Study Shows That Unexpected Panic Attacks Have Warning Signs

Some people with panic disorder have a pretty good idea about when a panic attack is likely--they know to expect one as the result of a certain trigger, such as an enclosed space or a crowd of people. But many others suffer from unexpected panic attacks that seem to occur unpredictably and without warning. A new study, however, has discovered that these unexpected attacks may not be as sudden as they appear to those experiencing them.

In this unique study, 43 patients wore a monitoring device for two 24 hour periods. This constant monitoring allowed the researchers to capture physiological data from the 60 minutes leading up to an unexpected panic attack, enabling them to see what was going on physically during that time. They discovered a number of significant physiological instabilities that the patients were unaware of, suggesting that the panic attack may actually be the result of a build-up of subtle physical changes. The researchers also found that the patients seemed to be chronically hyperventilating, which could be a trigger for a panic attack.

This study is an important step forward for panic research as well as research into other disorders that appear to have a sudden and unexpected onset. "I think this method and study will ultimately help detect what's going on before these unexpected events and help determine how to prevent them," said psychologist Alicia Meuret. "If we know what's happening before the event, it's easier to treat it."

Photo: Max Pixel

Anxiety Support Groups

More Articles

It would be easier to be a man with anxiety if it weren't for that doggone thing called masculinity. Whether it is free-floating anxiety, a phobia...

The precise causes of hoarding are unknown, but it appears that both genetics and environmental factors play a role. Because hoarding behaviors...

Cortisol supplements are most often prescribed as a way to treat low adrenal gland function. Cortisol is sometimes referred to as the "stress...

There has been a reluctance to group video game addiction into the same category of other types of addiction, like drug or alcohol abuse, but the...

This article was written exclusively for LivingWithAnxiety.com by Camille Rynd. She explains why she resorted to self-medicating and how much...

More Articles

Dysthymia is a chronic depression that is less severe than major depression, but which can last for years at a time. While people with dysthymia...

When it comes to treating social anxiety disorder, there are three types of medication that are commonly prescribed: antidepressants,...

Here comes that dreaded feeling of overwhelm.

It is not just that you have a lot to do. In fact, you may not have that much to do, but your...

While medication can be helpful for many people with anxiety disorders, it is not always the best option for everyone. Some people may find that...

A study published in the journal Archives of Psychiatry has found that anxiety and mood disorders are more common in people with low incomes....

Here is a simple relaxation exercise you can do while riding the bus or train to work, taking a break at work or school, sitting with your morning...

It has already been shown many times that adults with mental illnesses often had poor cognitive skills in their youth. What hasn't been...

Anxiety control or fear of losing control may happen during a panic attack you might think you were having a heart attack or some other...

Cortisol supplements are most often prescribed as a way to treat low adrenal gland function. Cortisol is sometimes referred to as the "stress...

As anyone who has experienced one knows, anxiety attacks are very frightening episodes of intense fear or panic. In addition to the severe...

Parnate, known generically as tranylcypromine, is an antidepressant of the class known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). It is usually...

Researchers at the University of Utah's Pain Research Center have released the results of a new study that reinforces the notion that music can...

While both men and women can experience anxiety and...

In the biggest clinical trial to date testing this drug, the anesthetic ketamine delivered big and quickly to patients with treatment-resistant...

Anxiety develops after an extended period of stress, usually six months or longer. When you suffer from an anxiety disorder, it can severely...