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What Are Panic Attacks and What Are Their Symptoms?


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Panic attacks are a serious condition that approximately 2% to 5% of the population may go through in any given year. Although more women than men experience panic attacks as part of a panic disorder, the adult male is certainly not exempt from this condition. Panic attacks commonly appear during the teens or early adulthood, and although the exact causes are unclear, there does appear to be an association with major life passages that are possibly stressful: graduating from college, getting married, giving birth to your first child, etc. There is likewise some evidence of a genetic predisposition; if a family member has suffered from panic attacks, you have an greater chance of suffering from them yourself, particularly during a time in your life that is especially trying.

Symptoms of a panic attack include: racing heartbeat - difficulty breathing, feeling as if you ‘can't get enough air’ - terror that is nearly paralyzing - dizziness, lightheadedness or nausea - trembling, sweating, shaking - choking, chest pains - hot flashes, or sudden chills - prickling in fingers or toes ('pins and needles') - fear that you're going to go crazy or are about to die - and a sense of impending doom.

You likely know this as the classic ‘flight or fight’ response that humans go through when we are in a situation of peril. But during a panic attack, these symptoms appear to rise from out of nowhere. They happen in seemingly harmless situations-they can even happen while you are asleep.

In addition to the above symptoms, a panic attack is marked with the following conditions: it occurs abruptly, with no warning and without any way to end it - the degree of fear is way out of proportion to the real situation; oftentimes, in fact, it's entirely unrelated - it passes in a few minutes; the body cannot keep up the ‘fight or flight’ response for longer than that. However, repeated attacks may continue to recur for hours.

Agoraphobia develops in 40% of folks with panic disorder. Agoraphobics fear places or situations from which escape could be difficult or places where they might have previously had a panic attack. For example, agoraphobic people avoid being out alone, supermarkets, trains, airplanes, bridges, heights, tunnels, open fields and elevators. The fear of an attack is so debilitating, they prefer to spend their lives locked away inside their homes. Depression often results because of the disruption of normal day-to-day routines, shame, and the embarrassment associated with panic attacks.

The author has been plagued with panic attacks for years and has tried many cures, including therapy and medications. He has found a very successful technique that has finally ridded him of panic attacks and changed his life. You can find out more by visiting his review site at


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