A sudden psychological state of alarm is felt by a person during a phenomenon known as a panic attack. The person is affected by abrupt, uncontrollably wild and frantic feelings that induce the heart to beat faster and throws the body into the preparation for flight or fight. In other people, panic attacks create the sense of suffocation. Other individuals may simply be trembling and are unable to move even a single muscle in the body because of the intense and uncontrollable rage.
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Physical symptoms such as spells of dizziness, the development of a dry mouth, the sudden sweating of the palms and a tightening sensation in the chest are also very commonly observed. Butterflies in the stomach and lumps in the throat also affect some individuals who undergo a panic attack. In general, during a panic attack the body goes into a sudden state of alarm and psychological stress.
Panic attacks in general persists only for seconds at any time, while in some cases it might last minutes at a single stretch-the time period is short in all cases.
The difference between panic attacks and phobias is that the latter tend to be always present as long as the stressing agent exists and these are moreover overwhelming and intense fears caused by some specific stressor or phenomenon. In general, all panic attacks develop unexpectedly, with an unknown reason and come about without warning and can usually be attributed to no specific event or phenomenon.
If the panic attacks are severe or intense, the chances of them being mistaken for heart attacks exist and they are sometimes confused with cardiac problems especially recurring attacks. As such panic attacks are related in some way to general feelings of vague anxiety, and these often develop or are accompanied by other psychological disturbances, including disorders such as long term nightmares, bouts of sleeplessness, and sudden changes in the appetite, physical fatigue also often accompanies such panic attacks.
Frustration and depression often affect a person as a result of long-term grappling with these anxiety disorders along with the panic attacks. By and large, panic attacks are surprisingly common in occurrence as a condition and it affects both men and women equally.
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The occurrence of panic attacks is the most frequent during periods of extreme stress and anxiety even though there occurrence by itself is still without any obvious reasons in all cases. It is very important therefore to try to identify the real triggers behind such attacks in order to have any chance at resolving the problem, whether the actual cause is psychological grief or the result of being in a stressful work environment or an anxious period of life.
The loss of psychological and actual control over events and situations is often indicative of panic attacks, which is the reason that these occur in periods of great emotional turmoil and stress. Trying to rid oneself of personal problems by overworking and using alcohol at the time of great emotional turmoil increases the chance of a panic attack occurring and these must be avoided, the avoidance of overworking and alcohol also helps the body resolve underlying problems which might trigger an attack by itself.
High levels of the compound lactate in the body shows a relationship with the occurrence of panic attacks-this heightening of the levels of lactate in the body is brought about by the consumption of too much caffeine by the person. In those sensitive to its biochemical effects, the alkaloid caffeine has been known to cause irritation in the nerves and might be responsible for triggering panic attacks.
Panic attacks by and large can also be triggered by low blood-sugar levels in the body. In addition, fainting spells are also caused by hyperventilation; these fainting spells are common during states of anxiety or fear in the affected individual.
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The stress levels in the body can be reduced by the use of these supplements, which also support the functioning of the nervous system and help alleviate stress in the body of the affected person. All supplements that have nervous system stimulants must be avoided if possible-and particularly by those who are affected by recurring panic attacks.
The nervous system is also bolstered by the action of the B vitamins, during times of stress in particular- the body makes rapid use of these substances. The increase in the lactate content of the body is also stabilized at certain times by the use of the B vitamins taken in supplemental form. Among all the vitamins, the B6 is considered to be the most important vitamin.
The susceptibility of a person to anxiety and panic attacks can also be reduced by taking supplements of the essential minerals calcium or magnesium, the deficiency of one or both of these in the body will increase the likelihood of a panic attack affecting an individual. Proper nerve function and relaxation in the body is promoted by the essential minerals calcium and magnesium when they are taken on a regular basis.
A deficiency of the essential mineral magnesium is caused by a poor diet and the abuse of alcohol-this produces nervousness and irritability in the person.
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An irritated nervous system has traditionally been treated using the herbs such as passion flower, the valerian, the St. John's wort or the lemon balm as herbal remedies. These help relax and soothe the nervous system in the affected individual. The use of these herbs by the affected individual will also aid in giving the person a good night's rest and will relax him or her in general.
Emotional problems that cause panic attacks are better handles by a person who has rested and whose mind is in a state of relaxation. The herbal remedies must be used as teas or in the form of herbal tinctures strictly according to the directions given on the label of the product.
Use herbs before sleeping or retiring during particularly stressful periods, make sure that you drink some lemon balm or valerian herbal tea before bedtime as this will help relax and calm the mind.
The nervous system is bolstered by the use of black cohosh herbal tea which is a very relaxing tea during times of anxiety and has great restorative powers. Use about twenty drops of herbal tincture mixed in liquid thrice every day to calm nerves and treat anxiety disorders. In addition prepare an herbal tea, using a tsp. of the herb mixed in a cup of boiling water, strain the solution and drink as and when needed.
The herbal teas made from herbs such as the cohosh can be used in combination with herbs such as the skullcap, the passion flower, the valerian, the St. John's wort or the lemon balm-drinking these herbal teas will enable the person to relax and prevent the likelihood of panic attacks.
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Balancing the body's energy is the best way to deal with fear and panic especially when such emotions threaten to go out of conscious control. The fearful and panic stricken individual must be comforted by gently touches and the use of massage-such techniques will help calm and comfort the person.
Massage the affected individual by place the palm of your hand flat along the upper stomach of the person, and in the area immediately under the sternum, carefully hold your hand and touch lightly. The touch must be assuring and comfortable to the person, slowly rub and bring him or her to a calm state of mind.
A person stricken by a panic attack must be helped through progressive muscle relaxation techniques and such methods will help his or her body respond positively to the anxiety felt during a panic attack. Hold the tension in your muscles for five to ten seconds whenever you feel a panic attack coming on, any part of the body can be tensed up in these situations.
The tension in the muscles can be gradually released; the same method can be repeated with another muscle in another area of the body till such times as the entire body begins to go into a state of relaxation and calmness.
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Magnesium, 200 mg two times daily.
Calcium, 1,000 mg.
Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate or vitamin B6, 50 mg.