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Anxiety is a normal part of the response to a challenging or threatening situation. As such, it may actually be advantageous. However, severe, persistent or inappropriate anxiety can impair everyday life, as well as affecting occupational and social functioning. Symptoms of an anxiety attack include palpitations, sweating, trembling and feelings of fear and panic, are a common finding among patients in primary care. Patients may complain of: • primary symptoms of nervousness, apprehension, irritability and restless sleep • a constellation of physical signs and symptoms, particularly in certain situations or a combination of both.
On this Site
Information, support and advice for
Anxiety and Panic Attacks
The distinction between anxiety symptoms and disorders is an important one. In many individuals, symptoms are a normal reaction to everyday problems or major life events, and such patients may not need treatment. In contrast, primary anxiety disorders, in which the anxiety is abnormal in quality or severity, and often inappropriate or unrelated to the external situation, are disabling and lead to significant distress or impairment in work or social functioning. As a result, patients' quality of life is usually adversely affected.
Anxiety Attacks can be accompanied by physical effects such as heart palpitations, nausea, chest pain, shortness of breath, stomach aches, or headaches. Physically, the body prepares to deal with what it perceives as a threat. Blood pressure and heart rate are increased, sweating is increased, blood flow to muscle groups increases and immune and digestive system functions are inhibited (the fight or flight response). External signs of anxiety may include pale skin, sweating, trembling and many others. Someone suffering from anxiety might also experience it as a sense of dread or panic. A number of substances can produce symptoms of anxiety:...more
There are several other conditions that are included under the definition of Anxiety Disorders. Many people experience more than one of these conditions. Our main focus will be on Generalized Anxiety Disorder and
Panic attacks. We will however provide information on the other Anxiety Disorders.
CAUSES OF ANXIETY ATTACKS & PANIC ATTACKS
Our understanding of the causes of anxiety and pathologic anxiety has
increased dramatically in recent years as the physical and neurochemical pathways of fear and anxiety have been studied. However, much
more research is needed, and our understanding is far from complete
at present. This incomplete understanding is reflected in the variety of
models that seek to explain anxiety and its pathologic forms.
Current understanding of fear and anxiety identifies the causes
as a powerful interaction of biology, cognitive-emotional influences,
Approximately 65 of panic disorder
Agoraphobia, like all phobias, can be
defined as a persistent and irrational
fear of a specific object, activity or
situation (a phobic stimulus) that
results in a compelling desire to avoid
the stimulus. In the case of
agoraphobia, which is almost always
associated with panic disorder, the
person articulates a fear of being in
places or situations from which escape
might be difficult or impossible in the
event of sudden incapacitation. Among
the clinically significant
phobias, agoraphobia is the most
common and .
People with agoraphobia organize their daily activities to make
sure that help will be available in case of an emergency. Typically, patients
restrict travel away from home or rely on a companion when going out. In mild
cases of agoraphobia . Individuals are able to leave home but will avoid
specific situations such as crowded places, driving, escalators or elevators. In
severe cases, patients may be unable to leave their home or even a particular
room in their house. These severely agoraphobic patients must rely on supportive
individuals to purchase food and supply other essentials of daily living.
Some specific fears
commonly associated with agoraphobia
• being in a strange place •
crossing streets • crowds or crowded
places, such as supermarkets •
elevators • journeys away from home,
particularly in underground trains •
agoraphobia describes various
secondary fears that develop as a
panic attacks. Although
agoraphobia has been reported to occur
in the absence of panic disorder, this
is rarely observed in clinical practice.
A little about the website
What are Panic Attacks?
Panic attackstake the form of sudden periods of intense anxiety and autonomic arousal. Most occur spontaneously, but attacks may also be provoked by strong emotion, excitement or physical exertion.
The anxiety is accompanied by a sense of impending doom, or a feeling that a dreadful event is about to happen. Sufferers fear loss of control (e.g. fainting, urinating or crying out), serious illness or going mad. Between attacks, most patients experience generalized anxiety to some extent. The condition most commonly develops between the ages of 18 and 25 years, and is about two to three times more common in women than in men.
Panic disorder is usually a chronic condition with a fluctuating course, although some patients experience remissions or exacerbations. The relationship between stress and major life events and the severity and course of panic.
Because of their severity and sudden onset, panic attacks are often misperceived as being imminently life-threatening by patients (as well as physicians), particularly when the attacks are associated with tachycardia and chest pain. Many patients first present to the Accident and Emergency Rooms, convinced they are going to die. Others may fear going mad or losing control of themselves and their bodily functions.
Patients can usually give graphic accounts of their first attack, timing it to the nearest minute.
n contrast to phobias panic attacks most typically occur unexpectedly, at least in the initial stages of the disorder; they are not provoked by exposure to a particular stimulus.
