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More than three million people suffer from panic attacks in the United States alone, and an increasing number of people are being diagnosed with panic disorder. This problem is characterized by a very intense fear of something. It can happen at any time of the day-during the daytime or even while the person is sleeping. The fear, which is always the constant, is accompanied by several symptoms which can differ in type and severity from one person to another. Common symptoms of panic attacks are elevated heart rate, continuous trembling, chills, and sweating.
It is usually the case that after a person experiences his or her first attack, they will be immensely afraid of suffering another attack. This is because the attack is so intense that it makes the person feel as if he or she is dying. This is why attacks persist as well. The next time the person feels his heart rate elevate or feet any other symptoms similar to his first attack, he will again experience the intense fear, and this time it’;s the fear that another attack is coming.
Panic attacks can seriously hinder a person’;s life. Because of these attacks, he or she may start avoiding certain people, places and things in anticipation of an attack. This avoidance can ever turn into a phobia of whatever’;s being avoided. It is recommended, therefore, that if a person experiences an attack, he or she should immediately seek medical help.
There is no real cure or treatment for panic attacks for now since scientists and researchers have yet to find the actual cause of this disorder. But in place of this, a doctor can help the patient in relieving or avoiding further attacks through a series of therapies. One such treatment is called the relaxation technique. The patient is taught several muscle relaxation exercises to perform when he or she feels that an attack is coming on. It starts off by relaxing the shoulders and trying to relieve the stress from the neck. The goal is to achieve total body relaxation in order to avoid the attack. The key to this technique is in learning how to control one’;s breathing.
Another common technique is behavioral therapy. People who’;ve experienced a panic attack in the past tend to suffer from another attack once he or she feels any symptom. That symptom is enough for him to think that another attack is coming, hence, the person feels intense fear; This then becomes the attack itself. Behavioral therapy trains the person to look past the symptom and to understand that there is nothing there but his or her own fear. Once the person realizes and understands this, he or she can dodge the attack.
Medication can also be given to a person suffering from panic disorder. These medications do not actually target the cause, since the real cause is unknown. What it does however is regulate or control the symptoms that a person experiences before or during an attack. In effect, this reduces the severity of the attack and the number of overall attacks. At the same time, the medication can also reduce the amount of anxiety and fear that is associated with having another episode.