Familiarity with panic attack; A frightening disorder that resembles a heart attack
Panic attack (Panic attack) or panic disorder is a sudden complication in which a person suddenly experiences the emotions of fear and anxiety for no reason. This sudden attack can cause symptoms such as a faster heart rate and sweating. Some people are afraid of panic attacks, but this disorder can be managed in a way that prevents such experiences to a great extent. In this article, while introducing and fully explaining panic attack as one of the common disorders, it also talks about different and hidden aspects of this disease. Also, the possible causes of panic attacks are discussed in detail; Because this disorder is not a physical abnormality, but scientists are trying to find a molecular mechanism for panic attack disorder with various researches at the molecular level.
What is a panic attack?
Maybe this question is formed in your mind, which people can experience panic attack. In a very brief and useful answer, it should be said that every person can find this experience. However, the following factors play an important role in the experience of a panic attack:
- Age: Interestingly, panic attacks occur more often in teenagers and young adults. However, even young children have been seen to have panic attacks.
- Sex: Women are twice as likely to develop this disorder as men. li>
Causes of panic attacks
Experts still do not know exactly why some Humans face this strange disorder. However, some sobering clues have been discovered. Biological reasons include obsessive-compulsive disorder, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), hyperthyroidism, Wilson's disease, mitral valve prolapse, pheochromocytoma, and inner ear disorders (labyrinthitis). did Dysregulation of the norepinephrine system in part of the brain stem also seems to be related to panic attacks. Attacks may occur during short-term stimuli. Loss of family members, especially a romantic partner, and significant life changesfor example, losing a homecan trigger panic attacks. Based on various studies, it is possible that side stress piled up on top of each other causes a greater concern and consequently increases the probability of panic attack. In adults, going through different stages of maturity can cause this disorder in a person.
Humans can prepare the grounds for panic attacks based on the situation they are in. Some researchers believe that panic attacks can be a situational disorder. Being in similar situations can cause frequent panic attacks. However, with the knowledge of the cause and effect relationship between phobia and panic attack, there is still a debate among experts as to which case should be considered the cause and which case should be considered the effect.One of the most important causes of panic attack Rumination is sick
One of the most important causes of panic attacks is rumination; Because it is enough for a person to feel this painful experience once. Over time, he feels threatened in every similar situation and by constantly talking to himself, he officially creates a trigger for a new attack. On the other hand, hyperventilation syndrome is another disorder that can negatively affect a person's breathing. The presence of excess carbon dioxide in a human's blood can induce this syndrome. Rapid heart rate, dizziness and lightheadedness are the symptoms of this syndrome, all three of which can lead a person to experience a panic attack.
Some drugs and different substances can also cause panic attacks. Of course, there is no requirement that drug overdose should be done. For example, you can stop taking a certain drug, for example, an anti-depressant drug at once. This behavior can lead to panic attacks. The Harvard Mental Health Center states that one of the most common side effects of marijuana use is anxiety and panic attacks. According to published reports, approximately 20-30% of users who According to themselves, they use marijuana recreationally, they suffer from panic attacks. Of course, smoking is another thing that is related to panic attacks.Some drugs and substances can also cause panic attacks. Of course, there is no requirement that drug overdose (Over-dose) must be done
With all these interpretations, it is possible that a person will not see any of the mentioned reasons in his file. In this case, how is it possible for a normal person to have a panic attack? In this scenario, the potential risk of panic attack increases when:
- Family history: Anxiety disorders including fear disorders often run in families. Of course, experts do not know exactly how panic attacks are transmitted from parents to children. Is genetics involved or do children somehow intuitively acquire this disorder?
- Psychological problems: People who have anxiety disorders, depression or other psychological diseases are more are prone to experience panic attacks.
- Problems related to the person's lifestyle: Addiction to alcohol and drugs can increase the possible risk of panic attacks.
Although scientists have not yet been able to find a definitive and valid reason for panic attack disorder, the symptoms of panic attack disorder can be induced in laboratory conditions on various animal models. By injecting a certain amount of neuropeptide called cholecytokinin-tetrapeptide (CCK-4) into the living organism, an animal model with panic attack can be provided in the laboratory environment. The creation of such animal models is done in order to study and investigate various researches to discover the mechanisms of the complication and its treatment. Despite the fact that a lot of research has been done since the late 1990s on the study of panic attack disorder until 2022, the main cause of panic attack has not been discovered yet.
