Let's start by clarifying a misconception.
Strictly speaking the word 'symptom' is used when describing the effects caused by a physical illness. Now anxiety and panic are not physical illnesses – they are behavioral responses to a thought or thoughts inspired by an outside stimulus. Therefore the resulting sensations from feelings of anxiety and panic are not strictly speaking symptoms.
They are just that – sensations.
Anxiety and Panic are normal feelings
Feelings of fear are perfectly natural and are created by built-in body reactions designed to switch on when encountering situations that may require a quick decision or action to be made.
It is this awareness of fear that triggers the 'fight or flight' mechanism that man has needed in order to survive. When activated, this mechanism heightens the senses needed to make quick decisions and take appropriate action and causes the heart to pump harder.
So we see that fear and anxiety reactions are an important and necessary part of life. Everyone, to a greater or less extensive, experiences moments of anxiety when, for instance, faced with a big, important exam or a major speaking occasion. Or, maybe, feelings of vulnerability or threat when walking through an unlit back street.
This response although is only normally triggered when there is the actual or perceived presence of real threat. Anxiety and panic response triggers experienced at times when no potential threat is apparent is described as 'Inappropriate Anxiety' – all the sensations of fear but without the presence of actual fear.
The heart starts to race and the mind begins to create all sorts of totally irrational 'what if' scenarios which then compound themselves creating even more irrational thoughts and build up to a panic attack with all the attendant, very unpleasant, sensations. All this based on a false fear.
This though is not to belittle the often-frightening sensations felt when experiencing a panic attack.
Typical panic attack symptoms
These very often include:
· Pounding, rapid heart beat,
· Chest pains,
· Heavy perspiration,
· Visible shaking
· Hot flushes
· Shortage of breath
· Muscle pain.
… and there are so many more.
In fact, sufferers can often feel as though they are experiencing all the symptoms of a heart attack and in extreme cases have found themselves reporting to the local hospital.
Do be reassured though that nobody has ever come to physical harm as the result of experiencing a panic attack.
Although horrid and frightening, the sensations experienced are totally harmless.
The important thing to understand is that anappropriate anxiety or panic attack is the result of a disorder caused by an imbalance in the body's natural warning mechanism. Realize that you are not alone.
Approximately 2.4 million (1.7%) of American adults in the 18-54 age group experience Panic Attack disorders. Good news. The good news is that you do not have to suffer this way. If you are concerned about your attacks then a visit to your doctor would be advisable. But do realize that you can control and overcome these attacks yourself.
To find out how you can effectively overcome these unnecessary panic attacks, visit http://panicattacksallgone.com