Your heart is pounding fast and you are feeling dizzy. It seems as though you have to sit
down in order for you not to fall. You are having trouble catching your breath. You are
experiencing a numbing feeling in your hands and feet.
There is a tightening pressure in your chest area. You think you may be on the verge of a
heart attack. You think something is really wrong with you; however, you are far from
Anxiety is a mental disorder in which a person fears just about anything and they think
every outcome will turn out for the worst. This fear is frightening because it is so intense
and they always fear that someone is after them.
If you have any type of disorder that is associated with anxiety, then your mind will
always be focused on being scared for no reason. You will always feel that there is no
solution to your unfounded fear and that there is no way out.
You feel paralyzed as though you can’t do anything. Basically, you are frozen with fear.
This disorder can attack at any time.
Anxiety disorder is more than just one action. Anxiety disorder has different subdisorders
that can fit under this. For instance, there are panic attacks, obsessive
compulsive disorder and others that are related to the anxiety disorder family.
There are many people all over that suffer from anxiety attacks. If you are not afflicted
with them, you may know someone who is. If it is you, you need to know how to help
yourself. If it’s someone else, you need to know how to help them. You will have to be
understanding and help them to get the treatment and support that they need to combat
Causes Of Anxiety
There is no one thing that causes this disorder and those that are related to it. You may
think that there are certain things that trigger it. Well, there could be and then again, it
may be something that just happens. It all depends on how it is perceived.
Those that the anxiety attacks or related disorders may have one attack. Then they may
go back to the scene where the initial one took place and have another one. They are
reminded of what happened before. They will feel bad and end up having another one
without thinking about it. It seems like a constant cycle of intense fear. Then they feel
that they will have more attacks.
Believe it or not, it’s all in the mind. If you constantly fear and expect to have an anxiety
attack or something related to it, then it will happen. The thing about this is people that
experience these attacks resent having to hear that it’s all in the mind. They feel that
people are brushing this off as something that you can get over.
The feeling of anxiety comes from your brain. According to studies that deal with this,
there are at least two areas of your brain that help to trigger the sense of fear and anxiety
in your mind. It causes your brain to have a defense mechanism and then you react.
However, there can be situations that you may think cause anxiety and related attacks.
Some people have so much stress nowadays. It can come from office politics,
overwhelming debt, family issues and other events that can bring this on.
There are also some drugs that can trigger an anxiety attack from side effects or
withdrawals. This would include alcohol, caffeine, cold medicine, decongestants,
nicotine, diet pills and numerous other medications that people take for various ailments
Not eating right can also be a contributor to anxiety. There are some situations, where
you may have to take a test or face a lot of people. If you’re not ready, you can get
nervous or jittery.
Who Suffers From Anxiety?
There is no certain group on this earth that is a target for anxiety and related attacks or
disorders. So, with that said, who do you think suffers from this? Well, it could be
anyone. It could be in your family, your friends, co-workers or anyone that you may
A lot of times, it could be those that you know and you would have never thought in a
million years that they would suffer from something like this.
Unfortunately, these attacks are usually kept secret and not disclosed. This is one of
those “sweep under the rug” embarrassment moments. This is not something that is
talked about out in the open. Some people will acknowledge dealing with this when they
are caught in the act and can’t fake it.
Believe it or not, there are people such as politicians and even Hollywood celebrities who
suffer from anxiety attacks and related conditions. However, they pay their publicists
and others to keep it out of the public eye.
They don’t want to be in the spotlight because they have to work on keeping up their
image. However, what they may not realize is that someone may be able to benefit from
Unfortunately, for people that have to deal with this, anxiety attacks affect and tend to
interfere with those who are trying to live a normal life. If you have excessive anxiety
attacks, it can be related to a psychiatric condition. When these attacks become serious
and they last a long time, they are considered to be out of the norm.
With the symptoms of an anxiety attack, the brain relays messages to other parts of a
person’s body. Certain parts of the body, such as the lungs and heart work overtime
while the anxiety attack is happening. The brain ends up releasing a lot of adrenaline.
Other Forms Of Anxiety Attacks/Disorders
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD, deals with people that are constant worriers and
are always tense. The thing about this is that there really isn’t a cause for this, nor is anyone or anything at fault to provoke it. They look for the worst and are always extremely
worried about work, family health and money. They even feel anxiety in the course of
their normal day.
If this pattern is consistent for at least six months, a person can be considered as suffering
from GAD. They feel that they cannot stop worrying even though the concern is not as
great as they make it out to be.
