By M. Jedediah
Anxiety attacks, also known as panic attacks, can strike at any time, usually with no warning. An attack can even come while you are sleeping, or seemingly completely at rest. One in 60 people with no other mental disorders will experience a panic attack each year in America.
To fully describe a panic attack to someone who has never experienced one is as difficult as a sufferer simply deciding not to have any more. Once you have suffered through one however, you will never doubt their existence or seriousness again.
Anxiety attacks are unexpected episodes of intense terror or fear. These attacks burst from within, unannounced and certainly unwelcome, and although the extreme level of fear is generally irrational, the perceived danger seems very real, and presents itself physically as though a tragedy of historical proportions were imminent.
A person experiencing an anxiety attack will often feel as if they are about to pass out, or even that they are dying. Attempting to reason with someone who is in the midst of a panic attack will prove fruitless, and may even intensify the perception of dread, since now the sufferer will add you not believing them to their fears.
If you or someone you love suffers from these sudden and intense anxiety attacks, you must prepare for the next one. Sadly, the overwhelming fear of the next attack can itself be the catapult towards one. Anxiety, when it is persistent, and the accompanying fears are all-consuming, is best dealt with by a mental health expert.
Begin with your primary care physician, and be honest about the level of fear you are experiencing, the frequency of the attacks, and the impact the attacks are having on your daily life. You will then be referred to an expert well studied in your symptoms, and able to prescribe help, be it in medication form, talk therapy, or a combination of these and other methods of treating this very real disorder.
It will prove invaluable to a sufferer of this debilitating disorder to keep a journal and especially to write in it as soon as possible after an attack, describing the thoughts, emotions and physical ailments associated with the gripping fear. This record will also be a very practical tool in your therapy and recovery, as you are able to look at the attacks you have come through and realize no harm came to you during them, other than what the attack itself caused.
To witness a panic attack, without knowing what it is, can itself be a very unsettling experience. You may feel helpless, wanting to be of assistance, and having no idea how to proceed. The person may be hyper ventilating, complaining of not being able to breathe, or think they are having a heart attack, even complaining of chest pain. Many a trip to the emergency room with these symptoms has ended with the diagnoses of an anxiety attack.
Some people who have experienced an attack in a certain place or during a certain activity may begin to associate the attacks with that situation and become irrational afraid of being in that place again. This then is an anxiety attack linked to a phobia.
If this type of panic disorder is left untreated, it could quickly escalate to the degree where the sufferer is unable to even step out of their own front door to retrieve the newspaper or mail. Thankfully, much has been learned about these debilitating attacks in the past decade, and advances in treatment are ongoing.
Article Source: EzineArticles.com/?expert=M._Jedediah