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Finding_Relief_from_the_Anxiety_Attack

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					Finding Relief from the Anxiety Attack

An anxiety attack, also referred to as a panic attack, is an episode of
intense panic and/or fear. Unfortunately, it often occurs suddenly with
little or no warning. In some cases, there’s an obvious trigger for the
attack--getting stuck in an elevator, for example, or thinking about your
big race--but in other cases, the attacks seem to come out of the blue.

An anxiety attack usually hits its worst point within ten minutes, and it
rarely lasts more than a half hour. To someone who has never suffered
through one, this may not seem very long. But it's an eternity to the
person that's experiencing it. The terror can be so severe that you feel
like they're about to die or completely lose control. The physical
symptoms of a panic attack are themselves so intense that they are often
confused with having a heart attack. Common symptoms include: a rush of
overwhelming panic, feeling of losing control or going crazy, heart
palpitations, chest pain, dizziness, difficulty breathing, choking
feeling, hyperventillation, hot flashes, chills, trembling, nausea,
stomach ache, and feeling like you're not really real but looking in on
yourself.

If you suffer repeated, unexpected anxiety attacks, and you are also
afraid of having an attack again in public, you may suffer from panic
disorder. Panic disorder may also be accompanied by agoraphobia, the fear
of being somewhere that you can't get help or a place that would be
difficult to leave if you did have an attack.

The exact causes of panic attacks are not yet certain. However, we do
know that the tendency to have panic attacks runs in families and there
seems to be a correlation with major transitions such as graduating from
college, starting the first job, getting married, and having a baby.
Severe emotional stress, like losing a loved one or job can also trigger
a panic attack.

Panic attacks could also be caused by medical conditions such as mitral
valve prolapse (which happens when one of the heart's valves doesn't
close properly), hyperthyroidism or hypoglycemia, or by stimulant use or
withdrawel from medication.

Luckily, anxiety attacks are treatable with cognitive behavioral therapy
and/or medication.

Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on the thinking patterns and
behaviors that are sustaining or setting off your panic attacks. It helps
you look at your fears in a more realistic light and feel that you are
gaining control of the situation.

Exposure therapy exposes you to the physical panic feelings while you are
monitored in a safe and controlled environment. The point of this type of
therapy is to give you the chance to learn ways of coping with your
anxiety. You will be asked to do things that bring on your attacks, such
as holding your breath or hyperventilating. As you repeat these actions,
your fear lessons and you feel a greater sense of control over your
panic.
This information does not substitute medical advice given by a health
professional.

				
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