Anxiety Attack BEST
Phobic disorders are intense, persistent, and recurrent fear of certain objects (such as snakes, spiders, blood) or situations (such as heights, speaking in front of a group, public places). These exposures may trigger a panic attack. Social phobia and agoraphobia are examples of phobic disorders.
Posttraumatic stress disorder -- or PTSD -- was considered to be a type of anxiety disorder in earlier versions of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. But in 2013, PTSD was reclassified as its own condition. It describes a range of emotional reactions caused by exposure to either death or near-death circumstances (such as fires, floods, earthquakes, shootings, assault, automobile accidents, or wars) or to events that threaten one's own or another person's physical well-being. The traumatic event is re-experienced with fear of feelings of helplessness or horror and may appear in thoughts and dreams. Common behaviors include the following:
There is no set definition of an anxiety attack in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM. The definition of an anxiety attack is subjective and people may say they are having an anxiety attack when they are describing a panic attack.
Panic attacks are a symptom and can occur in a variety of anxiety disorders. For example, those with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) may experience high levels of worry until they have a panic attack.
A panic attack can happen without warning and can give people a feeling of being out of control. A panic attack may occur whether a person feels calm or anxious, and even during sleep. There may be no obvious cause, and the level of fear is out of proportion to the trigger.
A person who has panic disorder may experience anxiety that they are going to have a panic attack. The uncertainty about if, or when, an attack is going to happen may lead to worry or anxiety between attacks. People may take steps to avoid situations they feel will trigger a panic attack.
Anxiety is a feeling of worry, fear, or nervousness about a certain situation or event, and can be a response to stress. People may feel restless, nauseous, or have a churning feeling in the stomach. An anxiety attack may feel like a sudden feeling of fear without any threat.
Panic attacks are a more intense feeling of dread, fear, or discomfort. People may feel a loss of control or that their life is in danger. Panic attacks can also feel like a sudden feeling of fear when no threat is present.
Experiencing occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. However, people with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Often, anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks).
These feelings of anxiety and panic interfere with daily activities, are difficult to control, are out of proportion to the actual danger and can last a long time. You may avoid places or situations to prevent these feelings. Symptoms may start during childhood or the teen years and continue into adulthood.
Examples of anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder (social phobia), specific phobias and separation anxiety disorder. You can have more than one anxiety disorder. Sometimes anxiety results from a medical condition that needs treatment.
Your worries may not go away on their own, and they may get worse over time if you don't seek help. See your doctor or a mental health provider before your anxiety gets worse. It's easier to treat if you get help early.
The causes of anxiety disorders aren't fully understood. Life experiences such as traumatic events appear to trigger anxiety disorders in people who are already prone to anxiety. Inherited traits also can be a factor.
For some people, anxiety may be linked to an underlying health issue. In some cases, anxiety signs and symptoms are the first indicators of a medical illness. If your doctor suspects your anxiety may have a medical cause, he or she may order tests to look for signs of a problem.
Since anxiety disorders are a group of related conditions rather than a single disorder, symptoms may vary from person to person. One individual may suffer from intense anxiety attacks that strike without warning, while another gets panicky at the thought of mingling at a party. Someone else may struggle with a disabling fear of driving, or uncontrollable, intrusive thoughts. Yet another may live in a constant state of tension, worrying about anything and everything. But despite their different forms, all anxiety disorders illicit an intense fear or worry out of proportion to the situation at hand.
If you have high-functioning anxiety, you might seem proactive, outgoing, organized, and achievement-oriented. You may even come off as a perfectionist or model student or employee. However, your underlying anxiety can still have health consequences, including irritability, insomnia, and muscle tension.
Because of these physical symptoms, anxiety sufferers often mistake their disorder for a medical illness. They may visit many doctors and make numerous trips to the hospital before their anxiety disorder is finally recognized.
Many people with anxiety disorders also suffer from depression at some point. Anxiety and depression are believed to stem from the same biological vulnerability, which may explain why they so often go hand-in-hand. Since depression makes anxiety worse (and vice versa), it's important to seek treatment for both conditions.
Anxiety attacks usually peak within 10 minutes, and they rarely last more than 30 minutes. But during that short time, you may experience terror so severe that you feel as if you're about to die or totally lose control. The physical symptoms are themselves so frightening that many people think they're having a heart attack. After an anxiety attack is over, you may worry about having another one, particularly in a public place where help isn't available or you can't easily escape.
It's important to seek help if you're starting to avoid certain situations because you're afraid of having a panic attack. The truth is that panic attacks are highly treatable. In fact, many people are panic free within just 5 to 8 treatment sessions.
If constant worries and fears distract you from your day-to-day activities, or you're troubled by a persistent feeling that something bad is going to happen, you may be suffering from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). People with GAD are chronic worrywarts who feel anxious nearly all of the time, though they may not even know why. GAD often manifests in physical symptoms like insomnia, stomach upset, restlessness, and fatigue.
Panic disorder is characterized by repeated, unexpected panic attacks, as well as fear of experiencing another episode. Agoraphobia, the fear of being somewhere where escape or help would be difficult in the event of a panic attack, may also accompany a panic disorder. If you have agoraphobia, you are likely to avoid public places such as shopping malls, or confined spaces such as an airplane.
Hoarding disorder is a chronic difficulty discarding possessions, accompanied by a dysfunctional attachment to even worthless items. It can lead to excessive accumulation of possessions (or animals) and a cluttered living space. You may attribute emotion to inanimate objects, have a strong sentimental attachment to items, or see the use in any object. These beliefs can make discarding items overwhelm you with feelings of anxiety, guilt, or sadness.
If you have a debilitating fear of being viewed negatively by others and humiliated in public, you may have social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia. It can be thought of as extreme shyness and in severe cases, social situations are avoided altogether. Performance anxiety (better known as stage fright) is the most common type of social phobia.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an extreme anxiety disorder that can occur in the aftermath of a traumatic or life-threatening event. PTSD can be thought of as a panic attack that rarely, if ever, lets up. Symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks or nightmares about the incident, hypervigilance, startling easily, withdrawing from others, and avoiding situations that remind you of the event.
While separation anxiety is a normal stage of development, if anxieties intensify or are persistent enough to get in the way of school or other activities, your child may have separation anxiety disorder. They may become agitated at just the thought of being away from mom or dad and complain of sickness to avoid playing with friends or going to school.
Connect with others. Loneliness and isolation can trigger or worsen anxiety, while talking about your worries face to face can often make them seem less overwhelming. Make it a point to regularly meet up with friends, join a self-help or support group, or share your worries and concerns with a trusted loved one. If you don't have anyone you can reach out to, it's never too late to build new friendships and a support network.
Practice relaxation techniques. When practiced regularly relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and deep breathing can reduce anxiety symptoms and increase feelings of relaxation and emotional well-being.
Exercise regularly. Exercise is a natural stress buster and anxiety reliever. To achieve the maximum benefit, aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days (broken up into short periods if that's easier). Rhythmic activities that require moving both your arms and legs are especially effective. Try walking, running, swimming, martial arts, or dancing.
Be smart about caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. Caffeine and alcohol can make anxiety worse. And while it may seem like cigarettes are calming, nicotine is actually a powerful stimulant that leads to higher, not lower, levels of anxiety. For help kicking the habit, see How to Quit Smoking. 041b061a72