It’s difficult for them to relax, they are easily startled by people or noises and they have a
hard time focusing. Sometimes they cannot sleep at night or wake up in the morning on
their own. Here are some other symptoms that contribute to generalized anxiety disorder:
• Feeling tired
• Aching muscles
• Shortness of breath
• Frequent trips to the bathroom
• Shaking or trembling
• Hot flashes
If they don’t have a high anxiety level and still suffer from generalized anxiety disorder,
they can still be employed and be able to interact socially with others. However, if they
have GAD on a higher scale, they may have trouble doing and completing simple tasks
that others would take for granted.
Close to seven million American adults suffer from generalized anxiety disorders. There
are more women (about twice as many) than men that are dealing with this. Even with
that, the risk reaches its peak starting at childhood and going through the middle age
years. Studies have shown that there are some genes that contribute to people getting
There are other anxiety disorders that happen in conjunction with GAD, such as substance
abuse and depression. If treated properly, the person affected can overcome their
worries with whatever problems they are dealing with.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder, which is also known as social phobia, happens when a person is
extremely self-conscious and anxious. It happens everyday in different social situations.
They are extremely fearful of being watched.
They are also fearful of being judged by others. They try to be extremely careful and go
out of their way to not do things that could cause them embarrassment.
For a while, they are extremely fearful prior to a situation that they feel can become a
disaster. It can became so bad that they lose focus and can’t think straight. With social
anxiety disorder, they can allow this fear to cause them to lose focus.
It doesn’t matter whether it happens at school, work or at home. Having social anxiety
disorder can make it difficult for the person affected to cultivate relationships with others.
With social anxiety disorder, it may be somewhat difficult for people to get over their excessive fears and concerns. This is true even if they know that what they feel is not realistic.
Some will try to make amends.
Even then there is a feeling of anxiety and they don’t feel comfortable when they are
around other people. Then they are overly concerned of how others thought of them after
A person could be in a social setting (for example, at dinner with someone or more than
one person) and they will experience anxiety because they are fearful. They will sweat a
lot, blush, shake, or find it difficult to hold a conversation with other people at the table.
They always seem to feel that other people are watching them.
There are over 15 million adults in the United States alone that suffer from social anxiety
disorder or social phobia. For the most part, this condition begins as a child and can continue through adolescence.
There are some studies that say genetics plays a part in this. This condition is often coupled with depression or other anxiety disorders or attacks. It is not a good idea for those affected to treat themselves with medication. It could make the situation worse. This is better treated with professionals that are experienced in this field.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder People that deal with obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, constantly have thoughts that can make them upset. In order to get their anxiety under control, they use compulsions (rituals). However, the tables end up turning on them because the rituals take control over their mind.
For instance, there are some people that are obsessed with being clean. They are known
as “clean freaks”. Of course, it’s a good practice to want everything to stay clean, but
they can get to the point of being overly controlling about germs or dirty surfaces.
They have a compulsion to wash their hands continuously. They don’t want any germs
or dirt to touch their hands. When they go to the bathroom, they will take a paper towel
to open and close the door, just to keep from getting germs on their hands.
If people that have OCD don’t feel like they look their best, they will look in the mirror
several times until they feel they are presentable. They don’t want to feel as though they
look out of place among others.
These actions provide them with a temporary release of the anxiety that they have been
feeling. People with this disorder are always compelled to check things repeatedly, or
make sure that things are in the same place repeatedly.
Sometimes, they are obsessed with ideas of violence or harm to others. They also have
thoughts of crazy things that people would not normally think about. There are times
when they feel they have to hoard and keep things that they don’t need.
There are some that have rituals in their home. One of the more common ones is checking
the stove several times before they leave to make sure it is off. Having obsessivecompulsive disorder can turn into havoc and an unwelcome interruption when it happens on a daily basis.
When a person is engrained with obsessive-compulsive disorder, they know what they
are doing doesn’t make much sense, but they don’t look at their behavior as something
that is abnormal.
There are over two million adults in the United States that have obsessive-compulsive
disorder. This condition does not stand out on its own. It can be combined with things
such as anxiety disorders or attacks, depression or eating disorders.
This disorder affects women and men almost equally. It usually starts as a child or it can
start in the teen years or even as an adults. Through research, there is an indication that
OCD can happen through genetics. At least of third of all adults in the United States start
out with OCD as a child.
The symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder can come and go at any time. If it really
gets bad, it can severely affect a person from acting in a normal capacity and doing
certain tasks. It’s a good idea for those that are dealing with this not to use alcohol or
drugs to calm them down. It just makes the situation worse for them.
There are certain treatments and medications that can be used to ward off obsessive-compulsive disorder. They can help people that are in fear or anxiety to be desensitized to
what is going on around them.
