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- Anxiety Disorders
Panic attacks - Causes and treatment suggestions.
The principle trigger of a Panic attack typically vary from one person to the next. Aiming to understand the 'trigger' or 'triggers' is a really important element when trying to control this condition. The number of occurrences an individual might suffer also vary widely - a person might only ever suffer one attack where by another may suffer many attacks in one day. Panic attacks are often considered terrifying, sufferers often mention the feeling of having a heart attack or even dying.
In broad terms a panic attack is either triggered emotionally or physically. The symptoms of an attack are typically the same regardless of the primary trigger; the vast majority of sufferers experience hyperventilation and an overwhelming sensation of fear. Most attacks reach a peak after approximately 10 minutes however the more unfortunate sufferer can have attacks which extend for considerably longer periods of time.
Physically derived panic attacks are often caused by inner ear disturbances such as labyrinthitis, mitral valve prolapse and hyperthyroidism. Vitamin B deficiencies are also proported triggers and occurrences of tape worms are recognized as potential causes. Other associated conditions include Heart palpitations and dizziness which are often aligned to other symptoms like paresthesias, blurry vision, sweating and uncontrollable shaking.
Attacks which are triggered by emotional causes have a huge number of potential culprits; post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and mental health issues often present as a panic attack as does sudden loss or bereavement.
Phobias can also trigger attacks, primarily due to the fear induced as a direct result of the phobia. Other types of induced stress such as those which occur in high pressure situations either at work or in an emergency situation, can contribute to the occurrence of a panic attack.
Oral medication is available to mask the initial symptoms of a panic attack, allowing sufferers to control their reactions more easily. A common method of controlling hyperventilation is for the sufferer to breathe into a paper bag. This technique has been long held as extremely successful however concerns have arisen more recently regarding the temporary reduction in oxygen levels.
As with all medical conditions, particularly those which are so unique to the sufferer, it is important to seek advice from a qualified medical practitioner. For emotional triggers mental health therapies and counselling are available via referral.
Relaxation and exercises such as Pranayama and Yoga serve to release and balance hormonal chemicals - the hormones typically associated with good feelings. The postures adopted through deep breath yoga are said to be beneficial in the fight against panic attacks. The fundamental principle is for the sufferer to remain in a calm state; research has proven that the onset of an attack can be stopped when these techniques are mastered.
Experts in the field of panic control identify that the primary requirement when trying to lessen the frequency of attacks is to identify the causes. it is suggested that the sufferer should note down where possible the specific causes which lead to an attack. a sufferer should continue to do this as it allows the eventual identification of the triggers. Once the triggers or causes have been identified, it becomes easier for those effected to recognise the panic signals and ultimately develop behavioural attitudes which act to specifically prevent an attack.