An anxiety attack symbolizes a very short period of intense, temporary burst of feelings related to fear. The attack is also known as Panic Attack and it happens for no known reasons to you. An anxiety attack can happen only once or it can be an ongoing problem.
The symptom is used to describe the visible effects which are used to identify the disease by the physicians. But in this case anxiety is not at all an illness. It is a behavioral disorder and it can happen to anyone in perfect healthy conditions. The onset of these attacks doesn't mean that a particular person is suffering from some kind of disease. Again, this disorder doesn't lead to any serious life-threatening situation.
Although, it is a pure horrible and terrifying sensation to the subject they are actually evolutionary body responses. If the attacks are occurring consistently then the way of life get disturbed and you may feel depressed. If you have suffered more anxiety attacks in a short period, then you may have developed anxiety disorder which can keep you distressed and away from living a normal life.
A person suffering from anxiety may show different symptoms. Increase in the rate of heartbeat, pounding heart or palpitations, sweating, feeling numbness, occasionally suffering from lump in a throat, feeling the sensations of choking are most commonly observed symptoms associated with these attacks. If you are a sufferer you may experience nausea, dizziness, feeling unreal or dreamy, abdominal discomfort etc.
It is also characterized by chills or hot flushes, blushing, feeling of skin losing its color and becoming paler, skin blotches etc. Here, one thing has to be understood that all these symptoms are just feelings or sensations and no real threat is posed as in case of other diseases. It is also featured by a solid urge to leave the specific space where this attack has occurred. Again, all these symptoms are occurring because of the disturbed mental state of a person.
Anxiety attacks have been linked to the increased level of secretion of a particular enzyme known as acetylcholinesterase in the blood. Recent studies have also shown that adreno-cortisols help in catalyzing and initiating these panic attacks. They are caused by number of biological and chemical changes that occur during the time of stress and anxiety.
Again, as stress plays a significant role in emergence of this panic attacks, tension becomes the main cause. For example, most anxious people often complain about the muscle pain and general fatigue. In this case due to mental stress, muscle gets tensed. Muscle tension can cause a panic feeling, a sensation of stiffing in few particular muscles. If there is a muscle tension in the chest, neck or in shoulders then there is a feeling of awkwardness and the sufferer may feel chest pain or neck stiffing. Pain in such muscular tissues can cause the blood vessels or neuron fibers contracted and restricted. Due to this sudden contraction some patients feel a typical numbness.
People suffering from some form of phobia have greater probability to suffer from these attacks whenever they are in a vicinity of their trigger of a reason of phobia. Often these attacks though very painful, are short lived and get erased once the trigger moves out of their vicinity. Hyperventilation is also a major cause of these panic attacks.
Sometimes side effects of certain medications such as Ritalin result in triggering these attacks. This will last for a brief period, only at the time the person is on medication.
Although this is not a disease and is a kind of disorder triggered mostly by sudden stress, few drugs are of immense help at the onset of the attack. Such drugs are diazepam, alprazolam or lorazepam. In some cases, physicians seek help of antidepressants such as sertraline, paroxetine etc. as they are effective in reduction of anxiety. The person suffering from insomnia can find their relief in mirtazapine.
As this is a stress related disorder psychotherapists and counselors may prove to be of great help. A psychotherapist can identify the cause of anxiety and can offer relaxing techniques to decrease it gradually. Deep and slow breathing is one of the best means of relaxation.
The symptoms of anxiety attacks are never life-threatening, but the depression they cause can lead to disturbances in our daily life. It is always advisable to consult a psychotherapist for stress management aided with proper medication.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.