Are You Having A Panic Attack?

You might have experienced your heart pounding, along with shaking and shortness of breath. You instantly become frightened without much of a warning. This could have happened while you were driving, sleeping or awake, or even while you were at work. Perhaps it’s the first time it’s happened, perhaps not. If it’s happened before, you know you are in no danger, but you are still feeling uneasy about it. If, instead, this is the first time it’s happening, you are probably terrified.

Nobody has been able to explain what triggers a panic attack. Some medical professionals say that they can be related to heredity, some say to stress. It is even believed they are connected to depression and phobias. You should know that you are not alone. Experts believe that one in three adults suffer at least one panic attack in their lives.

Some professionals have broken down panic attacks into three distinct types, spontaneous, specific and situational. A spontaneous panic attack would be, as suggested by its name, one that happens unexpectedly. Specific panic attacks are triggered while doing something specific, while situational attacks are usually experienced while engaging in certain activities not related to anything fearful, such as riding a bike.

Some people suffer from a panic attack only once. These may be panic attacks which are brought on by major life stresses and ease after the stress is eliminated. Others may suffer from multiple, repeated attacks. Your treatment will be decided upon the frequency of your attacks.

Some health care professionals and organizations seek to treat people who suffer from infrequent panic attacks with a step program, similar to that used with alcoholics anonymous. Medication is often used in case of severe or frequent attacks. Psychiatric or psychological counseling is often suggested.

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