Let me ask you a question, do you know the difference between Fear Based Stress and a Panic Attack? I hear a lot of people miss use these two words fairly often without understanding what it really feels to have a Panic disorder. People often think anyone can have a Panic Attack but it’s not true. You are going on stage to perform but you are deeply nervous, don’t confuse the nervousness with a Panic Attack. You are late to pick up your child from soccer practice where he or she is stranded in the cold waiting for you. You are stressed out of your mind and you are rushing to get your child, but you are not having a Panic Attack!
There are many forms of Anxiety in which Panic disorder being scored second, social anxiety being the number one. Anxiety is caused by fear of threat. Anxiety is our sixth sense which triggers Fight or Flight in our brain when we feel danger is right around the corner. It’s actually good for us! Yes, let me repeat, anxiety is good for us because it prepares us to tackle our fear. When we feel anxiety we start to pump blood making our heart rate sky rocket, which basically means it’s time to run from the predator!
Anxiety stems from our past, past, past history when we were preys to dangerous animals. For example, Agoraphobia is a type of social anxiety, open space, crowd, traveling short-long distances; this stems from our ancestors history of being in an uncertain location where we might fall prey to danger and we have to run or protect ourselves by hiding in a confined area.
Cause of the Disorder
There are people you can pay and they won’t know how to have a panic attack and thre people who are prone to it. Apart from how your ancestors dealt with fear, the Panic Attack can be due to your family history. It may be passed on through generations or simply by parents having a high risk disease such as Cancer or Heart disease. Abnormalities in the brain that control the Fight or Flight mode can also be the reason for the disorder. Substance abuse such as drug and alcohol will definitely put in their fair share of contribution to make the case worse. Major Life stresses, such as death in the family, or a substantial life transition can also cause panic attacks. In America, 2.5 million people suffer from Panic disorder. Woman suffer twice as men from this disorder.
Fear Vs. Panic Attack
When you are stressed, nervous, anxious about completing a project when the clock tics before you, that is called a Fear Based Stress. There are reasons behind your stress, you can define why you were stressed. But a panic attack can happen when someone asleep, when they are at their happiest state, when they are taking a random walk. It doesn’t strike just because of danger.
In this disorder, the person is always in the lookout for small cues of what can strike an attack next. The attack lasts for 5 to 10 minutes, since you can’t pump blood for too long and lose energy. The attack is harmless, till it’s a disorder. When there is an attack, they start fearing and stressing about other potential threats uncontrollably such as heart attack which actually leads to a heart attack!
Signs and Symptoms
- Shortness of Breath/Hyperventilation
- Heart Palpitations or racing heart
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Trembling or shaking
- Chocking feeling
- Feeling unreal or detached
- Nausea or upset stomach
- Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or faint
- Numbness or tingling sensation
- Hot/Cold flashes
- Fear of dying, losing control or going crazy
Research on the anxiety and disorder. Call it quits on caffeine, smoking and alcohol. Learn breathing techniques and focus on deep breathing. When there is an attack, the person hyperventilates due to shortness of breath, practicing the deep breathing technique will prevent this. In anxiety muscles usually get very tensed, therefore practice relaxation. Exercise daily and get all that bad toxins out. SLEEP, SLEEP, SLEEP! That, laptop and texting all night isn’t worth it, get a good night sleep!
Don’t Fear 🙂