Panic Disorder With Agoraphobia
Agoraphobia was traditionally thought to involve a fear of public places and open spaces. However, it is now believed that agoraphobia develops as a complication of panic attacks and panic disorder. Although it can develop at any point, agoraphobia usually appears within a year of your first recurrent panic attacks.
If youre agoraphobic, youre afraid of having a panic attack in a situation where escape would be difficult or embarrassing. You may also be afraid of having a panic attack where you wouldnt be able to get help. Because of these fears, you start avoiding more and more situations.
For example, you may begin to avoid:
- Crowded places such as shopping malls or sports arenas.
- Cars, airplanes, subways, and other forms of travel.
- Social gatherings, restaurants, or other situations where it would be embarrassing to have a panic attack.
- Physical exercise in case it triggers panic.
- Certain food or drinks that could provoke panic, such as alcohol, caffeine, sugar, or specific medications.
- Going anywhere without the company of someone who makes you feel safe. In more severe cases, you might only feel safe at home.
Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorders:
Anyone may experience these symptoms during stressful times. However, individuals with anxiety disorders may experience them in absence of stress, with more severe symptoms and/or with several symptoms appearing together.
- Inability to relax
- Rapid pulse or pounding, skipping, racing heart
- Nausea, chest pain or pressure
- Feeling a “lump in the throat”
- Feelings of dread, apprehension or losing control
- Trembling or shaking, sweating or chills
- Fainting or dizziness, feelings of detachment
- Thoughts of death
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Anxiety
A parent or teacher may see signs that a child or teen is anxious. For example, a kid might cling, miss school, or cry. They might act scared or upset, or refuse to talk or do things. Kids and teens with anxiety also feel symptoms that others can’t see. It can make them feel afraid, worried, or nervous.
It can affect their body too. They might feel shaky, jittery, or short of breath. They may feel “butterflies” in their stomach, a hot face, clammy hands, dry mouth, or a racing heart.
These symptoms of anxiety are the result of the “fight or flight” response. This is the body’s normal response to danger. It triggers the release of natural chemicals in the body. These chemicals prepare us to deal with a real danger. They affect heart rate, breathing, muscles, nerves, and digestion. This response is meant to protect us from danger. But with anxiety disorders, the “fight or flight” response is overactive. It happens even when there is no real danger.
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Can Panic Attacks Make You Scream
The intensity of a panic attack can vary, but often its very traumatic. I remember being curled up in a fetal position, screaming and crying, unable to speak, muscles spasming because I was so tense, hyperventilating and terrified.It didnt always get that bad, but such occurrences werent rare either. It felt terrifying because I didnt know what was going to happen next and I couldnt control what was happening.
How To Calm Anxiety Or Panic Attacks
There are a number of ways you can face anxiety or panic attacks. There are many holistic things you can do to help calm yourself down, like simple lifestyle changes, for example. Experts have many other coping techniques they can share with you too.
Cynthia Catchings, LCSW-S, LCSW-C, CMHIMP, EMDR, has some great ideas.
You can calm anxiety or panic attacks by learning to recognize the symptoms and practicing the following:
- Acknowledging that youre experiencing an episode and reminding yourself that it will not last forever
- Practicing deep breathing, including the 4-7-8 breathing exercise
- Doing a quick body scan, asking yourself where the anxiety is felt, and releasing it by shaking that body part
- Talking to your anxiety and permitting it to stay for a bit, but reminding it that it has to leave
- Practicing, meditation, mindfulness, or Tai Chi
- Practicing Creative Visualization, where you imagine yourself in a calm and happy place like the beach or a mountain for a minute or 2, and then continue with your daily activities
Keep in mind that there is hope a professional can treat both issues. Remind yourself about this when you want to feel calm.
An anxiety or panic attack may also be treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy and/or anti-anxiety medication. A panic attack can also be treated with CBT or with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and other antidepressants.
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Treatment Methods For Anxiety Shaking
To treat anxiety and reduce shaking, you need to get at the heart of the problem. There is more than one type of anxiety, so there are multiple treatment options available. Let’s explore the most common treatment methods.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT is a form of talking therapy that helps you to manage your anxiety symptoms by changing your anxious thoughts.
Together, with a therapist, you will work through your anxiety, building a better understanding of your physical symptoms, and identifying how your anxious thoughts play a role in this.
Your doctor can prescribe various medications to help you manage your anxiety.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors are one of the most common – these prevent your body from absorbing the feel-good hormone serotonin, making it more readily available to you, allowing you to reap its full benefits. You can find out more about SSRIs and anxiety.
Systematic Desensitization and Exposure Therapy
This method involves reducing your stress to your anxiety triggers by exposing you to stressful situations. While you can perform these on your own, it’s recommended that you access this through therapy.
