The Truth About Panic Attacks

Anxiety attacks, also known as panic attacks, are intense feelings of fear or stress that appear for no apparent reason and often begin without warning. Classified as a panic disorder by The National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety attacks are a disorder in themselves.

Who is Affected?

While 6 million adults in the U.S. experience a panic disorder every year, 40 million experience some type of anxiety disorder, which may or may not include panic attacks. The most common age group affected by anxiety attack disorder is the 17-25 set, and it is more likely to occur in women than men.

What Does an Anxiety Attack Feel Like?

In addition to feeling intense fear brought on suddenly, panic attacks can cause shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, nausea, and other uncomfortable symptoms. An anxiety attack can last anywhere from a few seconds to an hour, or it may feature several small attacks one after another. Many confuse panic attack symptoms with those of a heart attack, but usually, an anxiety attack does not require a hospital visit.

What Can You Do?

So far, studies have not conclusively reported whether anxiety attacks are biological or genetic. Panic attacks occur because of our behaviors and environmental factors, not necessarily our genes. This is good news for those suffering; anxiety attack disorder can be cured. Recognize variables in your life that could be causing you stress, and try to eliminate them. There are many different ways and techniques to reduce your anxiety.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health
Photo: Max Pixel

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