Panic attacks causes and treatment

A panic attack is a sudden, most often, an unreasonable attack of fear, which is difficult to control. Is the most common mental disorder.

  • Some statistics
  • Symptoms of Panic Attacks
  • Symptoms of a panic attack at night
  • Causes
  • Treatment
  • First aid in panic attack
Related articles:
  • Panic attack - what to do in case of a sudden attack of anxiety
  • We treat panic attacks quickly at home
  • What are the signs of a panic attack?
  • Can I get rid of panic attacks?
  • How to deal with panic attacks yourself

Some statistics

Most of all, socially active individuals, aged from 20 to 40, are subject to panic attacks. As you know, women face this problem 2 times more often than men. According to various sources, 4-9% of the world's population suffers from panic attacks. More than half of them show a depressive disorder.

Symptoms of Panic Attacks

It often happens that during a panic attack, the patient does not understand what is happening to him and writes it off for a heart attack or anything else. Let's determine the main manifestations of panic attacks in adults and adolescents:

  • cardiopalmus;
  • sweating of the hands and feet;
  • feeling of shortness of breath or lack of oxygen;
  • trembling inside;
  • nausea;
  • dizziness or pre-syncope;
  • numbness and / or tingling of the limbs;
  • very strong fear.

Sometimes it happens that a person first experiences "physical" manifestations of panic and only then a sense of fear is added to them. That is, the patient understands that something is happening to him, but he can not understand what exactly is starting to feel fear for his health, aggravating the situation. With the development of the disease, fear of a panic attack can be added, which can lead to the development of phobias:

  • fear of being in a crowded place;
  • fear of movement in transport;
  • fear of going out;
  • fear of walking and traveling, etc.

With vegetovascular dystonia, seizures may appear slightly differently. Symptoms of a panic attack when:

  • feeling of "unreality" of what is happening;
  • difficulty breathing;
  • sensations of a coma in the throat;
  • very strong fear of death or madness.

Very rarely, panic attacks occur in children before puberty. In general, the signs of illness in children are the same as in adults. However, children do not "anticipate" events and they do not have fear of an attack. Instead, they try to avoid situations that, in their opinion, can provoke a panic attack.

In different people, seizures can occur with varying intensity: someone once every few months, and someone else every day. Often the disease is chronic.

Symptoms of a panic attack at night

More than 50% of patients experience attacks at night. Night, darkness, silence can cause a person even greater fear than if the attack occurred in the afternoon.

Night attacks can manifest in two forms. At the first, the events of the past day gradually increase the level of anxiety in a person, it becomes difficult for him to fall asleep. Such feelings provoke a typical panic attack. The duration and intensity of attack for each person is individual. Someone can calm down after a few minutes, and someone only with the onset of the morning or the arrival of relatives.

Another form of a night attack - a person suddenly wakes up in a state of intense anxiety or fear. Some patients may have a feeling that they need to escape somewhere or save someone.


To date, the causes of the emergence of panic attacks are not fully established. However, it can be said with accuracy that this phenomenon affects both the psyche and human physiology.

Risk factors:

  • violation of the heart;
  • diseases of the endocrine system;
  • addiction;
  • alcoholism;
  • taking certain medications and / or stimulants;
  • an intense rhythm of life;
  • heredity;
  • vegetative vascular dystonia (vsd);
  • psychological disorders.

Often panic attacks develop against the background of the. Usually this happens after a change in lifestyle (not necessarily the worst) or experiencing a stressful situation.


How to treat panic attacks? As noted earlier, seizures arise due to the violation of both physiological and mental processes. Therefore, the treatment should be comprehensive: medical and psychotherapeutic (i.e. e. work with a psychologist or psychotherapist).

As preparations can be appointed:

  1. Tranquilizers. Are taken to alleviate the symptoms (fear, anxiety) to reduce the overall likelihood of an attack. Assign alprozalam or clonazepam.
  2. Antidepressants. Based on the results of many studies, antidepressants are highly effective in the treatment of panic attacks. Most often prescribed anaphranil.
  3. Preparations that improve blood circulation.
  4. Vitamins group B.

First aid in panic attack

What if the attack started suddenly:

  1. Try to restore breathing. Hyperventilation of the lungs causes even more anxiety, try to breathe evenly.
  2. Switch. Try to focus on what you were doing before the panic. Always remember that in reality there is nothing terrible happening to you, panic is just a sensation of the organism, and you can always cope with them.
  3. Self-expression. Think about that a couple more minutes and the attack will end.

If a panic attack began in someone of your loved ones, do not be afraid. Take the man by the hand and in a calm, confident voice tell him that everything is good, that the attack will now pass.

People who face seizures are advised to always carry with them calming agents (corvalol, gidaseam, glycine, etc.).