Suddenly, you can’t breathe and your heart beats fast and strong, so much that it seems that it’s going to leave the chest. It’s something horrible, it makes you feel helpless, afraid like you can die any moment. You are having a panic attack!
But, where is it coming from, who suffers from panic attacks, and why? We should start saying that those attacks are part of a panic disorder, which is a serious condition that strikes suddenly, without a reason, just like the attacks where the individual feels like we described before, a racing heart, fear, and overwhelmed even though there is no danger around.
If you have experienced panic attacks, at least twice without any reason, and you try to change events, situations, and habits in your life to avoid another one, you might have panic disorder.
We know the symptoms, but the causes are still unknown in full. Experts have found that panic disorder patients may have a very sensitive brain to fear. Although it can run in your family, there is no certainty about the role played by your genes or the environment where you grew up.
As almost in every case, the most important thing is to get diagnosed on time. There is no a lab test that could help a doctor with the diagnosis, but your physician can rule out other conditions and work with your medical history in order to know what’s happening.
You may be referred to a psychotherapist, the person who, at the end of the day, could help you deal with the changes and situations that might be triggering your panic attacks.
Another important thing to know is that 1 in 10 adults in America suffer a panic attack every year, which means that it could be more common than we imagine and that even though it looks like something very difficult to handle, it is not when you have a good doctor and the support of those around you.