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Anxiety: What is Panic Disorder?

Jul 15, 2008
Fear and anxiety are part of life. You may feel anxious before you take a test or walk down a dark street. This kind of anxiety is useful - it can make you more alert or careful. It usually ends soon after you are out of the situation that caused it. But for millions of people in the United States, the anxiety does not go away, and gets worse over time. They may have chest pains or nightmares. They may even be afraid to leave home. These people have anxiety disorders.

Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder. It causes panic attacks, which are sudden feelings of terror for no reason. You may also feel physical symptoms, such as:

* Fast heartbeat
* Chest pain
* Breathing difficulty
* Dizziness

Panic attacks can happen anytime, anywhere and without warning. You may live in fear of another attack and may avoid places where you have had an attack. For some people, fear takes over their lives and they cannot leave their homes.

Panic disorder is more common in women than men. It usually starts when people are young adults. Sometimes it starts when a person is under a lot of stress. Most people get better with treatment. Therapy can show you how to recognize and change your thinking patterns before they lead to panic. Medicines can also help.

Anxiety can be quite detrimental to your appearance, your social life and sometimes your overall health. When it lasts for long periods of time, it becomes a serious issue that should be addressed by a medical professional. Like any other health problem, there are many causes that can lead to severe anxiety.

A major cause of anxiety can be genetics. Biology determines a great deal of how we are, from eye color to nose shape, and right down to the main core of our personality. If one or both of your parents tend to worry about things frequently, then chances are you will have the same reactions to situations. It is possible for this type of trait to skip generations, but more than likely whatever does not trickle down from heredity will catch with you from the nervous environment in which you live.

As alluded to before, your environment can heavily impact the amount of anxiety you may feel. But, even more than that, social pressures in your life can influence your personality, and cause you to be distressed about things you never thought you would worry about. Between work, children, pets, running a household and other such responsibilities, life can sometimes feel overwhelming.

When things are thrown at us all at once, many of us tend to go into survival mode. Feeling intense nervousness and experiencing worrisome behavior can actually be quite normal when we feel trapped under pressure.

Everyone experiences anxiety at one time or another 'butterflies in the stomach' before giving a speech or sweaty palms during a job interview are common symptoms. Other symptoms include irritability, uneasiness, jumpiness, feelings of apprehension, rapid or irregular heartbeat, stomachache, nausea, faintness, and breathing problems. Anxiety is often manageable and mild, but sometimes it can present serious problems. A high level or prolonged state of anxiety can make the activities of daily life difficult or impossible.

Since we often can trace the direct cause of our anxious behavior, the next step is to find ways to work through it. There is no point to going through life constantly feeling tense and worried. Over time, it will take its toll on you and you will find yourself feeling worn out and restless. Remember to take a step back, breathe, relax, and get plenty of rest. Everything falls into place. There is no need to worry about every little thing, because every little thing is going to be all right.
About the Author
Sherry Harris is the author of the successful e-book "Best Practices Guide: 101 Amazingly Simple Ways to Beat Insomnia". It was created to be The Definitive Guide of insomnia treatments on the Net. You can download the FREE PDF e-book or click on the link. After you grab your free e-book, visit the rest of the website http://www.ScentToSleep.com where you will find products to wipe out insomnia.
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