Panic Attack (Anxiety Attack) Symptoms; 10 Most Common Symptoms

10. Fear of going crazy

Panic attacks are truly terrifying, even if you know it’s not going to hurt you by itself. You feel the symptoms escalating and becoming worse every single minute, and you become unable to control your fear of dying or going crazy. Patients feel they may lose control of themselves in that moment and do something crazy. Not controlling these thoughts might contribute to the severity and duration of the panic attacks. Therefore, one of the techniques used by these patients to improve their symptoms is breathing techniques and trying to clear their thoughts through mindful meditation.

 

  • Panic attacks are often associated with other psychiatric disorders, but in making the diagnosis, we should take into consideration that the symptoms themselves should not be attributed to any other psychiatric condition. Therefore, it’s only in the hands of a skilled physician specialized in psychiatry to diagnose and treat these patients. There are other medical conditions associated with panic attacks especially irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue chronic obstructive pulmonary disease migraine and other types of headache. Pharmacologic therapy is able to control symptoms and 80% of cases or more, but the outcomes of the therapy are variable in each patient.
  • In most cases, patients with a brief duration of their episodes would have a better prognosis, but there are still around 20% of patients who would not be able to control their symptoms and still have recurrent episodes. If you’re suffering from panic attacks, it is advisable to search for your triggers. It could be an accident or surgery, personal conflicts, emotional distress, using certain substances such as cocaine amphetamine caffeine and cannabis. However, even if you find your initial trigger, it is a good idea to ask your doctor and follow his instructions carefully. In most cases of remission, medication is the one improving the quality of life of these patients. Thus, do not neglect professional advice and be quick to find a solution to your problems.

References

Fleet, R. P., Dupuis, G., Marchand, A., Burelle, D., Arsenault, A., & Beitman, B. D. (1996). Panic disorder in emergency department chest pain patients: prevalence, comorbidity, suicidal ideation, and physician recognition. The American journal of medicine, 101(4), 371-380.

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. Am Psychiatric Assoc.

Fleet, R. P., Martel, J. P., Lavoie, K. L., Dupuis, G., & Beitman, B. D. (2000). Non-fearful panic disorder: a variant of panic in medical patients?. Psychosomatics, 41(4), 311-320.

Roy-Byrne, P. P., Craske, M. G., & Stein, M. B. (2006). Panic disorder. The Lancet, 368(9540), 1023-1032.

Chen, Y. H., Hu, C. J., Lee, H. C., & Lin, H. C. (2010). An increased risk of stroke among panic disorder patients: a 3-year follow-up study. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 55(1), 43-49.