Panic Attacks Treatment, Causes, Risk Factors & Complications
What is a Panic Attack?
Panic attacks are sudden episodes of intense anxiety and fear. The level of fear experienced is exaggerated by events that trigger the panic attack. People can have a single panic attack but recurring events may be a sign of a panic or anxiety disorder. Typically, these episodes occur without warning. Panic attacks treatment options can be discussed with your doctor.
A panic attack is considered an intense physical and mental chain reaction. Initially, It can begin with a simple bodily sensation or a thought about something threatening. A chain reaction is triggered resulting in fearful thoughts, feelings of terror, and escalating physical reactions.
A panic attack will start with a variety of symptoms and peak within 10 to 15 minutes before gradually tapering off. Sometimes, it can take a day or so just to get back to your usual mental and physical state after a panic attack. Panic attacks can begin to alter the way you think, behave and feel in your everyday life, even when you are not having an actual panic attack. 
Panic Attacks Symptoms
Panic attacks typically begin suddenly without warning. They can happen at any time, while you are driving a car, at the mall, sound asleep, or in the middle of a business meeting.
Most people with panic attacks experience some of the following symptoms:
- Derealization or depersonalization
- Use deep breathing
- Chest pain
- Chills or hot flushes
- Fear of losing control
- Feeling of choking
- Feeling dizzy
- Feelings of numbness
- Fear of dying
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
One of the most common responses to panic attacks is developing the fear that you’ll have another one. In fact, you may fear having a panic attack so much that you avoid certain situations where they may occur.
Strategies that you can use to try to avoid a panic attack. Here are the strategies and may include:
- Use deep breathing
- Recognize that you are having a panic attack
- Close your eyes
- Practice mindfulness
- Find a focus object
- Use muscle relaxation techniques
- Picture your happy place
- Engage in light exercise
- Keep lavender on hand
- Repeat a mantra internally
Panic Attacks Treatment: Types of Panic Attacks
These are the two types of panic attacks:
- Expected: This happens when you are facing a situation that has caused you problems in the past and the person feels how the panic attack gets closer.
- Unexpected: This occurs, you cannot identify an external trigger.
How common are panic attacks?
Every year, up to 11% of Americans experience a panic attack. Approximately 2% to 3% of them continuously develop panic disorder.
Who might have panic attacks?
Anyone can experience a panic attack. Here are some factors:
- Gender: Women are twice as likely as men to develop panic disorder.
- Ages: Panic attacks typically first happen during the teen or early adult years. But, people of all ages, like children, can have panic attacks.
The Difference Between a Panic Attack and an Anxiety Attack
You might hear people talking about panic attacks and anxiety attacks like they’re the same thing. They’re different conditions though. Panic attacks come on suddenly and involve intense and often overwhelming fear. They’re accompanied by frightening physical symptoms, such as a racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, or nausea.
The latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)  recognizes panic attacks, and categorizes them as unexpected or expected. Unexpected panic attacks occur without an obvious cause. Expected panic attacks are cued by external stressors, such as phobias. Panic attacks can happen to anyone, but having more than one may be a sign of panic disorder.
Anxiety attacks aren’t recognized in the DSM-5. The DSM-5 does, however, define anxiety as a feature of a number of common psychiatric disorders. Symptoms of anxiety include worry, distress, and fear. Anxiety is usually related to the anticipation of a stressful situation, experience, or event. It may come on gradually.
The lack of diagnostic recognition of anxiety attacks means that the signs and symptoms are open to interpretation. That is, a person may describe having an “anxiety attack” and have symptoms that another has never experienced despite indicating that they too have had an “anxiety attack.” Research shows that being at Panic Attacks Treatments helps to discover attacks’ signs and symptoms.
Causes of Panic Attacks
Doctors do not know why some people experience panic attacks or develop panic disorder. The brain and nervous system play key roles in how you become aware and handle fear and anxiety, it’s important to handle this with the help of the right Panic Attacks Treatment program. Your risk of having panic attacks may increase if you have:
- Family history: anxiety disorders, including panic disorders, often run-in families. Experts are not sure why.
