People who suffer from panic disorder will regularly experience sensations of very strong panic. These attacks can last from as little as 1 minute to 10 mints or longer. Sometimes they may also experience a series of attacks over a longer period, like several hours. Some people will get these attacks constantly, in some cases every day of their lives. The symptoms of these panic attacks include a very rapid heartbeat, dizziness and trembling.
In dangerous situations these responses are natural and necessary for our survival. But if they appear out of nowhere, without an external cause, they can be horrible to experience. Panic attacks occur without warning and will usually pass within a few minutes as the body can´t keep responding with the flight response for much longer than that.
Sometimes panic attacks can also happen during sleep. This will happen to about half of all people who have panic disorder. During a nocturnal panic attack sufferers will wake up in the middle of the night in a state of total panic.
In the past panic disorder was often dismissed as simple stress or nerves. Nowadays it is considered a real mental health disorder. Without treatment these attacks can greatly affect a person´s quality of life. The good news is that there are several very effective treatments available. A combination of medication, therapy and relaxation exercises usually works very well. Certain home remedies and exercises can also be effective.
People who suffer from panic disorder should always inform their family and friends so they can help them deal with the attacks. They may also be able to help with long term treatment by offering support.
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