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Battling Anxiety: Anxiety Attack Information Sheet

Anxiety attacks information

Anxiety attacks information is essential to battle out the disorder. Looking at the word ‘anxiety’ can already make a person anxious. Anxiety is one of the many feelings a person experiences throughout his daily life. It is a normal emotion. It comes at the most inconvenient times – during a job interview, an exam or a date. However, if these attacks become more frequent, repeated and prolonged, the mere feeling of anxiety may have evolved into a panic attack or disorder.

Anxiety disorders are a set of mental disorders that mainly has a symptom of an overwhelming feeling of fear, anxiety, and worry. However, aside from this feeling, it is also accompanied by physical signs and symptoms such as shortness of breath, palpitations and shaking.

According to scientific studies, about 12% of the world population suffers from panic disorders and panic attacks each year. This anxiety attacks information sheet contains material on the types, signs, and symptoms, causes and possible treatment for the said group of mental disorders.

Classification

Anxiety attacks and disorders have around 10 classifications namely Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Specific Phobias, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Social Anxiety Disorder, Post-traumatic Panic Disorder, Separation Anxiety Disorder, Situational Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Selective Mutism. However, this anxiety attacks information sheet will only discuss three of them, namely – Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

In Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), the patient is distracted with constant worries and fears of day-to-day activities. These activities are usually just normal in nature, however, the patient has an overwhelming feeling of fear and worry towards it. The GAD persists for long periods of time and may peak during stressful situations.

People with Social Anxiety Disorder have a hard time dealing with large crowds. These people fear of socializing with other people. Stage fright or performance anxiety is the most common form of social anxiety disorder.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterized by the lack of control due to unwanted thoughts and worries. People suffering from these often worry that they might have done something wrong or something hurtful to others such as forgetting to turn the stove off or forgotten to turn off the lights. People suffering from OCD may even at times, perform something over and over again to make sure that they did it right.

Signs and Symptoms

Those suffering from General Anxiety Disorder may experience the following: fatigue, irritability, muscle tension, difficulty sleeping, restlessness and feeling of being on the edge or wound-up and difficulty in concentrating.

People suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder may feel clammy, nauseated and shaky when faced with a dreaded task. They may also experience blushing, trembling and profuse sweating. They may feel self-conscious and anxious around people. They also have a hard time making friends or stay away from people altogether.

Those suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder may have the urge to constantly check and count certain things. They also repeatedly arrange and clean items. They may experience repeatedly doing certain habits usually against their will.

Causes

The causes of panic attacks and disorders are still generally unclear. A study on a compilation of anxiety attacks information, however, reveals that this may run in the family especially for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Some scientists also suggest that it can be triggered by a combination of environmental stress and changes in the brain. Studies show that prolonged stress and worry can change the make-up of the nerves in the brain thereby causing these panic attacks and disorders.

Use of stimulants such as drugs, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol are also contributors. Withdrawal from such substances can also cause panic attacks and disorders.

Treatment

The following treatments suggested by this anxiety attack information sheet are just general ones. It is still advisable to consult a physician for further diagnosis and better treatment plans.

Engage in self-help treatment care plans. Self-help treatment plans usually comprise the practice of breathing exercises and techniques, regular exercise and healthy eating. The body releases a chemical called endorphins after exercising. Endorphins are called happy hormones and help in uplifting one’s spirit.  Getting a good night’s sleep is also a good way to reduce stress, fear, and anxiety.

As aforementioned, the intake of stimulants such as drugs, alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine are contributors to panic attacks and disorders. It is, therefore, advisable to cut down or permanently cut off these substances from your system.

Doctors also prescribe certain medications such as beta-blockers, anti-anxiety medications such as Benzodiazepines and antidepressants. Aside from these medications, patients may also opt to do therapy sessions such as exposure therapy and cognitive behavior therapy.

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Anxiety Attack Symptoms

Anxiety or panic attacks can happen to children, teens, and adults; however, anxiety attack symptoms are similar to all ages. These symptoms may be triggered by some situations involving fear but most of the time, anxiety attack symptoms are felt in a sudden and for no apparent reason at all.

The duration of an anxiety attack may be different for each individual, but it usually lasts for 10 minutes. Every anxiety attack is indeed distressful for every sufferer.

To know if you or someone is having an anxiety attack, be observant of the following signs and symptoms listed below. Raising consciousness about anxiety attack symptoms will help you understand those who suffer from anxiety attacks and will keep them away from judgment. At the same time, being aware of the proper actions to address such issue is essential.

  1. Overwhelming fear. This can be the cause or effect of having an anxiety attack. Either provided with or without a reason to experience this or simultaneously undergoing a series of symptoms would leave the person in terror.
  2. Loss of control. The feeling of losing control of one’s body is stimulated from failed attempts of calming one’s self.
  3. Having palpitations. This is often described as having the feeling of rapid, irregular, and/or pounding heartbeats. Pulsing in the ear and throbbing on the head can also be felt.
  4. Chest pains. Palpitations will eventually lead to chest pains since it is where the heart is located. Some may feel that they are having a heart attack especially when they start to find difficulty in breathing. Heaviness on the chest area is most likely felt.
  5. Having difficulty in breathing means that one is hyperventilating. On the other hand, dyspnea is defined as the shortness of breath.
  6. Shaking, trembling or twitching muscles. This is uncontrollable and normally happens during the phase of nervousness. However, the feeling of nervousness increases during anxiety attacks; thus, making it last longer and more uncontrollable.
  7. Unlike the normal perspiration that happens after a tiresome activity or being under the sun for a long period of time, sweating during an attack is uncontrollable and excessive even if a person is at rest. Some other signs may include cold flushes on the skin accompanied by a cold sweat.
  8. This is an abnormal feeling of numbness in some parts of the body. A tingling sensation or “pins and needles” may also be felt throughout the attack.
  9. Heat or ice flushes. Both may occur all at the same time. A rising temperature may build on the facial area especially the cheeks and also the neck. While a cold feeling dominates the body especially the arms and legs which will send shivers, goosebumps, and hairs standing on its ends even if the room temperature is normal.
  10. An abdominal distress will cause strong contractions of the upper stomach, which leads to the feeling of vomiting. A choking sensation may also accompany the victim of an anxiety attack. A dry mouth or an increased amount of saliva flow alongside these symptoms may also happen.
  11. As well as light-headedness are signs of an anxiety attack. It may also be characterized as having slight vertigo. One might feel like passing out or might even actually faint any moment. An indication is the sudden paleness of the person experiencing an anxiety attack.
  12. Listed as an anxiety symptom, this feeling is subjective and complex. It is said that this causes someone to feel that his or her surroundings and the current situation are unreal and that something is different or wrong. Another one is the feeling of being detached from the world. Not all people feel this and those who experienced it might find it hard to actually explain what they truly felt or what they were thinking during the event.

 

The list of anxiety attack symptoms may be long but the conclusion can be drawn after simultaneously experiencing at least four symptoms: a sudden feeling of overwhelming anxiety, fear, or discomfort. It is also noticeable that these symptoms are connected with each other. It is impossible to feel a single symptom without having to go through the other ones.

Although having an anxiety attack won’t potentially harm you, be wary of how frequent each attack happens. Also, take note of how constant attacks affect you afterward. Consult a doctor for more information about the panic attack disorder. Cure and medications are also available for anxiety or panic attacks.

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