However, fear and anxiety are human survival instincts. They developed over time as a way for humans to recognized danger and stay alive. However, when you cannot sleep or cannot eat, or cannot function in many parts of your life due to a fear of feeling panic, it does not matter that what you are experiencing might just be some leftover survival instinct. When feelings of panic run out of control, your life deteriorates.
Have you ever suddenly experienced some or all of the following?
- Tightness or pain in your chest
- Tremors or tingling in the hands and feet
- Racing, pounding heartbeat
- Trouble breathing normally
- Shaking and trembling
- Feeling completely out of control of the body
- Sudden nausea
- Sweating, with or without hot and cold flashes
The occurrence of any or all of these things may mean you had a panic attack. A panic attack may happen without warning, or there may be specific things that trigger one.
Panic Disorder and Heart Attacks
Panic Disorder is a type of anxiety disorder and it is the most popular emotional disorder. Repeated panic attacks signal the presence of a panic disorder. Panic disorders tend to feed themselves, growing stronger with every ounce of panic you feel. Concerns about future attacks leads to avoidance of any number of normal activities. The fear and avoidance take a toll on your life to the point that you lose touch with family and friends and give up activities you once enjoyed.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately one in 20 Americans will be diagnosed and treated for panic disorder each year. Twice as many females are afflicted with this disorder than males. There appears to be a genetic component to panic disorder so those who have a parent with panic disorder are more likely to be diagnosed with the disorder themselves. Additionally, those who experience high levels of stress in their lives are at increased risk of developing panic disorder. Those at higher risk include people who have been physically or sexually abused, people with severe medical illnesses, and people who abuse drugs and alcohol.
Panic Disorders and PTSD
There are many reasons people develop panic disorders, but a common underlying cause is a past traumatic event. Panic disorder and PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, go hand in hand. In fact, there is evidence that the experience of having a panic disorder can cause PTSD. Most think of PTSD as a battlefield disorder, but in fact, things such as sexual assault and traffic accidents can lead to PTSD.
The words behind PTSD say it all. Trauma is an injury. It can mean injury to the physical body, or to the mind. Trauma of any kind may have long-lasting effects. When traumatic events occur, our minds struggle to make sense of how something so awful could happen to us. The effects of traumatic events must be recognized and dealt with. Otherwise, anxiety builds and builds, and eventually it becomes incapacitating.
People with a panic disorder linked to anxiety and trauma, or those who have PTSD, often find they avoid anything that might dredge up memories of the bad event. However, it is also true that even normal life stressors can bring on panic attacks.
Overcoming your Feelings of Panic
At Casa Palmera treatment center near San Diego, we guide you through the process of dealing with panic disorders so that you can regain control of your life. Through a variety of treatments and therapies, you will learn to control your feelings of panic by:
- Learning to recognize the symptoms of a panic attack
- Recognizing those feelings that precede an attack
- Identifying the specific occurrences or objects that set off attacks
- Understanding how changing your reactions to those things can stave off an attack
- Finding ways to reduce the stress that can lead to or exacerbate panic attacks
Dealing with panic disorders can be difficult because the fear and panic just feel so real, and you feel as if you are battling against your own human nature. Luckily, there are effective treatments that lead to healing of those with panic disorders. By taking a holistic approach to healing, including exercise, therapy and medical treatments, Casa Palmera treatment center near San Diego, California will help you to regain your life.