Lee enters the emergency room. His blood pressure is high; he’s shaking and his heart is beating so fast that he feels like he is going to die. The ER nurses and doctors get to work on him right away. He is given some medication and after a couple of hours in the ER is released and told, “You were only having a panic attack”.
Why do they dismiss the panic attack as if your problem is all in your head?
This is NOT a condition to dismiss, since there are so many overlapping symptoms. A panic attack feels very much like you are going to die.
It is unprovoked and unpredictable. It is the abrupt onset of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes and includes at least four of the following symptoms: Palpitations, pounding heart, accelerated heart rate, sweating, trembling or shaking. Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering.
Panic attacks are extremely unpleasant and can be very frightening. As a result, people who experience repeated panic attacks often become very worried about having another attack and may make changes to their lifestyle so as to avoid having panic attacks.
People suffering from panic attacks don't know they have a real and highly treatable disorder. Specialists agree that a combination of cognitive and behavioral therapies are the best treatment for panic disorder. Medication might also be appropriate in some cases.
It is our hope that through increased education, people will feel more empowered to discuss their symptoms with a healthcare professional and seek appropriate treatment.
EASE has counselors if you want to talk 800/882-1341.