attacks may be due to a situation happening, or about to happen that triggers the attack or it could be a sudden on – set. Often times, people with panic attacks think the worse of a situation. Other signs and symptoms of panic attacks are: diarrhea or nausea, fear of dying, the feeling of going crazy, dizziness or feeling faint, choking feeling, sweating, shortness of breath, shaking, racing of the heart or palpitations.

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