Panic Disorder is a condition that about 1 out of every 75 people might have. It usually rears it’s ugly head between the ages of 13- early adulthood, although the causes are still unclear. There have been some connections made between panic disorder and major life stressors or changes in one’s life. Graduating high school, or even starting high school is a major life stressor on an adolescent that many parents may overlook and chalk up to “just being a teenager who is being dramatic”.
The Mental Health Community have found relational evidence that some other major life stages can cause panic disorder. There is also some evidence that there may be a genetic predisposition; if any family member has suffered from any Anxiety Disorders, you have an increased risk of suffering from it yourself, especially during a stressful life event. Some other major changing life events are the following; moving, getting married, graduating from college, getting a first job, buying a home, having your first child, the list is extensive.
A panic attack is defined as a sudden surge of overwhelming fear that comes on without warning and without a reason. It is much more intense than just a feeling of being highly stressed out. Some symptoms can include;
- racing heartbeat
- difficulty breathing or feeling like you are suffocating
- terror that is almost paralyzing
- dizziness, lightheadedness, or nausea
- trembling, shaking, or sweating
- hot flashes or chills
- chest pain or burning in the chest area
- tingling in fingers or toes
- fear you are going crazy or about to die
A panic attack is actually a flight or fight response that our bodies have had since the beginning of time. It is what happens to humans when we are in actual or feel like we are actually in danger or a dangerous situation. However, during a panic attack, these feelings seem to come out of nowhere when you least expect it.
Only a licensed Therapist or Doctor can diagnose Panic Disorder. Some people often visit up to 10 Doctors before it is even diagnosed because the symptoms can mimic physical illnesses. We have been treating Anxiety and Panic Attacks for close to 15 years and use many different strategies. If necessary we can work with your Doctor to assist with medication management along with coaching.