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  • Panic attacks: symptoms and treatment, causes

    A panic attack is called an attack of inexplicable fear and anxiety, accompanied by autonomic symptoms.

    Nowadays this unique disease is recognized all over the world, and is included in the International Classification.

    The fact of a panic attack does not yet mean a panic disorder, since attacks can be characteristic symptoms of other diseases.

    How does a panic attack manifest itself? Suddenly, panic occurs in different situations, nervous tension, palpitations, anxiety and inexplicable fear appear. Moreover, it can be associated with a real threat to life. For example, in transport, behind the wheel, unforeseen difficult situations, there is a fear of not being able to cope with the problem, anxiety, fear and anxiety. This causes internal tension, dizziness, palpitation, and the situation is further aggravated.

    It is believed that panic disorder is a consequence of a disturbance of the vegetative system, and for a long time the attack was called vegetative crisis, cardioneurosis, sympathoadrenal crisis.


    Causes of Panic Attacks


    Panic attacks can mean the presence of other diseases, such as pheochromocytoma, somatoform dysfunction, cardiac dysfunction, endocrine, nervous disorders, depression.

    The patient addresses to various experts - the endocrinologist, the cardiologist, the neuropathologist, the psychotherapist. If there are no violations in the body, the doctor prescribes general restorative therapy and sedatives.

    Changes in lifestyle, relaxation, dance or sports, healthy eating help restore the nervous system and get rid of panic attacks. The main factor affecting the frequency of attacks is the psychological and emotional state of the patient. Once having experienced an attack, the patient lives in anticipation of the next attack, a constant nervous tension and a sense of fear provoke a panic attack.

    Sometimes people are afraid to leave the house, get into an unexpected difficult situation, a confined space and such fear leads to a limitation of life activity, a decrease in social adaptation. Anxiety in anticipation of another panic attack is called "agoraphobia."Inadequacy of behavior leads to conflicts, aggression, irritability.

    Causes of panic attack:

    1. 1) Somatic diseases;
    2. 2) Neurological disorders( hypothalamus change, vestibular disorder);
    3. 3) Mental illness( psychosis, neurosis, hysterics, hypochondria, depression, schizophrenia).
    To determine the true cause of a panic attack, the therapist doctor conducts diagnostics using the three methods of testing Shihan and Beck. The severity of the disease is determined by means of a scale for assessing anxiety, panic attacks and depression.

    Symptoms of Panic Attack


    Panic attack is a rare disease( 5% of the population), but rather unpleasant and exhausting. Symptoms of the disease are characterized by a fit of panic, fear, anxiety. Often has no connection with the work of internal organs, but dictated by the psychoemotional state.

    Symptoms of panic attack:

    • tachycardia, palpitations;
    • chills, trembling;
    • shortness of breath, lack of air;
    • asphyxiation;
    • pain in the left side of the chest;
    • discomfort and nausea;
    • dizziness, precancerous condition;
    • tingling in the limbs or numbness;
    • insomnia;
    • fear of getting sick;
    • fear of dying;
    • sensation of unreality of events and confusion of thoughts.
    Rarely does the patient experience stomach pain, stool, vision, hearing, gait disturbance. Sometimes there is uncontrolled and frequent urination, there is a lump in the throat and convulsions.


    What should I do if I have a panic attack?


    In the event of an attack of panic attack, the most dangerous thing is to stay idle. Since each time the duration and frequency of panic disorders increases, it is necessary to consult a doctor.

    You can try to remove the panic attack yourself with the help of folk remedies - soothing decoctions or tinctures. But this method is not particularly effective. It is best to call an "ambulance", and thoroughly describe your condition to the doctor. Not only complain about the heartbeat, discomfort, abdominal pain, but to convey the true picture of what is happening. The doctor must understand that in fact the patient is experiencing fear, panic, hysteria.

    Then the patient will receive adequate treatment and effective relief of a panic attack. After removal of an acute attack it is necessary to consult a neurologist, cardiologist, endocrinologist and psychotherapist.

    Treatment of Panic Attacks


    A psychiatrist assesses the severity of a disease using the panic disorder assessment scale. It is important to prevent the recurrence of a panic attack and to carry out the relief of syndromes associated with the disease. Such secondary syndromes include depression, hypochondria, agoraphobia.

    A counseling therapist sometimes proves to be the best way to prevent relapse.

    What medications are used to treat a panic attack? Depending on the form, severity and previous treatment, antidepressants, tranquilizers and antipsychotics are prescribed. If the cause of the disease is associated with a violation of the vegetative system, then sedatives are additionally prescribed.

    With elevated blood pressure or increased heart rate, medications are prescribed to normalize heart function and intracranial pressure. Psychotherapy includes several stages.

    Stages of treatment:

    • didactic( awareness of the disease)
    • cognitive( revealing negative thoughts provoking nervous disorders)
    • behavioral( strategy aimed at positive energy and self-esteem)
    Suggestive therapy - hypnosis and withdrawal of excitability. Psychodynamic therapy is also used to understand personal problems and possible solutions. To eliminate conflicts, family psychotherapy or socionics is used.

    With patients conducting trainings to strengthen social skills, the ability to control their behavior, improve their spiritual level and improve their emotional state. To do this, use auto-training, group psychotherapy. In addition, general restorative measures are carried out: reflexotherapy, physiotherapy, massage, exercise therapy.

    Physiotherapy includes aromatherapy, color therapy, electrosleep, modulation of the cerebral cortex. Such measures prevent nervous disorders and strengthen the vegetative - vascular system. Reflexotherapy reduces the frequency of panic attacks, and reduces the number of medications.

    Effective is a relaxing massage of the collar zone, which increases blood circulation, improving the work of the brain. LFK includes exercises to increase the tone, with the load should be moderate, so as not to aggravate the patient's condition.

    Phytopreparations with sedative effect are widely used. For example, motherwort, hawthorn, valerian, sweet clover, St. John's wort, oregano, lemon balm. These drugs increase immunity, improve the work of the heart and blood vessels. Reduces the frequency of panic attacks with complex therapy with diet.

    Foods should contain a large amount of fiber, minerals and vitamins. A healthy lifestyle, walking outdoors, moderate exercise helps restore health, improve the tone of the body and improve the patient's psychoemotional state.

    Complications of


    If the patient is inactive, ignores attacks of panic attacks, serious complications can occur. As a result, social adaptation, self-esteem, adequacy of behavior decreases, phobias and obsessions develop( see obsessive-compulsive disorder).

    Prolonged and frequent seizures lead to constant anxiety for one's health, unconscious fear of difficulties and new panic attacks. There is irritability, aggression, conflict. It is difficult for such a patient to determine his place in society, assess the situation and solve simple problems.

    The best solution is to help a specialist who will help manage his behavior, exclude repetition of attacks of panic attacks. Doctors - psychotherapists, neuropathologists, cardiologists appoint adequate treatment. The focus on strengthening the nervous system, improving the work of the heart and blood vessels, increasing the body's resistance gives good results.

    Attacks of panic attacks are stopped, the nervous and psycho-emotional state of the body is completely restored.


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