One of the numerous Anxiety Disorders is the panic attack, and this medical condition can overtake an individual in any given situation. Once an individual has had their initial attack, they’re automatically conditioned to have more of them. The following scenario is an example of what occurs for members of this population.
They’re driving taking the same routes they always have on the way to work, pick up the children, visit relatives and friends, or shop at the mall. Suddenly, a sensation of an alarm goes off inside their head. It’s a feeling of doom, death, and loss of control. Physiological reactions begin with clammy hands on the steering wheel, and a tight grip on the wheel for dear life. Perspiration appears on the forehead, upper lip. Their heart is beating rapidly, and entire body is trembling. They believe they’re having a heart attack, and pull over to the side of the road to collect themselves.
Panic attacks occur because of biological predisposition, learned behavior (i.e., catastrophizing), the individual was subjected to a tremendous amount of stress the prior year before the panic attacks began, or an abnormality in the brain. Also, this medical difficulty can result from positive events (i.e., getting married, new employer, childbirth, purchasing a residence, etc.).
Panic attacks can be treated successfully (after the physician has ruled out a heart condition) with relaxation methods (i.e., yoga, meditation), psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and a temporary low-dosage drug therapy.