Panic disorder is diagnosed when the patient exhibits symptoms of extreme panic or anxiety when there is no cause for it. It can occur from up to 10 minutes to a few hours. The most intense panic reaction is within the first ten minutes of the attack.
Panic or anxiety disorder is caused by hyperthyroidism, heart problems, breathing problems, depression or other mood disorder, alcohol abuse, using too much nicotine or too much caffeine, taking certain medicines, such as those used to treat asthma and heart problems, using illegal drugs such as marijuana or cocaine, or living with high levels of stress for a long time.
The symptoms of a panic attack include intense fear or terror, trouble breathing or breathing very fast, chest pain, irregular heart beat, sweating, nausea, dizziness, and numbness. A panic disorder is diagnosed if these symptoms recur frequently or if you change your daily routine to avoid one of these attacks.
However, there is help for anxiety. There are various ways of treating a panic attack. For starters you can use anxiety panic attack medication. This will help curb the symptoms and, therefore, help you lead a normal life. Counseling is also used to treat panic disorders. Often a combination of counseling and medicines is used to treat the patient as doctors find this the most efficacious form of treatment.
Medicines are used to reduce the number of panic attacks, reduce the fear of having such attacks, and reduce the severity of the attacks. They are used in conjunction with counseling and home therapy such as relaxation exercises.
There are medicines for panic attacks and medicines for panic disorder. For the former medicines such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), for instance Prozac, Zoloft, or Paxil and benzodiazepines, for instance Xanax, Valium, Ativan, or Klonopin are prescribed. For the latter, medicines such as antidepressants with mixed neurotransmitter effects, for instance venlafaxine (Effexor), Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), for instance Tofranil, Norpramin, or Anafranil, and Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), for instance Marplan, Nardil, or Parnate are prescribed.
Panic attacks should be treated with a combination of medicines and therapy mainly cognitive behavioral therapy. The combined therapy ensures that relapses of panic attacks occur less frequently than if only one of the therapies is used. Medicines are normally prescribed for a year and then reduced gradually. However, some people need to take the medicines for a long time to keep the symptoms under control.
You should see a doctor if panic attacks appear to come without warning. You should also see a doctor if you keep waiting and watching for a panic attack. Such worry can inhibit you from taking part in normal day to day activities. To avoid this see a doctor or psychiatrist as soon as possible.
Although panic attacks cannot be prevented entirely, you can reduce the number of episodes of panic attacks by taking medication and therapy.
You can also reduce the number of attacks by doing tension reducing exercises and relaxation exercises for 10 to 20 minutes daily. These help calm your mind and relax your muscles. You can make a conscious effort to change how you think. This will change the way you feel. Exercise regularly and eat a balanced diet. These two steps have proven to be good reducers of stress and anxiety levels.
One should also get support from family members. You can take your support group along for therapy and get what is called family therapy. All these steps will help reduce anxiety attacks and, therefore, help you lead a more normal life.
You can try yoga as well to lessen your anxiety and panic disorder symptoms. Yoga can be of great help as it involves breathing exercises along with physical exercise. Yoga calms the mind and helps relax the tense muscles of the body. Just make sure that you go to a good yoga practioner.
You can also try joining a self help group and get support and group therapy. This too will help reduce anxiety symptoms. Meditation, music therapy, and humor therapy are other ways of reducing panic attacks. They all help calm the mind and muscles and that is what is needed to reduce your panic attacks.