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June 2016

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Panic attacks happen when someone is feeling extreme anxiety about something. The onset is sudden and the symptoms are acute. Those suffering a panic attack may feel they are having a heart attack or what they are going through is the lead up to one. So intense are the feelings that some may feel they are dying.

The symptoms of a panic attack may appear suddenly without there being a real cause. The physical symptoms include a pounding or racing heart, difficulty in breathing and chest pains, diarrhea or nausea, dizziness, faintness, a tingling or numbing in the hands and hot flushes or chills.

There are also mental symptoms like feeling a desperate need to escape, experiencing a dreamlike sensation, feeling terror, fearing the loss of control or of doing something embarrassing and finally, the fear of dying.

Another key symptom is the fear of having another panic attack in the future. It is common for a person who has had one attack to have others. This fear of a repeat attack can lead the person to go out of their way to avoid the place or situation where the first attack occurred or where they think it likely to reoccur. This might go on to develop into a phobia.

Panic attacks can happen suddenly and unexpectedly and this is what differentiates them from other types of anxiety. Their onset is usually unprovoked and the fear of going through another one in a public place can be disabling.

Panic attacks themselves can be a symptom of an anxiety disorder. If sufferers establish a pattern of anxiety and avoidance, they are diagnosed with a panic disorder. This disorder can seriously affect quality of life unless effective treatment is obtained.

Nearly 3 million Americans (1.7% of the population) suffer from panic attacks at some point in their lives and the average age of the first experience is between 15 and 19.

A panic attack can be a most distressing experience and will typically last for several minutes. As symptoms so closely resemble those of a heart attack, fear of the attack itself is created as sufferers believe that what is happening is the lead up to death.

There are also nocturnal panic attacks which occur while the person is sleeping, though they are less common. Between 40% – 70% of day time sufferers will experience a night time attack. In this case, the sufferer wakes up suddenly in a state of extreme anxiety caused for no apparent reason and will go on to have all the classic symptoms of a panic attack. Even though the nocturnal attack usually lasts less than 10 minutes, the episode is so upsetting that the time it takes to calm down again can be a lot longer.

Not everybody reports the same symptoms when suffering a panic attack but the state of mind is the same for all – an intense, uncontrollable fear.

What are panic attacks? They are sudden unexplainable fears that come on without warning. They can be so deeply felt and bring on such terror that the sufferer thinks they are going to die.

Symptoms include heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, chills or the sweats among others. Some sufferers think they are having a heart attack or are about to have one. The severity of the symptoms varies among the individuals suffering from an attack as does the cause of the attack itself.

What doesn’t vary is the fact that the trigger for an attack is an irrational fear, something that has no basis in fact. What the sufferer dreads is going to happen, doesn’t. However, this does not lessen the reality of the fear that is experienced.

The first time someone experiences an attack, they usually don’t understand what is happening; which increases the impact it makes. The experience is so frightening that sufferers go on to fear another attack more than they fear the attack itself.

What makes it so debilitating is the feeling that they have no control over the event; because they do not realize what caused it they cannot predict when it will happen again. The dread of an attack occurring in some sort of social situation whether it be the grocery shopping or a party often leads to avoidance behavior which, in turn, reduces quality of life.

Help for a panic attack is available but unfortunately a lot of sufferers don’t seek treatment. Sometimes, it can be as simple as understanding what a panic attack is and that other people suffer from them. For others, however, a longer therapy is required.

Often the best approach is a multi-disciplinary one with a combination of conventional and alternative therapies. Medication, behavioral and cognitive therapies, herbal treatment and changes in diet can all lead to an attack free life.

One part of behavioral therapy has been found to be particularly helpful in the treatment of panic attacks and that is interoceptive exposure. This means that patients are exposed to some of the symptoms they feel during a panic attack but in a controlled environment. In this way, they learn that there is nothing to fear from the symptom itself. For example, just because someone is experiencing an increased heart rate does not mean that this will automatically lead to a full-blown panic attack.

Once this is handled and accepted, then the fear of normal physical reactions is reduced. This then goes on to real life situations where the sufferer of panic attacks is slowly introduced to the things they fear in order to get used to them.

There are many different relaxation techniques that can be used when individuals feel the onset of an attack. First of all, they need to relax their shoulders and be aware of the tension within the neck. They can then relieve this tension and go on to relaxing all of the muscles in the body. A vital step in relaxation therapy is to learn to control breathing and so have the ability to slow the breathing when it increases due to a perceived stressful situation.

The main symptoms of a panic attack are an increased heart rate and an increased breathing pattern. By mimicking the action of blowing out candles on a birthday cake, breathing can be slowed to a steadier rhythm. It is important that the individual keep in mind that they are not going mad and they are not going to die. In this way, a full blown panic attack can be avoided.