Panic disorder can severely impair quality of life, with patients becoming progressively more disabled by the attacks themselves and fear of the attacks, as well as by the secondary development of avoidance behaviors.
OPENING TO THE PAIN IN & AROUND YOU
Have you ever stopped to ask the question: What
is my relationship to the pain I feel? This includes the pain of fear
and the pain of anxiety and panic. You do have a relationship; you just
may not recognize it. For many people, the relationship they have with
any kind of pain is one of denial and dismissal.
For others, the relationship is flavored by
anger, fear, or a desperate attempt to escape the pain. Driven by pain,
people fall into patterns of addiction and despair. Remember Penta Chadron's story of the old woman telling her, "Don't go letting life harden your heart"? Has your relationship to pain caused your heart to harden? Are you less connected with life as a result? Do you feel less alive?
To practice mindfulness means to pay attention to life with an open heart. Meditation can actually help this way. Meditation is a heart-opening activity!
On a meditation retreat once, I entered a phase when either sitting or walking, all of my periods of meditation were consumed by angry, destructive images and stories filled with hostility and rage. When I asked the teacher about this, he responded with great gentleness and kindness. He told me, "Beneath anger is fear. Beneath fear is a belief about something. Keep sitting with each thing and let it be. Let it reveal itself to you. When you get to the belief, investigate that. Is the belief true? Is the belief you?"
Sitting with the experience, I connected with deep feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy about a new job situation
Sitting longer, I found that the feelings left me. I saw how untrue they actually were. We all have a relationship with pain and habits for dealing with it.
We all have developed attitudes and views about the pain we feel In many cases we have also developed an identity around the pain. To the extent these attitudes and identity have become fixed, we are prisoners of the pain. How might this be true for you? How does it apply to the impact of fear, anxiety, or panic in your life?
Practicing mindfulness wholeheartedly requires the willingness to pay attention, stay present, and investigate your deep inner pain- including the pain of fear, anxiety, or even panic. Approaching the pain with kindness and compassion is crucial, Meeting pain with anger does not help. Meeting fear or anxiety in oneself with anger or hostility simply multiplies it.
Meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg has been a
leader in bringing Western students meditation practices focused on kindness and
In her 1995 book Loving-Kindness: The Revolutionary Art of
Happiness, Salzberg describes compassion meditation as "purifying and
transforming our relationship to suffering, whether it is our own or
that of others.
Being able to acknowledge suffering, open to it, and
respond to it with tenderness of heart allows us to join with all beings,
and to realize that we are never alone"
What is the difference between anxiety attacks and panic attacks?
There are similarities and differences between
and panic attacks.
An anxiety attack often comes in reaction to a
stressor. You're walking down a dark alley and hear
footsteps, or you're at even the top of a
rollercoaster and looking to go down that large
anxiety attack, people may feel fearful, apprehensive, may feel their heart racing or feel short of breath, but it's very short lived, and when the stressor goes away, so does the anxiety attack.
on the other hand do start from a reaction to a stressor. It's
unprovoked and unpredictable. And during a panic attack the
individual is seized with terror, fear, or apprehension. They may
feel that they're going to die, or lose control or have a heart
attack. They have a host of physical symptoms which may include
chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea. And in addition
to these terrifying panic attacks,
people start worrying about having the next one. So there's a lot of
what's called anticipatory anxiety.
Also, they start avoiding
places where they have a
So if they had one in a
grocery store for example,
they may stop going to the
store. The good news is even
though this is a very common
disorder, it is very
Psychotherapy (a type of counseling) addresses the emotional response to mental illness. It is a process in which trained mental health professionals help people by talking through strategies for understanding and dealing with their disorder.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy: People suffering from anxiety disorders often participate in this type of psychotherapy in which the person learns to recognize and change thought patterns and behaviors that lead to troublesome feelings.
2. How many people have you seen with the same problem/issue as mine?
3. What is your treatment philosophy?
4. What do you charge?
5. Do you have a confidentiality disclosure statement?
6. What are your credentials?
7. How do you define the therapeutic relationship?
8. When and how do you evaluate my progress?
9. Can I read my file at any time?
10. Will you make a referral if requested?
If your Psychologist refuses to answer any of these questions start looking for one that will.
CAUSES OF ANXIETY & ANXIETY DISORDERS
Our understanding of the causes of anxiety and pathologic anxiety has increased dramatically in recent years as the physical and neurochemical pathways of fear and anxiety have been studied. However, much more research is needed, and our understanding is far from complete at present. This incomplete understanding is reflected in the variety of models that seek to explain anxiety and its pathologic forms. Current understanding of fear and anxiety identifies the causes as a powerful interaction of biology, cognitive-emotional influences, and stress.
Nutrition plays a big part in anxiety and panic attacks. Read what foods you should and shouldn't eat.
