My Treatment for Panic Attacks

2004

My own battle and search for a treatment for panic attacks started a long time ago with the slow understanding about my struggle with anxiety and depression. For many years, my anxiety disorder and panic attack symptoms had been issues that I had to battle every day of my life. There is the fear of being in public areas, the feeling like people’s attention is focused on you and the fear that I will make a fool out of myself. These are things that I was always fighting on my own for a long time as I sought out treatments for panic attacks and my overall depression and anxiety disorders.

The symptoms were there – excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), pounding heart, dizziness, hot flashes, weakness and all the other physical symptoms. It is not just these symptoms; there are also psychological signals such as, the mix of anxious thoughts that are constantly hovering at the recesses of my mind. All my fears started to surface and so I began to avoid everyday activities that I used to do. In the end, my anxiety disorder symptoms began to control how I live my life and so I had to face other issues brought on by my inability to face my fears and find the courage to seek out treatments for my panic attacks.

I did not understand why I felt nervous and afraid out of the blue and why symptoms were recurrent. The fact that it can happen anytime and unexpectedly makes it even scarier for me. I was afraid at first, embarrassed to tell anyone because they just might think I am being overreacting, that my fears do not have any basis at all. So, I had to deal with it on my own, suffer in silence and began distancing myself from my family and friends.

I decided to try to understand what it is that I am constantly feeling and so I learned about my anxiety disorder. The feelings of worry, the fear or nervousness, although there are normal fears and concerns that are acceptable reactions to stress, my anxiety disorder symptoms are abnormal and sometimes, completely debilitating. What’s mine are extreme and as the anxiety does not help me cope with stress but instead interferes with my daily life. This is why I decided to seek treatment for panic attacks and get my life back together.

Even without apparent threat, I become afraid unexpectedly. What’s more, I learned that my anxiety disorder symptoms can also be linked to depression, that I become anxious because of I am depressed. I did not know all of these and now I wonder, how can one tell that their panic attack symptoms are depression-related?

How Can Panic Disorder Be Depression-Related?

Before, people would simply dismiss anxiety disorder as the inability to cope up with stress or simply a poor response to mental strain. But today, it is now considered to be a serious medical condition that requires attention. With how serious this illness can be, a careful assessment of physical, behavioral and mental symptoms is required and one should consider treatment for panic attacks.

The real cause for panic disorder is apparently still under investigation but there are certain factors that are believed to be considered. Genetics and environmental stress plays a huge role in the development of panic disorder but so are some adaptive changes in one’s brain. These changes result to some other medical or psychological conditions such as depression.

Worry, fear and nervousness naturally occur when a person is stressed. On the other hand, depression – the feelings of emptiness and despair – is also caused by the natural ups and downs in one’s life. It can also because you are stressed out over something terrible that suddenly happened in your life that you are suffering and seeking relief or treatmenet for panic attacks.

Research suggests that depression can be involved in panic attacks just like your body’s natural reaction when you are in danger. Your moods can be a catalyst to your body unexpectedly showing reactions that occur when you are having a panic attack. What is not known is why it is that the body reacts when there are no apparent dangers at all.

Why Women Are More Prone to Anxiety Disorder?

It is extremely important to know that gender plays a role in the types of anxiety disorders that a person may have. According to a certain publication called “Coping with Anxiety and Phobias”, biological and hormonal factors, including personal experiences may be linked to the development of anxiety disorders. Following that, studies and research from all over the world have found that women are more likely to suffer from anxiety disorder compared to men.

Additionally, women tend to have agoraphobia, which in some cases is related to working remotely – as this article in the Atlantic comments on; or the fear of being in public area and a higher risk as well of developing a phobia to a specific situation or things. Sex hormones is believed to be one of the causes why women are twice more likely to have anxiety and to seek treatment for panic attacks. Scientists know for sure that estrogen interacts with serotonin which is a hormone that regulates one’s mood, appetite, and sleep. They believe that there is a connection to this why women tend to suffer with anxiety disorder symptoms than with men.

Apart from the tendency to anxiety disorder, women also have the tendency of being victims to mental and physical abuse compared to men. This kind of abuse is a risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder while child abuse seemingly causes changes in the brain structure and chemistry. These can be long-term changes that can expose a person to anxiety disorders. Even though women are more likely to be affected with anxiety, this disorder is by no means a strict female issue.

Common Treatments for Panic Attacks

When it comes to treatment for panic attacks options, I found out that there are medicines developed that can help and counseling is an effective method as well. There is a type of counseling called CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders. With a trained professional, one can talk about what it is that causes anxiety and how one can deal with the symptoms. Through counseling, one can learn of ways to reduce the feelings of anxiety as well as improve their specific behaviors.

Natural Remedies for Panic Attacks

One of my favorite treatment for panic attacks and overall anxiety is simply having a cup of chamomile tea. It contains special compounds that treat the brains receptors in similar ways that drugs like valium do. If you don’t like tea, you can also take the active ingredient (apigenin) as a supplement. Some natural treatments can help you relax and provide a mild sedation such as valerian root. In fact, in some European countries, it has been approved as a treatment for sleep problems. You can take valerian root in tea, but some are a little taken back by the strong aroma, so consider taking it as a supplement.

Medical Therapeutic Treatment for Panic Attacks

For most of us, generalized anxiety is a physiological issue with psychological roots, so getting a counselor is essential in helping you work through your own feelings of anxiety to understand any underlying conflicts that are causing them and to help you deal with techniques to reduce or eliminate them entirely. Aside from counseling, there are different types of medicine that can treat anxiety disorders. Antianxiety medicines called benzodiazepines can help, although it can be addictive or cause withdrawal symptoms. Beta blockers, on the other hand, can be used to block the physical symptoms. Other medicine treatments that can be used include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclics and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). All these medicines have their risks, so it is important to talk to medical professionals first.