How To Make Your Treatment More Effective
There are independent support groups that you can join. You will be able to share your
knowledge and experience with those who are dealing with similar problems. There are
also chat rooms online.
However, this has to be done with caution. Not everything someone says about anxiety
and panic attacks are the gospel. You can also seek the counsel of your pastor of
minister of the cloth. However, you need to make sure that you seek counseling from a
trained mental health professional.
There are also meditation and techniques that deal with managing stress. This can help
those with these disorders so that you can stay calm and focused. This can also help with
your therapy. As you are finding ways to find peace within yourself, there are some
things that you should avoid consuming.
They would include beverages that have caffeine, illegal drugs and some cold and sinus
medications from over the counter. They can actually provoke the symptoms of anxiety
and panic disorders.
Your family is crucial to have in your life in order for you to make a full recovery. They
should be supportive and help you in every way they can. However, there may be some
family members that may want to deride and ridicule you.
They may tend to think that is trivial and has no merit. You may have speak with them
and get them to understand that this is a serious condition. If they still refuse, then move
on and find some friends that will have your back and provide you with the support that
Panic Attacks That Are Left Untreated
Panic attacks can continue for a long time, sometimes for years to come. This longevity
can be complicated by having consistent attacks. Symptoms include having certain
phobias (fears) or leaving outside the home, not wanting to be around other people,
feeling suicidal, financial issues and substance abuse. As a results, the person could end
up suffering from heart disease.
If the panic attacks are not treated, the anxiety can increase and get worse. Their daily
routine may be affected by attacks that are not going away. This must be dealt with head
on; otherwise, the person cannot be a productive citizen of society.
How To Prevent Panic Attacks
There are ways that you can decrease the chance of an onset of a panic attack. You can
learn how to deal with them better. You must recognize the symptoms. When the initial
ones begin, they may be others that come along. Just remember to take slow and deep
Keep decreasing you anxiety level through things such as exercise and meditation. Don’t
be in a rush and take your time with this. Doing it quickly can defeat the purpose.
Therapy is a time consuming process and improvement will be gradual.
Don’t be hard on yourself. Take it easy. Don’t beat yourself over the head criticizing
yourself because of your condition. Make sure that you avoid things such as cigarettes,
teas that have caffeine, and carbonated drinks. That may be difficult, but at least start
weaning your way off slowly.
Work on not thinking about things that may have been traumatic for you in the past.
These traumatic events can shape how you will react to things in the future. You cannot
allow the past to hinder you if you are looking to move forward.
Make sure to keep a loving and understanding support system around you so that you
will be able to move forward every day. Whether it’s family members or a friend, they
need to be genuinely interested in help you get better and relieve those fears that you
have pent up inside.
How To Lend Your Support
If you are helping someone who has one of these conditions, it is very important that you
are there for the long haul. It may take longer than a few weeks or months for that
person to totally overcome this.
You should not be judgmental or condescending in any way to the person who is
suffering. This is a serious matter and you should treat it as such. The worst thing you
could do regarding anxiety and panic attacks is to be dismissive and think that they can
quickly get over it. You cannot be the savior for them and solve their problem.
People who suffer these kinds of attacks are not thinking about anything except how
scared they are that something bad is going to happen. The situation cannot be solved by
shaking them and making them come out of it, or waving a magic wand over them and
Don’t underestimate their actions by thinking that they are pretending to be acting. This
is serious and their actions should not be underestimated. The best thing you can do is to
do everything in your power that you can to be there as that support system.
They could feel at any moment that they were in grave danger. They feel as though they
could not pull themselves out of whatever trouble they perceived. This is when the
accelerated heartbeat, shortness of breath and other symptoms come in to play.
If you ignore them, you are doing more to hurt them than to help. They depend on your
support and if you decide to bail out on their weakest moment, they will feel more
This could make them start feeling depressed and not want to do much of anything for
their situation. If they know that you are with them to help them stick it out, then they
will feel better about themselves.
You must allow them to go through the attack. If you try to intervene, you could make
the situation worse. Let it happen and they will eventually come out of it. However, if
for some reason they don’t stop, call a paramedic to assist.
One thing that you don’t want to do is to give them medication, especially if it’s not
prescribed by their physician. That will definitely cause them harm. So make sure that
you are not doing anything to jeopardize their well being.
There is hope for those who have been suffering for a long time with anxiety disorders,
attacks, and panic attacks. You have to be willing to make the move to make changes in
your life. There are other people out there that are suffering just like you.
However, your situation doesn’t have to stay this way forever. There is help out there in
the form of medication, and therapy. You just have to want it for yourself. The sooner
you get the help, the better you will get. Once you do that, you will stop allowing these
conditions to control your life.