Panic attack symptoms and signs of panic disorder

Miscellaneous vloxas August 8, 2016 72 6
Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder: Symptoms and prevent panic attack. Research shows that approximately 4% of the Dutch sooner or later have to deal with a panic disorder. This often develops at the end of the adolescence to about the 35th year of life. More women than men develop an anxiety disorder. The main feature of a panic disorder is to have recurrent unexpected panic attacks. These terrifying experience often leads to agoraphobia. What to do about panic attacks? A panic disorder is usually treated with anxiety and panic inflammatory medication and cognitive behavioral therapy, which often has a good effect on the symptoms.

Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder

  • General: The main features of anxiety
  • What is a panic attack?
  • The diagnostic features of a panic disorder
  • The cause of panic disorder
  • The treatment of panic disorders

General: The main features of anxiety

We give below a first summary of the general characteristics of fear.
Bodily / physical characteristics of anxiety
  • a feeling of restlessness, nervousness, nervous and nervous;
  • trembling or shaking of the hands or limbs;
  • sweaty hands, sweaty palms;
  • feeling that there is a tight band around the forehead;
  • heavy sweating, sweating;
  • stuffy or discomfort stomach or chest;
  • light headedness, suffer from fainting;
  • difficulty talking, stuttering;
  • dry mouth or throat, sticky mouth;
  • difficulty breathing;
  • shortness of breath or shallow breathing;
  • shaky or trembling voice;
  • thumping or very fast heartbeat;
  • cold fingers or limbs;
  • weakness or numbness;
  • dizziness;
  • difficulty swallowing;
  • a 'lump in the throat;
  • rigid or stiff neck or back;
  • feeling that one is suffocating, gasping for breath or gasping;
  • cold, clammy hands;
  • tingling in hands and / or feet or numbness
  • nausea and stomach upset;
  • suddenly have extremely hot or cold;
  • frequent urination, getting small pools;
  • feeling hot;
  • diarrhea, thin stools;
  • are annoyed or irritated.

Cognitive characteristics of anxiety
  • something to worry about, worry;
  • nagging and nagging sense of anxiety or fear of the future;
  • are constantly engaged in physical stimuli;
  • are very aware of physical sensations;
  • feel threatened by people or situations that would normally not threatening;
  • fear of losing control, want to maintain control;
  • fear of losing control over the body, especially on the bladder or bowels, so there is involuntary loss of urine and feces;
  • fear that one is unable to cope with their own problems;
  • think that the world is about to collapse and that things threaten to get out of hand;
  • Events follow each other in the experience too quickly which one thinks they are not solving or handling;
  • worry about every detail, however small;
  • repeatedly have the same disturbing thoughts;
  • afraid of fainting in certain places, so, the idea may catch that one should avoid these places;
  • confused and incoherent reasoning;
  • is not able to turn off constantly recurring thoughts of itself;
  • Thinking that a bad disease or condition, or will die, even if the doctor says there is nothing to worry about;
  • it will be only to keep fear abandonment;
  • difficulty focusing on a particular task or activity, the effort to focus attention on something.

Behavioral characteristics of anxiety
  • avoidance behavior / avoidance behavior;
  • cling to the partner or other persons dependent behavior;
  • agitated behavior, are irritated.

What is a panic attack?

The word 'panic' is sometimes easily put into the mouth. During a real panic attack - sometimes called anxiety attack - the fear is so great that it is almost unbearable. A panic attack is a very frightening experience. Some people have to go to feel silly or death, they want to flee, go heavy sweating, gasping for breath and choking sensation. Panic or anxiety attacks are a feature of what is called a panic disorder. Panic attacks occur in various anxiety disorders such as social phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.

The diagnostic features of a panic disorder

A panic disorder is recurrent, unexpected panic attacks.
What are the characteristics of a panic attack?
A panic attack is characterized by a period of intense fear or anxiety, which occur at least four of the following 13 somatic or cognitive symptoms and reach a peak within 10 minutes:
  • palpitations, pounding heart, or abnormally fast heart rate;
  • sweat / perspiration;
  • trembling or shaking;
  • feelings of breathlessness or suffocation;
  • gasp;
  • pain or discomfort in the chest;
  • nausea or other signs of abnormal complaints;
  • feeling dizzy, staggering, light-headed, fainting;
  • derealization and depersonalization;
  • feel to be losing control or going crazy;
  • the fear of death;
  • numbness or tingling;
  • chills or hot feeling.

