Panic Attack Symptoms:
Symptoms of a panic attack can include: Lightheadedness, dizziness, racing heartbeat, chills or warmth, numbness and tingling in the extremities, “jelly legs”, distorted vision, chest pain, feeling as though you may faint, sense of impending doom, fear of dying or going crazy, fear of losing control, feelings of unreality, a strong urge to run or flee.
Are Panic Attacks Dangerous?
Panic attacks are not considered dangerous; one does not die or go crazy as a result of a panic attack.
What is the Cause of Panic Attacks?
Just as there are differing opinions regarding the cause of panic, there are differing opinions as to the best treatment. Treatment options include cognitive/behavioral therapy and medication, among other modalities used today. Panic disorder and agoraphobia are considered highly treatable.
Are Panic Attacks Genetic?
Genetic studies are underway to determine if individuals have a hereditary predisposition to panic attacks.
How is Agoraphobia and Panic Disorder Connected?
Agoraphobia may occur without panic attacks although agoraphobia most often develops as an avoidance response to panic attacks and the feelings of anxiety. Agoraphobia is sometimes called the “fear of fear” since agoraphobics actually avoid places or situations where he/she fears a potential attack, particularly where he/she might feel “trapped” or less able to get quickly to their “safe place or safe person.”
Agoraphobics are not necessarily housebound. Limitations vary from person to person.
Who Might Become Agoraphobic?
Agoraphobics are said to share similar personality traits: people-pleasing behavior, difficulty in expressing anger, highly imaginative, creative, easily moved to emotion, perfectionistic, sensitive, and intelligent. Men and women both may develop panic and/or agoraphobia.
Counseling and/or special programs developed for agoraphobics can aid in developing appropriate assertive behavior, expression of emotions, greater self-esteem, and so forth, to better manage stress and anxiety.