Anxiety is an equal opportunity disorder that is notorious for making its first appearance without any obvious cause or warning. For those who suffer with anxiety disorder, the stories of the first experience, are almost identical. People have reported feeling a little off for hours before the first episode. In some cases that feeling can go on for a few days leading up to the attack. Other symptoms often include lightheadedness, cold sweats, shaking, confusion, the feeling that something bad is about to happen, being very emotional, shortness of breath, and even chest pains.
Almost every emergency room in any major hospital will confirm that they see patients, on a daily basis, who come in presenting with symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, only to find out that it was anxiety. The initial symptoms progress to a point that mimic a serious cardiovascular condition so often, that even paramedics are starting to suspect anxiety when they first respond to a call of possible heart attack, especially when the patient is conscious. It is also possible for the symptoms to become so intense that blood pressure will become extremely elevated.
Anxiety disorder comes in a variety of types, and is also referred to as anxiety attacks. Almost a quarter of the U.S. population is afflicted with this disorder. Navigating through life can be very difficult for the millions of adults who have been diagnosed with this, sometimes, crippling disorder.
It can take some detective work to determine the type of anxiety disorder an individual will be diagnosed with. For people who suffer with anxiety and have gone through an especially traumatic experience, their anxiety is labeled as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Childhood sexual abuse and rape are events that are known to be a trigger, even decades after the event took place. Panic Disorder is a very general type of anxiety disorder and is associated closely with major depression. The most common type of anxiety disorder is Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and it usually is associated with other mental disorders, undiagnosed or not.
The management of anxiety disorder depends on finding the cause, and the severity of the symptoms. Many times medication will be used to initially get the attacks under control until the person can recognize the triggers and learn ways to combat the attack before it becomes out of control. It is very helpful for somebody going through this to get a clear understanding of what is happening to them so they can eliminate the fear that so often times goes hand in hand with these attacks.
Once the person under the attack of panic learns ways to relax themselves and reduce their stress, they can usually come off medication and live a long productive life. It just takes work and dedication. The human mind is a very resilient organ that at times finds it necessary to give us a wake up call to get our attention.