Panic Attacks Symptoms and How to Cope With Them
Panic attacks symptoms include intense fear, a racing heart, chest pain, shortness of breath, sweating and trembling. This state of fear may last for minutes or longer and cause significant disruption in someone’s life.
If you experience frequent, recurring bouts of fear and anxiety, you may have been diagnosed with panic disorder. While this disorder can be difficult to live with, there are effective treatments available that can help you combat it.
The primary symptom of panic disorder is unexpected episodes of fear and anxiety that happen at random times without apparent cause. People suffering from this disorder often worry that another attack could happen any moment, so they avoid situations where they think they might experience one.
Panic disorder is more likely to develop if you have a family history of anxiety or depression, one or more first-degree relatives (biological siblings, children or parents) has it, and/or have experienced adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) like physical or sexual abuse. Other mental health conditions like substance use disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder may also increase your vulnerability for developing panic disorder.
The good news is that most people who experience panic attacks recover with therapy or medications. A variety of treatments exist to teach you how to recognize and alter your thinking patterns before they lead to an attack, such as exposure therapy, cognitive behavior therapy and medication.