Nutrition for reducing anxiety:
Pure natural Cod liver oil daily
Inositol - Up to 18 grams a day depending on the individual + proportionate amounts of choline and a balanced B complex. (I only need 2-3 grams of inositol)
Virgin Coconut oil - 2-3 tablespoons a day (work up to that level slowly) or cook in coconut oil and use shredded coconut and coconut milk in your recipes and smoothies.
Drink 1/2 your body weight (in ounces, 60 lb = 60 0z) of pure water a day; add 1/4 tsp unrefined Sea Salt (gray, moist, and unprocessed) per quart of water or put extra sea salt on food.
B vitamin Complex in a.m. and p.m. along with Nutritional Yeast (Use a brand free of MSG, (not the same as brewer's yeast))
Cut out refined sugar, carbohydrates and caffeine
Sea Minerals-Minerals support the nervous system and its communication with the body. They help relax the muscles.
Try to meditate daily or take a short nap. This reduces cumulative stress and slows down stress reactions.
Information about a Slow Running Computer Geeky Girl can help. 21 Tips to get it running up to speed. http://www.pcwreck.com
What will happen if I don't seek treatment?
The Fear of a
Panic Attack may continue For weeks, people with panic disorder may live in fear of the next panic attack — and what that might mean (a life-threatening disease? a mental breakdown?). They may also develop fears (phobias) of places or objects associated with a
panic attack. Some people who suffer from panic disorder make drastic behavior changes, such as quitting a job or avoiding any physical exertion. Over time, they may avoid situations or places where they fear they may not be able to escape or get help if another
panic attack occurs.
About 30% to 50% of people diagnosed with panic disorder also develop agoraphobia. That means they avoid or experience tremendous distress in certain kinds of situations that they've begun to associate with their
panic attacks (for example, crowded areas or inside moving vehicles). When panic disorder progresses this far, people may become housebound or may be able to confront a feared situation only with a trusted companion. Early treatment may help prevent agoraphobia. More than half of people with panic disorder also experience major depression at some point.
Anxiety and Panic Attack Facts
In any given year, approximately 40 million American adults 18 years and older are affected by anxiety disorders. This startling data means that anxiety disorders cost the United States more than $42 billion dollars a year. According to The Economic Burden of Anxiety Disorders, a study commissioned by the ADAA and published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Vol. 60, No. 7 July 1999 this is almost 1/3 of the country's $148 billion total health bill. Those with anxiety disorders are three to five times more likely to seek medical treatment and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than people that do not suffer from anxiety.
Approximately 6.8 million are affected by Generalized Anxiety Disorder, 6 million by anxiety attacks and panic attacks, 7.7 million by Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, 15 million by social anxiety disorder, 2.2 million by OCD, and 19 million by Specific Phobia. Anxiety attacks and panic attacks are the most common emotional disorders and are more common than bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcohol abuse or depression. People with Anxiety and panic attacks seek relief for symptoms that mimic physical illnesses which total more than $22.84 billion and are associated with repeated use of health care services.
Questionnaires for the other Anxiety Conditions
Social Anxiety QuestionnaireSocial phobia is an intense fear of becoming humiliated in social situations, specifically of embarrassing yourself in front of other people. It often runs in families and may be accompanied by depression or alcoholism.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder People with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) suffer intensely from recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) or rituals (compulsions), which they feel they cannot control.
Post-traumatic stress disorder Questionnaire Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat..
has used her talents to not only endorse herself but to
help others in dire need of her understanding and
compassion. Amy works hard to see to it that she
instills a touch of God's love in all encounters she
makes with her fellow man"
- John Coleman
Awards and Affiliations
The mission of AnxietyPanic.com is to educate patients, families, caregivers and the community about anxiety and panic disorders in order to relieve suffering, instill hope, and improve lives. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6 ✞
• tingling in fingers or toes ('pins and needles')
• fearful that you're going to go crazy or are about to die
This list is just a guide. Not everyone will experience all of these symptoms and some will experience ones not listed here. These are just the most common panic attack symptoms. Read more
Panic Attack Film
This film shows briefly how a panic attack can strike out of nowhere.
Click here to read about how to stop panic attacks completely.
You are out living your day to the fullest walking in the sunshine, reading a great novel, cooking a special dinner and you are stricken by an irrational and intense terror. Nothing in the outside world has changed, but your heart is racing, your mind is filled with anxiety, you start to tremble, you're having trouble breathing, and you feel a threat of impending doom.
This site began in 1996 with an idea and a dream. The dream was that no one would have to face the fear of anxiety and loneliness that the "panic monster" can cause all alone. The dream became a reality and we now offer to you the most comprehensive information available on the Internet.
Natural Treatment options for anxiety and panic disorder
From: Amiden2009 Jul 2, 2011 Adding natural alternative treatments for anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, depression, ADHD, Eating Disorders, and phobias can make a big difference in your life. We have spent years researching these programs to help these disorders before they become disabling disorders.Click Here