Treatment In The Moment
If youre experiencing a panic attack, these steps may help ease symptoms:
- Help yourself relax. Instead of thinking about the rushing feelings youre having, concentrate on your breath. Focus on taking slow, deep breaths. Feel the tension in your jaw and shoulders, and tell your muscles to release.
- Distract yourself. If the symptoms of the panic attack feel overwhelming, you can try to distance yourself from the physical sensations by giving yourself another task. Count backward from 100 by intervals of three. Talk to a friend about a happy memory or funny story. Focusing your thoughts away from the sensations in your body helps them ease their grip.
- Chill out. Keep ice packets ready to go in your freezer. Apply them to your back or neck. Sip a glass of chilled water slowly. Feel the cooling sensation as it overtakes your body.
- Go for a walk. A bit of light exercise might help your body soothe itself. Ask a friend to walk with you if you can. The additional distraction will be welcome relief.
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Anxiety Tremors And Shaky Hands
Millions of Americans suffer from anxiety, which can cause nervousness, difficulty concentrating, shaking, and muscle tension. Anxiety can cause shakiness on its own and it can also make an existing tremor more pronounced.
Its important to note that if you have an existing movement disorder like essential tremor, or ET, feelings of anxiety can exacerbate symptoms but anxiety isnt the root cause of ET. Furthermore, some patients with ET might experience increased anxiety in situations where their tremor is more apparent, for example, eating in a social setting or holding a paper while giving a presentation.
Understanding how anxiety can influence essential tremor and avoiding anxiety-triggering situations can help you better manage your ET symptoms. Keep reading to learn more about how tremors and anxiety interact and how to manage feelings of unease in healthy ways.
Keep Lavender On Hand
Lavender is known for being soothing and stress-relieving. It can help your body relax. If you know youre prone to panic attacks, keep some on hand and put some on your forearms when you experience a panic attack. Breathe in the scent.
You can also try drinking lavender or . Both are relaxing and soothing.
Lavender should not be combined with benzodiazepines. This combination can cause intense drowsiness.
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Strategies To Reduce Anxiety
If you find yourself shaking often, you need to get help. There are many avenues that you can choose to control your anxiety.
- Lifestyle modification Eating healthier, exercising, spending time with more positive people, and finding more time to yourself to relax is very important for controlling anxiety. Even if you decide to go with other treatments, a complete lifestyle change can make dealing with anxiety easier.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy CBT is the most effective therapy currently available for controlling anxiety disorders. It deals specifically with how to recover from some of the faulty thought processes that lead to anxiety and is a great tool for controlling daily.
- Medications Ideally you should avoid medications since they don’t treat anxiety directly. But they are useful for short term control if therapy and lifestyle changes aren’t enough. There are also natural medicines like kava that may be beneficial.
Shaking is a symptom of anxiety and nervousness that is supposed to signal danger, and also be the result of adrenaline preparing your muscles to fight or flee. It is difficult to stop shaking at the moment, but there are anxiety reduction techniques that can ease the mind and body so shaking is less disruptive.
The best way to find an effective treatment, however, is to base it off of your anxiety symptoms. Your symptoms are what define your anxiety, and ultimately give you the tools you need to stop it.
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Stress Anxiety And Then Panic: Neals Story
As Sideman says, his attack occurred in the early 1990s, and few people seriously considered the possibility of a panic attack in a 39-year-old man. So he went home thinking all would be fine, only to have another, more severe attack one week later.
Now, looking back, the situation seems clearer.
I was under a lot of stress starting a new business, working 16-hour days, a close friend was ill and dying, and on top of all that, I was doing a super heavy workout regimen at the gym with a trainer, Sideman says. So it was a lot of physical stress, emotional stress, and a lot of financial stresses. He says he also can see roots of anxiety in his childhood and teen years as well as in other family members.
In the moment, he didnt know what to think because it can be tough to know what a panic attack is like until you have one. His second panic attack was really a full-blown panic attack, where I thought I was going to die, Sideman says. I thought I was going to pass out, not wake up, go crazy, have a heart attack.
He recalled being terrified, and the response he chose was one that can actually make panic disorder worse: He started to avoid the situations where he had attacks.
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What To Expect If You Wake Up With Panic Attacks
If you wake up with a panic attack, its natural to feel very disoriented. The symptoms may seem overwhelming.
You may have difficulty knowing if youre dreaming or not. You may even think youre having a heart attack. Symptoms like chest pain arent uncommon.
Most panic attacks last no more than 10 minutes and symptoms will wane throughout that phase. If you wake up with a panic attack, you may be nearing the peak of the symptoms. Symptoms could ease from that point.
What Helps To Manage Panic Attacks
Panic attacks can be frightening, but there are things you can do to help yourself cope. It could help to print off these tips, or write them down, and keep them somewhere easy to find.
