Panic is one of the most incapacitating psychological disorders of modern life. Although panic may be a key to recovery for many of us, it may trap us into a great fear leading us to a condition called panic disorder, social anxiety, post-traumatic stress or even to some psychological disorders. Anything like this breaks our psyche. These panic attacks may even make some people bleed and some trapped into heart attacks. It is the internalization of acute fear that causes this harm!
Panic a ‘sudden jolt in the brain’
Sudden onset of fear of death or disease and thoughts of disability or defeat races our heart and causes a powerful ‘jolt’ in our brain. Consequently, we are pushed into a negative phase and the result is ‘panic’. It dominates the sufferer’s thoughts, saps motivation, sidelines the purpose of life and derails his social life. Panic attacks can last from a few minutes to hours. The attack may be single or frequent.
Most of the panic attacks are harmless
Panic is actually the key of recovery to alert our attention. Rarely they peak in intensity very rapidly and go away with or without medical help. But when they are harmful, we have to pay heed to the warning signals and take treatment.
Symptoms of panic
Shortness of breath or hyperventilation, racing heart palpitations, pain or discomfort in the chest, trembling or shaking, choking feeling, sweating profusely, nausea or upset stomach, feeling dizzy, cramping, and numbness sensations are some of the symptoms of panic.
Ten causes of panic
1) Genetic factor
The reasons that cause panic are not defined exactly. But there are increased chances of having panic attacks if there are close members of the family who had it. Their genes may be a factor that causes panic.
2) Natural response
Panic is the natural response of the body to fight the imminent danger. Many researchers believe that it prepares the body to tackle the situation. For example, if you happen to see a snake in front of you, your body would react instinctively. Your heart rate and breathing will speed up to alert your body of a life-threatening situation. Thus, panic works as an alarming system.
3) Major life transition
Though the exact causes are unclear, major life transitions seem to cause panic. Getting married, graduating from college, etc., are some of the examples for this transition panic.
4) Twins have more risks
Studies show that twins have genetic inheritance of this disorder. If one of the twins is attacked with panic, it affects the other one also.
5) Biological malfunction
Panic can also occur due to some biological malfunction, although specific biological marker has not yet been identified. Phobias associate with these biological malfunctions.
6) Women have more panic
For unknown reasons, it has been found that women are twice as likely to get the panic disorder as men. Their physical weakness may be one of the reasons for becoming prey to panic attack.
7) Panic varies in ethnic groups
The level of panic attack varies in ethnic groups. For example, one out of 14 Americans experience at least one panic attack in lifetime. Some groups of people have stronger power to tackle panic.
8) Stress triggers panic
Stressful life situations trigger panic. This can be seen in many occasions in our life. Many people run to toilets when they hear some unfavorable news. A severe panic attack shoots up blood pressure and develops loose motion!
9) Loss or separation is associated with it
Recent loss or separation is often associated with panic. When someone dies or is separated, it affects the mind set of a person and causes panic. Even little problems after a loss or separation may upset people and cause series of panic attacks.
10) Idle minds develop panic easily
When you have nothing to do, you think about past happenings and develop unnecessary imaginations that cause panic over minor problems. This may lead to anticipatory anxiety and imaginary panic. This may be called as ‘fear of fear’.