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What Is A Panic Attack?

We've all heard about panic attacks; some of us have even experienced them.  But what exactly are they and what causes them?

Panic disorder usually appears during the teens or early adulthood. Although we're not exactly sure what causes panic, there seems to be a connection with major  stressful life transitions (graduation, marriage, parenthood, etc ). Also, there may be a genetic component involved-you have an increased chance of suffering from panic disorder if a family member has also suffered.

A panic attack is a sudden urge of overwhelming fear; it seems to come out of nowhere, and altho it is not dangerous, it can be terrifying.

Here are some symptoms:

-Racing thoughts

-Difficulty breathing

-Terror that is almost paralyzing

-Dizziness, light-headedness , nausea

-Trembling, sweating

-Choking, chest pains

-Tingling fingers and toes

-Fear that you're "going crazy" or going to die

Panic attacks not only come out of nowhere but the level of fear is out of proportion to the actual event; a critical symptom of panic disorder is the fear of having future attacks. If you have repeated panic attacks or fear having another, please consider seeing  a counselor or therapist who has experience treating anxiety disorders. And remember,panic and anxiety are very treatable!

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