During a panic attack:
- Focus on your breathing. It can help to concentrate on breathing slowly in and out while counting to five.
- Stamp on the spot. Some people find this helps control their breathing.
- Focus on your senses. For example, taste mint-flavoured sweets or gum, or touch or cuddle something soft.
- Try grounding techniques. Grounding techniques can help you feel more in control. They’re especially useful if you experience dissociation during panic attacks. See our page on self-care for dissociation for more information on grounding techniques.
After a panic attack:
- Think about self-care. It’s important to pay attention to what your body needs after you’ve had a panic attack. For example, you might need to rest somewhere quietly, or eat or drink something.
- Tell someone you trust. If you feel able to, it could help to let someone know you’ve had a panic attack. It could be particularly helpful to mention how they might notice if you’re having another one, and how you’d like them to help you.
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How To Stop Trembling And Shaking Anxiety Feelings Symptoms
When these trembling and shaking anxiety feelings are caused by behaving apprehensively, such as worrying, containing your worry and calming yourself down will bring an end to the active stress response and its changes. As your body recovers from the active stress response, these trembling and shaking feelings should subside as your body calms down. Keep in mind that it can take up to 20 minutes or more for the body to calm down from a major stress response. But this is normal and shouldnt be a cause for concern.
When these trembling and shaking anxiety feelings are caused by hyperstimulation , it can take a lot longer for the body to recover and to the point where this trembling and shaking anxiety symptom feeling subsides.
Nevertheless, when the body has recovered from hyperstimulation, these trembling shaking anxiety feelings will subside. Therefore, these trembling shaking feelings neednt be a cause for concern.
You can speed up the recovery process by reducing your stress, practicing relaxed breathing, increasing your rest and relaxation, and not worrying about this feeling.
Sure, these feelings can be unsettling and even annoying. But again, when your body has recovered from the stress response or sustained stress, this symptom will completely disappear.
What Do Panic Attacks Feel Like
During a panic attack, physical symptoms can build up very quickly. These can include:
- a pounding or racing heartbeat
- feeling faint, dizzy or light-headed
- feeling very hot or very cold
- sweating, trembling or shaking
- pain in your chest or abdomen
- struggling to breathe or feeling like youre choking
- feeling like your legs are shaky or are turning to jelly
- feeling disconnected from your mind, body or surroundings, which are types of dissociation.
During a panic attack you might feel very afraid that youre:
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What Medication Can Stop Panic Attacks
Panic attacks are episodes of intense fear or anxiety that occur suddenly, without warning, and can be incredibly debilitating. They are often accompanied by physical symptoms, including a racing heart, a sense of impending doom, and a feeling of shortness of breath. Most people experience one or two panic attacks in their lifetime, but for some people, panic attacks can be a daily reality.
There is currently no cure for panic attacks, but there are a number of medications that can help to manage them. Some of the most common medications used to treat panic disorder include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , extended-release venlafaxine capsules, and benzodiazepines.
SSRIs are the most common type of medication used to treat panic attacks. They work by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain, which can help to reduce the intensity and frequency of panic attacks. SSRIs are also known to be safe and well-tolerated, which is why they are often the first choice for treatment.
Venlafaxine is another commonly used medication to treat panic attacks. It is a long-acting benzodiazepine, which means that it works by calming the brain and reducing the intensity and frequency of panic attacks. Venlafaxine is also well-tolerated, which makes it a good choice for people who are reluctant to take other medications.
Anxiety Can Cause Mild To Severe Depression
Anxiety, as a distinct disorder, can affect your social life, your work life, and your ability to find joy in activities. It also puts a great deal of stress on your mind and body.
Anxiety may reduce your involvement in activities that would usually give you pleasure and fulfillment. If this continues over time, it can lead to depression. In fact, depression is often a comorbid diagnosis with anxiety. In many cases, anxiety comes first and contributes to the development of depression.
Anxiety may not necessarily cause long-lasting depression, but the stress on your brain and the feelings of constant fear and fatigue can often lead to a temporary low mood and, thus, crying.
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Feeling Dizzy Or Tingling In Your Limbs
According to Prevention, “When you start having a panic attack, there is less blood in your extremities. In turn, some people feel weaker in their arms, legs, hands, and feet.” This decrease in blood flow can also make your feet and hands tingle, or feel a bit numb, as if you stayed put in one position too long.
Why Do Panic Attacks Feel Like Youre Dying
Panic attacks are a strong dose of fear and this causes both the body and brain to react intensely.The symptoms of a panic attack can be very intense and feel like youre about to die or lose your mind. The fear is so intense that it feels like your body is shutting down. The intense feeling of fear and panic can make it very difficult to breathe and think clearly.
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