Can Anxiety Kill You?
It’s not just you! People all over the world are dying from anxiety attacks.
But what causes them? What do they feel like? How long does it last? And most importantly, how can you avoid one if it happens to you or someone else around you?
Anxiety is a common condition that affects millions of people every year. It is the fear of something that may happen in the future, such as being afraid of losing a job, getting fired, having a fight with your spouse or even death.
People have been suffering from anxiety disorders since ancient times. Ancient Egyptians were known to suffer from panic attacks which caused them to lose their jobs and homes when they thought about Pharaoh’s tomb.
In modern times, many people have suffered from the same problems. Many people believe that anxiety disorders are hereditary and there is no cure. However, research shows that these fears are usually due to a combination of genetic factors and environmental influences.
The good news is that there are treatments available to treat anxiety disorders including medications, psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD is the most common anxiety disorder which usually starts during childhood and can continue into adulthood. People who suffer from this have excessive and persistent worry about multiple things. The causes of this may be genetics, brain abnormalities, chemical imbalances or even stimulants like caffeine, nicotine and alcohol.
It can also be caused by other mental disorders, medical conditions, sleep deprivation or withdrawal from drugs and medications.
People with GAD are constantly worried about the future, have difficulty concentrating, feel tension, fatigue, irritability and muscle weakness. People with GAD often have problems falling and staying asleep, thus causing excessive tiredness during the day.
Anxiety Attacks or Panic Attacks are sudden feelings of fear which are so severe that they cause physical symptoms. These attacks usually occur unexpectedly and without provocation, peak within ten minutes and usually last for about half an hour.
During a panic attack, your heart beats faster, you begin to sweat, you feel dizzy and nauseous, you may lose your vision or hearing and you may also feel like you are suffocating or having a heart attack.
Panic attacks can be brought on by stressful situations such as public speaking, but there are other causes such as caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, withdrawal from drugs or medication and even stress. Some people have a genetic disposition to panic attacks in stressful situations.
In addition, people with phobias are more prone to panic attacks under stressful situations. Some people even have panic attacks when they are not stressed at all.
People usually associate panic attacks with anxiety, but it is not the same thing. People with GAD often have more minor attacks on a regular basis, but people with panic attacks usually only suffer from them once in a while.
However, it has been found that people with anxiety disorders are more prone to suffer from panic attacks. It is believed that the tendency to have more stress under stressful situations such as public speaking or driving can trigger a panic attack in already anxious people.
Panic attacks usually start during adolescence and continue into adulthood. However, children can also suffer from them.
People with panic attacks should seek medical help immediately as these people have a higher risk of attempting suicide than the general population and have a tendency to suffer from depression.
The symptoms of panic attacks include palpitations, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, choking sensation, chest pain, abdominal pain, nausea, numbness or tingling, dizziness, derealization, paresthesia, and fear of dying.
In addition to these symptoms, there are also physical differences between panic attacks and heart attacks.
When having a panic attack, people experience sudden onset of fear without any warning. Also, most of the symptoms of a panic attack are sensations rather than actual physical problems, and the fear associated with a panic attack is significantly greater than that of a heart attack.
Treatments for people suffering from GAD and panic attacks include psychotherapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), relaxation techniques, meditation, exercise and medication.
Anxiety disorders are very common, but they are treatable. If you suffer from any of the symptoms mentioned in this article, seek immediate help. You are not alone.
Anxiety is a common feeling people experience in their lives. However, for some people, it is not a fleeting experience but a persistent problem which can be managed with the proper support.
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