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The Day to Day Stress Of Living With Panic Attacks

Deb Allen

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We live in a stressful world, it is virtually impossible to escape from the anxiety provoking events of life. Old or young, rich or poor, we must face life head on and in so doing we occasionally meet up with obstacles. Many of these obstacles are simply unavoidable and the stress associated with such can bring on panic attacks for some.

Some of us are well equipped to handle frustrations, for some a traffic jam seems to provide an opportunity to enjoy some music on the radio or to make a phone call, but for many others a traffic jam can result in total anxiety. And for still others, this situation could induce a panic attack.

The numbers associated with panic attacks are staggering. It is estimated that over six million Americans over the age of 18 suffer with this disorder. Fifty to sixty percent of those individuals also suffer from depression. Panic attacks can develop at any age; however, the average onset is at about 25 years. Panic attacks are more common in women than men, but men are not immune to stress. Some studies have shown that men in the 40 to 50 year range are more likely to develop panic attacks.

Panic attacks typically come on very suddenly, without warning. The sufferer may experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Sense of impending death

  • Intense need to escape from immediate surroundings

  • Trouble swallowing

  • Dizziness

  • Headache

  • Chest pain

  • Abdominal cramps

  • Nausea

  • Hot flashes

  • Chills

  • Hyperventilation

  • Shortness of breath

  • Trembling

  • Sweating

  • Rapid heart rate

  • Fear of going crazy

  • Intense dread

    The attacks usually peak within 10 minutes and last no more than 20 to 30 minutes. After an attack the individual is likely to experience feelings of exhaustion, fatigue, and perhaps the most debilitating after affect is that of an extreme fear of another attack. Because the individual experiences so many distressful feelings during a panic attack he/she not only does not want to go through the stress again but there is also a fear that the next time will occur in an even more problematic place or time.

    There are three basic descriptions of the common types of panic attacks:

    1) Unexpected: this panic attack seems to come out of the blue, without any expectation that the attack will occur.

    2) Situational: seems to be brought on by particular events, situations, or places.

    3) Situationally Predisposed: panic attack is likely to happen, but it does not always occur in this particular situation.

    It is easy to understand that panic attack sufferers deal with added stressors that others may not have to endure. The fear of having an attack in undesired locations and times can lead to the individual avoiding such situations. Many conclude that their home is their safe zone and thus spend increasingly more time there. According to recent studies one in three panic attack sufferers also develop agoraphobia.

    Medications as well as natural treatments are available to help with anxiety disorders. The first step to recovery is seeking help.

    For more information about anxiety and panic attacks visit:

    Debbie Allen is a writer, Internet Marketer and Personal/Life Coach. You can visit her Internet Marketing site at:

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