Dealing with Anticipatory Attacks


Having panic anxiety disorder leaves you predisposed to panic attacks that you do not know when or where the next anxiety attack will strike.

As if this was not bad enough, people with panic anxiety disorder may also experience changes in their behavior and sink into depression. These changes can last a month or more depending on the sufferer.

Studies have shown that depression and other behavioral changes are mostly driven by the fear of having another anxiety attack.

By anticipating a panic attack to hit, the person suffering from panic anxiety disorder would unwittingly be working himself to have anticipatory attacks.

Anticipatory attacks occur when the sufferer worries so much about having another panic attack that he gets so stressed that he triggers a real attack.

A cycle would then be established with the person afflicted with panic anxiety disorder firmly trapped in it.

A step towards breaking this cycle is to identify the real attack from the anticipatory one.

To do this, one has to understand the symptoms of a panic attack. A panic attack usually manifests itself through shortness of breath, chest pains, numbness and tingling sensations, among others.

Unfortunately for the panic anxiety disorder sufferer, these very manifestations are the same with those of a more serious medical condition, like a heart attack.

Since nobody wants to die, the thought of having a heart attack and dying very soon after would be very terrifying. No one can be blamed if they panicked when experiencing these symptoms.

Thus, the person with panic anxiety disorder, when having a panic attack, mistakes it for a heart attack. This serves to aggravate the panic attack, making it more intense and lasting longer.

The fear of dying may also be so strong that spending hours and hours worrying and stressing about having another attack leads to an anticipatory attack. This cycle can go on and on that the sufferer may become depressed.

There must be intervention in order for panic anxiety disorder sufferers to get relief from, and hopefully overcome panic attacks.

However, sufferers can help themselves, too. By simply understanding the role stress and fear play in producing panic attacks, they can control the occurrence of anticipatory attacks and drastically lower the frequency of real attacks.

Panic anxiety disorder sufferers need not feel confused and helpless. Understanding the real cause of panic attacks by reading everything they can about the topic, like self-help books and informative articles can go a long way in helping them overcome their disorder for good.



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