  • The attack, which reached a peak after about 10-15 minutes, often takes no more than a few minutes.
    Other criteria for panic disorder
    In addition, at least one of the attacks is followed by one month, one or both of the following nucleus brands:
  • Are engaged in persistent concern about new panic attacks or the consequences thereof;
  • A clear, maladaptive behavior change in association with the attack. For example, behavior that is intended to prevent panic attacks, such as the avoidance of physical exertion or unknown situations.

  • The disorder can not be attributed to the physiological effects of a substance, or to a general medical condition. Also, the disorder can not be better accounted for by another mental disorder, for example, in response to separation from attachment figures, such as in the separation anxiety disorder.
    If people start to avoid certain situations or limit these activities could lead to agoraphobia, or agoraphobia. Agoraphobia is the excessive fear to stand in public spaces where people can hardly escape and where help is inaccessible. About half of people with panic disorder also suffer from agoraphobia.

    The cause of panic disorder

    Nowadays it is assumed that panic disorders are based on a combination of cognitive factors and biological factors, erroneous attributions and physiological responses. In people predisposed to panic, it often starts with a misinterpretation of the underlying cause, such as internal sensations such as palpitations perceive it as a sign of an impending heart attack. This thought leads to more physical symptoms, which reinforces the anxious thoughts again. So the person ends up in a downward spiral which can develop into a real panic attack.

    The treatment of panic disorders

    Normally a panic disorder treated with anxiety and panic inflammatory medication and cognitive behavioral therapy. In therapy, people learn to better handle their anxiety and panic attacks and get them ontspaningsoefeningen handed to diminish the increased physical stress. Also, people through paced breathing techniques to be empowered in order to restore the normal CO2 levels in the blood. They also teach that there is a relationship between exhaling too much CO2 and cardiovascular sensations and experiences. Furthermore, a healthy, rational way of thinking learned, causing all sorts of bodily sensations on a non-catastrophic, soothing way be explained. In this way, panic attacks eventually belong to the past.
    About fear is not spoken
    Almost a third of the Dutch population would rather not tell close friends or close relatives that they have anxiety or panic attacks, unless there is no alternative. This emerges from a study of Motivaction commissioned by Foundation for Mental Health, conducted in the framework of the 17th National Day for Mental Health. The theme of the National Day is anxiety disorders. The Fund is working this year with the Fear, Phobia and Compulsive Foundation. The Foundation for Mental Health is concerned about the high number. The organization strives to increase openness and understanding of mental health problems; these figures show that there is still lot to be done to achieve this. And it is not a small number of people getting an anxiety disorder.
    Half of adults with an anxiety disorder in their youth had a psychiatric diagnosis
    About half of adults with an anxiety disorder had their 15th symptoms of a psychiatric disorder, according to research. The researchers also found a relationship between certain illnesses in childhood and the development of certain types of anxiety disorders in adulthood. The results underline the importance of early diagnosis and prevention of anxiety disorders.
    Anxiety disorders are among the most common psychiatric disorders. They include social and other phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. In this study, researchers examined the psychiatric history of 1,037 adults, aged 11 to 32 years. Of the 232 adults with anxiety disorders, the most common psychiatric disorder during their childhood had an anxiety disorder, followed by depression.
    The researchers also found links between some disorders that were determined in adulthood and which were established during childhood. Adults with PTSD often had a history of extreme rebellious behavior and conduct disorders in childhood. Adults with obsessive-compulsive disorder had to face quite often as a child had with delusions and hallucinations. Phobias in adulthood have a certain relationship with specific phobias in childhood.
    Consideration of the psychiatric history in the diagnosis of adult anxiety disorders, diagnosis, prevention and treatment may benefit, say the researchers.
  • Taken from: Jeffrey S. Nevid, Spencer A. Rathus and Beverly Greene: Psychiatry - an introduction; Pearson Education, Sixth Edition, 2008, p. 292.
  • American Psychiatric Association. Handbook for the classification of mental disorders. Dutch translation of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition. Amsterdam: Boom Psychology, 2014.
  • Ibid, p. 397.
  • Research Motivaction September 2014. 29% of respondents prefer to discuss anxiety or panic attacks with no neighbors.
  • Gregory AM, Caspi A, Moffitt, TE, Koenen K, Eley TC, Poulton R. Juvenile Mental Health Histories of Adults With Anxiety Disorders. American Journal of Psychiatry, 164: 1-8. February 2007.
  • You would be very wise to call for help!