Panic attacks are hard to get through. They can feel like bad heart or lung problems at times and it can be very frustrating when it comes to figuring out where they are coming from, and why.
Approximately 19 million people in the United States are panic attack sufferers and they experience a variety of symptoms during panic attacks, which are caused by any of a variety of factors.
Those who have repeated episodes of panic attacks are often diagnosed with an actual panic disorder, which is usually treatable by medication, among other things. For a variety of reasons, a great deal of panic disorder cases in the United States remain untreated.
Many people do not take the disorder seriously and feel like panic disorder does not deserve treatment as an actual medical condition. Others don’t feel that medication is necessary, or do not wish to go through the changes that are usually required to properly medicate a panic disorder.
Often times, medication and the dosage of certain medications have to be changed a few times in order to get the right combination, so some side effects occur that effectively deter a lot of people from seeking medication for panic attacks.
Those who don’t seek medication or another form of treatment for panic attacks are facing serious repercussions. Those who experience repeated panic attacks have a tendency to try to completely avoid situations that cause them to have panic attacks, like riding in elevators or operating a vehicle.
This can lead to a series of mental complications, like depression, that require further treatment and medication. If panic attacks and panic disorders are effectively treated, longer-term problems can be prevented.
Among different types of medication used to ease the anxiety of panic attacks are certain types of anti depressants, benzodiazepines, Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors, (MAOIs) Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs).
Depending on the frequency of the panic attacks a patient experiences and the particular symptoms that they have been experiencing, a medical professional may prescribe any combination of medication to ease the symptoms, although the benzodiazepine-based medications are usually prescribed more commonly.
Of course, for less severe panic attack cases, alternative methods, like controlled breathing or counselling, may help with the stress you feel during a panic attack, or help you to stop one from happening when you start to feel it coming on. It is a body’s natural over reaction to a certain situation, and controlling your panic attacks is just about controlling enough of your environment to try and make sure they don’t happen again.
If you think the symptoms you are feeling may be symptoms of a panic disorder, please contact your health professional as soon as possible and talk to them about the things you are feeling. They will let you know the truth about your feelings, and help you determine what steps are necessary to allow you to lead a nice, normal life. Just because you feel alone when you are having a panic attack does not mean that you are.
Image: Maurice Brazil Prendergast. A crowd watching fireworks, ca. 1895–97