Panic disorder is a real illness that can be successfully treated.
It is characterized by sudden attacks of terror, usually accompanied by a pounding heart, sweatiness, weakness, faintness, or dizziness. During these attacks, people with panic disorder may flush or feel chilled; their hands may tingle or feel numb; and they may experience nausea, chest pain, or smothering sensations. Panic attacks usually produce a sense of unreality, a fear of impending doom, or a fear of losing control.
A fear of one’s own unexplained physical symptoms is also a symptom of panic disorder. People having panic attacks sometimes believe they are having heart attacks, losing their minds, or on the verge of death. They can’t predict when or where an attack will occur, and between episodes many worry intensely and dread the next attack.
Anxiety Disorders affect about 40 million American adults age 18 years and older (about 18%) in a given year,1 causing them to be filled with fearfulness and uncertainty. Unlike the relatively mild, brief anxiety caused by a stressful event (such as speaking in public or a first date), anxiety disorders last at least 6 months and can get worse if they are not treated. Anxiety disorders commonly occur along with other mental or physical illnesses, including alcohol or substance abuse, which may mask anxiety symptoms or make them worse. In some cases, these other illnesses need to be treated before a person will respond to treatment for the anxiety disorder. Resource: NIMH. For more info click here and the links below.
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Panic attacks can occur at any time, even during sleep. An attack usually peaks within 10 minutes, but some symptoms may last much longer. Panic disorder affects about 6 million American adults and is twice as common in women as men. Panic attacks often begin in late adolescence or early adulthood, but not everyone who experiences panic attacks will develop panic disorder. Many people have just one attack and never have another. The tendency to develop panic attacks appears to be inherited. People who have full-blown, repeated panic attacks can become very disabled by their condition and should seek treatment before they start to avoid places or situations where panic attacks have occurred.
Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment! Oprah Winfrey
For example, if a panic attack happened in an elevator, someone with panic disorder may develop a fear of elevators that could affect the choice of a job or an apartment, and restrict where that person can seek medical attention or enjoy entertainment.
Some people’s lives become so restricted that they avoid normal activities, such as grocery shopping or driving. About one-third become housebound or are able to confront a feared situation only when accompanied by a spouse or other trusted person. When the condition progresses this far, it is called agoraphobia, or fear of open spaces.
Early treatment can often prevent agoraphobia, but people with panic disorder may sometimes go from doctor to doctor for years and visit the emergency room repeatedly before someone correctly diagnoses their condition. This is unfortunate, because panic disorder is one of the most treatable of all the anxiety disorders, responding in most cases to certain kinds of medication or certain kinds of cognitive psychotherapy, which help change thinking patterns that lead to fear and anxiety.
Panic disorder is often accompanied by other serious problems, such as depression, drug abuse, or alcoholism. These conditions need to be treated separately. Symptoms of depression include feelings of sadness or hopelessness, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, low energy, and difficulty concentrating. Most people with depression can be
effectively treated with antidepressant medications, certain types of psychotherapy, or a combination of the two.
For more information regarding Anxiety visit these websites:
www.adaa.org The Anxiety Disorders Association of America’s website is filled with information relating to specific anxiety disorders. You will also find resources such as: Find a Therapist, Guide to Treatment, Clinical Trials, Help a Family Member, FAQ, Self Tests, Support Groups, Message Boards, Conferences and continuing Education, and so much more.
Their Mission: The Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety disorders and to improving the lives of all people who suffer from them.
ADAA disseminates information, links people who need treatment with those who can provide it, and advocates for cost-effective treatments, making it possible for hundreds of thousands to benefit from its services and publications. The association is comprised of professionals who conduct research and treat anxiety disorders and people who have a personal or general interest in learning more about such disorders. Call 240-485-1001.
Connect with other suffers. Groups/Events/Forums/Blogs. AnxietyTribe believe that individuals become empowered to help themselves and others when they feel a part of something larger. They offer members a convenient and safe place for individuals with similar challenges to connect. Members have found that in addition to professional therapy, sharing stories and meeting others with anxiety can be therapeutic. In fact, many that struggle with ‘social anxiety’ have found AnxietyTribe a safe “social” outlet for them.