Symptoms of panic attack
Panic attacks, as mentioned earlier, occur suddenly and without any warning. Unfortunately, there is currently no solution to stop a panic attack before it starts. Symptoms usually peak exactly 10 minutes after an attack begins and disappear soon after. Symptoms of a panic attack include:
- chest pain
- difficulty breathing
- Feeling like you are dying
- Feeling very scared
- Very fast heart rate
- Profuse sweating
- Numbness or tingling in the fingers or toes
How to recognize a panic attack
Some Common health conditions such as heart disease, thyroid disease, and respiratory disorders can cause symptoms similar to panic attacks. The attending physician rejects possible options by performing various tests. If no physical reason is found for the disorders, panic attack may be the best and only option before the treating physician to diagnose the disorder. But how is a panic attack identified based on events and mental conditions? Don't lose control during a panic attack
How to treat a panic attackPsychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both processes can effectively prevent panic attacks. How long a person needs to be treated and, accordingly, how effective the treatment process can be, all depend on the person's mental and physical strength. In any case, there are three options before the treating physician:
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which is called CBT for short, is a type of psychotherapy process that is It is also known as simple speech therapy. You talk to a psychologist or psychiatrist about your thinking and emotions. The therapist also tries to identify the triggers of the panic attack. Consequently, by finding the triggers, you can also understand the ways to deal with them. So you can change the way you think, behave and even react. As soon as you respond differently to the stimuli, the attacks will decrease and gradually decrease until they finally stop.
Some antidepressants can work to reduce panic attacks. face less or with less deterioration. Usually, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), or tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are options that a doctor can prescribe to reduce panic attacks. fluoxetine, paroxetine from the well-known drugs of the SSRI family, duloxetine and venlafaxine from the SNRIs group, and amitriptyline and doxepin from drugs are considered TCAs family.
Benzodiazepines, the most common anti-anxiety drugs It is anxiety that is used to treat and prevent panic attacks. These drugs have helped with anxiety, but there is also a risk of addiction to these drugs. Alprazolam and lorazepam are among the famous drugs of this drug family.
If you breathe very fast and maybe hard during a panic attack, it is not bad to do Breathing exercises, eliminate this symptom in yourself to a great extent; Because it seems that the involvement of the cardiovascular system can be prevented by normalizing the respiratory system. It has been observed that the following exercises are useful in improving a person's physical condition during panic attacks:
- as much as you can slowly, deeply and slowly transfer oxygen into the lungs through the nose
- Slowly, deeply and slowly, through the mouth, release the trapped air in the lungs after three seconds
- Some people have found it useful that in each inhalation and exhalation, Count from one to five out loud
- Close your eyes and focus only on inhaling and exhaling. After a few minutes of doing this exercise, you will feel better. jpg">
Despite the very scary and dangerous face of panic attacks, it must be claimed that this disorder can be managed very easily. Unfortunately, most people do not act so quickly to seek help from doctors and psychologists; Because they feel ashamed of bringing up this complication. Untreated panic attacks can have devastating effects on a person's ability to enjoy life. Over time, you can see these symptoms in yourself due to panic attacks:
- Preliminary anxiety: The experience of panic attacks can lead to very intense anxiety
- Phobia: A phobia is an unreasonable and intense fear of a specific thing. For example, acrophobia is the fear of heights or claustrophobia is the fear of being in a closed space.
- Agoraphobia: Almost two-thirds of people with panic attacks have another disorder. develop in themselves under the title of agoraphobia. Due to this disorder, a person is afraid of being in places and situations where a panic attack may occur. This feeling of fear can become more intense when you decide to go out of the house.
How can you prevent a panic attack?
A doctor or psychologist can identify the triggers. It will help you to prevent panic attacks. During psychotherapy, you can learn strategies to manage triggering events and prevent an attack. You can also significantly prevent panic attacks by following these simple guidelines:
- Cut out caffeinated food and drinks
- Exercise regularly and Regular
- Eating a healthy diet
- Managing stress
- Talking to your doctor before taking herbal supplements or any other chemical medications; Because some drugs and products can increase anxiety
When should you see a doctor?
Some panic attacks, as mentioned earlier, have symptoms that are similar to heart attacks. For this reason, whenever a person experiences chest pain, difficulty in breathing, or loss of consciousness, he or his family members should seek emergency measures immediately. If you have experienced panic attacks before, it is better to see a doctor in the following situations:
- Chronic anxiety that interferes with daily life
- Difficulty concentrating
- High sensitivity
- Fear and panic due to leaving the house (agoraphobia)
- Persistence of panic attack symptoms for more than 15 minutes
- Sleep-related disorders
When visiting a doctor, it is better to ask the doctor or psychologist these questions:
- Why do I experience panic attacks?
- What is the best treatment approach to reduce panic attacks?
- How long do I need treatment?
- How long should I take the relevant medications?
- Should I worry about the side effects of the medications?
Panic attacks can be extremely distressing. Although this disorder is not physically harmful, this abnormality can make a person dislike his daily life and officially makes him unable to enjoy the work and activities he likes as he should. It is not bad to point out again that you should not feel ashamed of meeting with a psychologist or a doctor; Because if this complication is resolved as soon as possible, you can return to normal life faster. You need help dealing with the fears and anxieties that drive attacks, and what better way than to get help from the experts? Discontinuation of speech therapy for sure and in the next degree the use of drugs It can be of great benefit to you.