What are panic attacks
Panic attacks are bouts of inexplicable for the patient fear, agonizing anxiety and some autonomic symptoms. They are most common among people of socially active age (20-40 years) and women manifest twice as often as men. Panic attacks have an erased and unfolded form. The first occurs in almost 10% of the adult population, and the second affects about 2%.
Panic attacks can have varying severity and frequency. Someone they visit every day, someone – once a couple of months. Especially dangerous if the disease becomes protracted, chronic.
Causes of panic attacks
Panic attacks can occur due to constant emotional stress, depression, increased anxiety of a person. Also, this pathology can be caused by hormonal disorders, some somatic diseases or organic lesions of the nervous system.
It is known that about 60% of patients who have been diagnosed with panic attacks that are depressed, starting, most often, before the first attack .
Also often panic attacks can be aggravated by alcohol abuse. Moreover, alcoholism can translate the disease into a chronic form.
Symptoms of panic attacks
The main symptoms by which you can recognize a panic attack are the increased heart rate, sweating, trembling. The patient quickly knocks his heart, often there is not enough air, chest pain is felt, nausea and vomiting can occur. The most important and determining symptom, of course, is a severe anxiety and inexplicable panic fear that torments the person for no apparent reason.
Quite often panic attacks can be combined with various fears and phobias: fear of large crowds, fear of transport, streets , hiking, open countryside, travel or enclosed space. Such fears have a very negative effect on a person’s social activity and often do not allow them to lead a normal, full-fledged way of life. A constant expectation of a panic attack and a life in fear (anxiety of expectation) are capable of greatly changing the person’s personality.
Attacks of panic attack are a vegetative syndrome and can not lead to death from respiratory arrest or myocardial infarction. The danger can only be excessive and deep breathing during an attack: it often causes a fainting condition. But the impact of panic attacks on social adaptation of a person is unconditional: the patient tries to avoid appearing in places where panic attacks have occurred, poorly tolerates crowded places or open spaces.
Sometimes panic attacks can be combined with symptoms of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus or hormonal disorders. To differentiate the “clean” panic attacks from the manifestations of these diseases, the patient must undergo a thorough physical and laboratory examination. / h Treatment of panic attacks
Treatment of panic attacks is successfully carried out with the help of pharmacotherapy. It is divided into two stages. The first stage consists in the selection for the patient of drugs that can eliminate the symptoms of an already panic attack. The second stage of treatment is aimed at preventing the occurrence of subsequent panic attacks. Usually the treatment takes from one and a half to three months, after which the patients are recommended rehabilitation and maintenance therapy aimed at adaptation in the society. In the treatment of panic attacks, psychotherapy plays an important role: it will help the sick person to understand what is happening to him and how to behave in critical situations.