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The Ugly Truth About Panic Attacks

Apr 4, 2008
Did you know that as many as 6 million Americans suffer from panic disorders? This is not even counting all the people who experience one or two panic attacks in their lives without developing a panic disorder.

Panic attacks are becoming more and more common, and panic disorder is a real, widespread illness. Fortunately, panic attacks are also very treatable; the vast majority of people suffering from panic attacks can get better with proper treatment.

Panic attacks can manifest themselves man ways, and are most commonly described as quick, often unexpected attacks of terror or fear, combined with sometimes intense physical reactions. People who are going through an anxiety attack can experience everything from chest pain and difficulty breathing, to nausea, shaking, sweating and more.

The combination of physical discomfort and extreme fear often leads to the person suffering from panic attacks developing a fear of his or her own symptoms. This "fear of fear" is a very common almost "classic" symptom of a panic disorder.

Often a person who has experienced really bad panic attacks biggest fear is having another one. It can get to the point where it is no longer a specific situation the anxiety sufferer is afraid of, but rather any situation that might trigger an anxiety attack.

This "fear of fear" is often why people with panic attacks can start making their world smaller and smaller. As many as about one third of people with panic disorder develop agoraphobia. Agoraphobia basically means that your life has become so limited by your anxiety that you are housebound or only able to go out when accompanied by certain people that you have a lot of trust in, like your spouse or best friend.

This tendency that people with panic attacks have to limit their own lives in an attempt to control their anxiety is one of the reasons why it is extremely important to deal with panic attacks and start treating them a soon as possible. It is very common for people with anxiety to just pretend they don't have a problem and avoid the situations they are uncomfortable with, rather than addressing the real issues. This approach may help them feel like they are doing ok for a while, and they may even think they have gotten rid of their problem, but it is not a long term solution.

Panic attacks are basically your body's way of screaming at you to make changes in your life. I once heard it described like your body is trying to get your attention and it's like throwing pebbles in a pond; at first it throws little pebbles that only cause small ripples in the water. You ignore it, so your body starts throwing rocks in the water that create much larger ripples and maybe even a small splash. You still ignore it, and eventually your body is throwing boulders in the water, creating huge waves that make you wet.

Your boy is not trying to hurt you by giving you panic attacks; it is trying to make you listen. You don't necessarily need to go through years of therapy to overcome your panic attacks, but you do need to listen. Your body is trying to tell you that what you are doing is not working, and the only way you can get different results is through changing what you are doing now.
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