- Mental health issues: People who have anxiety disorders, depression or other mental illness are more prone to panic attacks.
- Substance abuse problems: Alcohol and panic attacks have a close relationship; drugs or alcohol can increase the risks of attacks.
- Major stress: People cannot control themselves.
Risks Factors of Panic Attacks
Factors that may increase panic attacks include:
- Major life changes, such as divorce or the addition of a baby
- Major life stressors, such as the death or serious illness of a loved one
- Family history of panic attacks or panic disorder
- Smoking or excessive caffeine intake
- History of childhood physical or sexual abuse
- A traumatic event, such as sexual assault
Panic Attacks Treatment: Complications from Panic Attacks
Panic attacks are highly treatable. Untreated panic attacks or panic disorders can interfere with your ability to enjoy life. You may develop:
- Anticipatory Anxiety: The possibility of having a panic attack triggers extreme anxiety
- Phobias: A phobia is an irrational or unreasonable fear of something specific
- Agoraphobia: Fear of places or situations where a panic attack might happen
- Development of specific phobias: such as fear of driving or leaving your home
- Frequent medical care for health concerns and other medical conditions
- Avoidance of social situations and isolation
- Problems at work or school
- Depression, anxiety disorders and other psychiatric disorders
- Increased risk of suicide or suicidal thoughts
- Alcohol or substance abuse
- Financial problems
How to handle a panic attack
Professor Paul Salkovskis, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Applied Science at the University of Bath, says it’s important not to let your fear of panic attacks control you, and start right away the Panic Attacks Treatment. “Panic attacks always pass and the symptoms are not a sign of anything harmful happening,” he says. “Tell yourself that the symptoms you’re experiencing are caused by anxiety.”
He says don’t look for distractions. “Ride out the attack. Try to keep doing things. If possible, it’s important to try to remain in the situation until the anxiety has subsided.” “Confront your fear. If you don’t run away from it, you’re giving yourself a chance to discover that nothing’s going to happen.”
As the anxiety begins to pass, start to focus on your surroundings and continue to do what you were doing before. “If you’re having a short, sudden panic attack, it can be helpful to have someone with you, reassuring you that it will pass and the symptoms are nothing to worry about,” says Professor Salkovskis. 
Panic Attacks Treatment teachs Ways to prevent panic attacks
“You need to try to work out what particular stress you might be under that could make your symptoms worse,” says Professor Salkovskis. “It’s important not to restrict your movements and daily activities.”
- Doing breathing exercises every day will help to prevent panic attacks and relieve them when they are happening.
- Regular exercise, especially aerobic exercise, will help you to manage stress levels, release tension, improve your mood and boost confidence.
- Eat regular meals to stabilise your blood sugar levels.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and smoking. These can make panic attacks worse.
- Panic support groups have useful advice about how you can effectively manage your attacks. Knowing that other people are experiencing the same feelings can be reassuring.
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can identify and change the negative thought patterns that are feeding your panic attacks. 
Panic Attacks Treatment and Therapy
Treatment of panic attacks and panic disorder usually consist of:
- Psychotherapy: Several types of psychotherapy can be effective against panic disorders.
- Exposure Therapy: Encouraging to confront whatever triggers your attacks.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: You can learn to recognize your unproven fears and practice coping techniques like slow breathing.
- Self-Help: It’s possible to learn to prevent a panic attack. Many people benefit from breathing exercises and other calming techniques.
- Drug Therapy: Your health care provider may prescribe antidepressants or antianxiety medicines to treat panic disorder.
Reclaim your life with Panic Attacks Treatment
Panic Disorder is a condition that can cause major health, social, and even economic problems that should not be taken lightly. We Level Up Treatment Center can provide you, or someone you love, Panic Attacks Treatment with professional and safe care. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition by giving you relevant information. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.
 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
 NHS Inform – ‘How to deal with Panic Attacks’ (www.nhsinform.scot)