Symptoms of Panic Disorders
Panic can strike, and most likely will strike, when you least expect it. You may then panic at the thought of having another episode and it becomes a cycle. Panic may be a one time thing but many will experience it again and again.
Panic and fear are related. Many people who suffer from panic disorder will also experience feelings of fear. For example, an overwhelming fear of death. When panic causes such fear that leads to a person fearing another attack, it can begin to take over their lives resulting in them rarely leaving their house.
With a panic attack, you don't always know what set it off, as your subconscious is working even when you are resting. Many wake up in a panicked state with no idea of the cause.
The body takes over, and the rational mind is left with no way to make it stop until your body calms down. Irrational thinking can accompany the panic and fear, leading to a dangerous situation for the person experiencing it, if they overreact. The tendency is to flee or run away.
Feelings of being unable to breathe, uncontrollable crying, heart pain, heart palpitations, choking, even dizziness and fear, can lead to a full blown panic attack. Even though you may be able to realize you are panicking, your feelings are so intense that it is difficult to regain composure.
Afterwards feelings of embarrassment, sadness, or frustration can follow these symptoms of panic disorders.
Those experiencing a panic attack, or suffering with a panic disorder, can't just switch it on or off. It is something that catches them off guard. They may otherwise be a very happy and confident person.
You may experience some or all of these symptoms.
Panic is associated with sudden feelings of anxiety that can result in some real physical feelings such as:
- Heart pain
- Heart palpitations
- Trouble breathing, such as heavy breathing, which may lead to hyperventilation
- Coughing or choking
- Uncontrollable feelings of stress
Many have thoughts that are connected to their feelings, some of these may be:
- Thoughts and feelings of being out of control
- Why is this happening to me?
- Am I going crazy?
- Something bad is wrong with me!
- Someone help me!
- I'm so embarrassed!
- I am scared!
- I can't face anyone again.
- I've made a fool of myself(usually after an attack)
- I don't know what to do
- Thoughts of running away
A person experiencing an attack may look fairly normal, or they may appear to be:
- Disoriented (because they are dizzy)
- Coughing or choking
- Acting like they want to flee
These are the most common symptoms that may occur when someone is suffering from a panic disorder, but not everyone is the same. The way a person deals with fear may play a role in their symptoms. Panic disorders have numerous causes and individuals may have individual additional fears associated with them.
Continue to page 2 for the author's personal experience of hope!