Panic attacks are a type of panic disorder brought on by anxiety which is displayed in a number of ways. A major life stress event may bring on post traumatic stress disorder. These events include the death of a loved one, a painful divorce or separation, a physical attack, an accident or even witnessing a traumatic event.

Another disorder is obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD as it is also known. In this case, the individual has constant unwanted thoughts or obsessions that invade the mind and can’t be removed. Examples of this kind of behavior include constant hand-washing, checking to see if the stove is turned off or avoiding cracks in the sidewalks.

To a lesser extent, most people do sometimes double check that they’ve turned off the stove. Others like to avoid the cracks in the sidewald but they don’t become ritualistic, obsessive behaviors.

The thought of taking medication is not a pleasant one for most people and even more so if the drug has side effects. These may be mild or they may be severe and in some cases, the cure can be more harmful than the problem.
If there are alternatives to medication, then surely they are worth trying out first.

There are many different natural remedies for panic attacks which are used around the world. Mind you, not all of them are free from side effects either, so care must always be taken. Discuss your choice of alternative therapy with your doctor or consult another expert rather than launch your own therapy regime and get it wrong.

You should also keep in mind that what works for one person doesn’t automatically work for the next. Just as different drugs work with varying degrees of success depending on the person so to do natural therapies.

The use of vitamins has been found to be very effective for some. Sufferers taking Niacinamide, which is one of the water soluble B complex vitamins, have reported excellent results. Other important vitamins are B6 and B12, calcium and magnesium.

All of these vitamins can be found in tablet form but they can also be found naturally. Niacinamide can be found in a variety of foods as part of the B3 vitamin. These foods include yeast, meat, milk, green vegetables and cereal grains.

Vitamins B6 and B12 can both be found in fortified cereals. Sources of B6 also include poultry, fish and some fruits and vegetables. Vitamin B12 sources include animal products. Calcium is found in yoghurt, milk and cheese and magnesium is found in spinach, Swiss chard, beans and seeds such as sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds.

Herbs are another popular natural remedy for panic attacks. One benefit of using herbs is that they have few side effects but having said that, you must always take care. Sometimes they shouldn’t be used in combination with other herbs or prescription drugs and as with vitamins, you should firstly study their properties and get advice from a professional.

Herbs have been used for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks were great fans of herbal medicine and their use and effects have been well documented. They can be taken as a tea or in tablet or drop form.

St John’s Wort is the first herb we will look at. It has been used as a treatment for mental disorders for centuries and many support its action against depression. There are some side effects, however, if taken in combination with some prescribed drugs so always check this out first with your health care provider.

Other herbs include valerian, kava-kava and passionflower. Valerian is native to Europe and Asia and was used widely as a sleeping aid and to cure digestive complaints as well as a treatment for nervousness and heart palpitations.

Kava is widely used throughout the Pacific as a mild sedative which relaxes without the taker becoming groggy and unalert. Passionflower has been found in at least one clinical trial to lower anxiety.

There are some steps you can take to help vitamins and herbs reach their maximum potential as natural therapies against panic attacks. The first of these is to avoid caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea and sodas. The next is to avoid alcohol and drugs and the third is to take refined sugars and carbohydrates out of your diet.

Aromatherapy is another branch of natural medicine which is used in the battle against panic attacks. Common aromas include lavender, jasmine and geranium but there are various calming blends available.

Other scents that sufferers of panic attacks have reported helpful are those that remind them of a more innocent time. One example is baby powder which seems to bring back calm memories.

A variety of therapies can be used to treat panic attacks and the best results are obtained when a combination of thinking and behavior therapies are used. When both the behavioral and cognitive mindset is changed through a gradual process of modification, panic attack relapses are less common than when only one therapy is used.

Rehabilitation can also be aided by the use of medication. Panic attacks can be debilitating and lead to a substantial loss of quality of life if left untreated. Luckily, this disorder does respond to treatment and so treatment is definitely worth seeking.

There are several different types of medications used in the treatment of panic attacks. Some of them are prescribed in order to control the symptoms while others can lessen the number and severity of an attack as well as reduce the anxiety of having another one.

An effective medication often prescribed is SSRI, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as Prozac, Zoloft or Paxil. These belong to the antidepressants which affect neurotransmitters in the brain.

These chemicals are used by the nerves in the brain to send messages to and fro and any neurotransmitters which have not been taken up by other nerves will be reabsorbed by the original nerve. This is a process known as ‘reuptake’. What happens when SSRI are taken is that they inhibit the reuptake of serotonin, which then allows more serotonin to be used by other nerves. This is important because serotonin is thought of as the ‘happy hormone’ and helps regulate moods, temper, anxiety and depression.

Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) were often used to treat panic attacks before SSRIs were available. These include Tofranil, Anafranil and Norpramin. While they are considered to be just as effective as SSRI’s, the latter are tolerated better and are somewhat safer.

Whatever the medication chosen, there are side-effects to the drugs. Some of these are minor while others can be life-threatening so it is vital that the individual who is prescribed these medications be closely monitored. Such medications should not be lightly prescribed and only when absolutely necessary. Under no terms should pregnant women be treated with these drugs as there is the possibility of harming the fetus.

Another family of drugs which have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as suitable for the treatment of panic disorders is that of benzodiazepine. Valium is probably the most familiar of these drugs but there is also Xanax, Ativan, and Klonopin. Unlike SSRI’s which need to be taken every day, these medications can be taken as needed for the reduction of anxiety and nervous tension.

The good news is that the symptoms of panic attacks and panic disorders should improve as soon as a few weeks after starting treatment. If after two months there is no sign of improvement, then perhaps a higher dose is needed or the use of a different medication would have better results. It usually takes about a year or even longer for there to be conclusive results.

After this time, medication dosage can be decreased gradually over a few weeks. Some individuals may experience attacks again after the reduction in medication, in which case the dosage needs to be increased again for a few months. For some people, medication may need to be taken for a lot longer.

Childhood is often remembered fondly by most adults but fear and anxiety is typically experienced by children at one time or another. This fear manifests itself when it’s time to start a new school for example,or during the taking of a test.

These fears are perfectly normal and do not usually go on to become irrational or develop into a panic disorder. But there are some situations in which some children who are more vulnerable cannot cope and so show signs of developing a panic disorder..

While we would all like to protect our children as much as possible from the harsher side of life, this is not always possible. Children can develop the same panic disorders that are seen in adults. These may become apparent when a child worries excessively about everyday events. They may judge themselves harshly or become perfectionists and redo tasks until they get them perfect. Children who constantly seek approval are at risk of developing anxiety disorders.

Another type of anxiety disorder seen in children in obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD. OCD’s are characterized by unwanted thoughts or obsessions that take root in the mind.

These can be seen in children as young as two but the average age a child is usually diagnosed with an OCD is ten. Children may repeatedly perform ritualistic behaviors and routines with the goal of easing their anxiety. These behaviors manifest themselves in the same way as adults such as excessive hand washing, constant rechecking or counting in order to ward off unwelcome thoughts or feeling absolute terror at the thought of doing something wrong accidentally.

Panic disorders are a further type of anxiety disorder which may be seen in children but usually not until adolescence. If a child suffers two panic attacks and is then anxious about having another, then a panic disorder is usually diagnosed.

Phobias also have a place in this discussion of childhood anxiety disorders. Irrational fears of objects, places or situations that persist for at least six months and go on to affect everyday activities are indicative of a phobia.

Of course, most children are afraid of the dark or of thunderstorms but these usually go away by themselves and do not interfere with daily activities. Children who suffer from a head or stomach ache, become overly clingy or freeze when confronted with the fear are displaying the symptoms of a phobia.

Life isn’t always predictable and unfortunately bad things happen. The death of a parent, physical or mental abuse, a natural disaster or an accident can all lead to post traumatic stress disorder, another kind of anxiety disorder. The symptoms in this case are not eating or sleeping, nightmares, emotional distance or fear of the event reoccurring.

While both adults and children suffer from these anxiety disorders, the physical and mental manifestations of them can differ greatly. Adults understand at least that their fear is irrational but children do not. Nor can they always verbalize what they are going through or what they are feeling. If you suspect your child is suffering from an anxiety disorder, then you should see your pediatrician.

Have you ever felt intensely anxious, fearful and apprehensive? Have you felt your heart pound, had difficulty breathing, sweat and felt chills at the same time? These are all symptoms of panic attacks and, while it is not completely understood what causes panic attacks, it is thought that a combination of biological and environmental factors is involved.

Genetics does seem to play a part as panic disorder has been shown to run in families. Some sufferers have a family member who either has or has had the disorder or has another emotional disorder such as depression. That this is due to genetics, however, is difficult to prove as it may be that the panic response is a learned behavior garnered from a parent who is prone to attacks.

A further biological cause could be changes in the way parts of the brain work. According to recent studies, sufferers of psychotic disorders like schizophrenia are also likely to suffer from panic attacks. Psychotic symptoms or episodes may occur before the beginning of anxiety disorders or they may predict the onset of one.

During a panic attack, the symptoms felt are similar to those experienced when the body’s fight or flight response system is activated. This natural alarm system is the body’s way of reacting to real danger and, in order to ready the body to defend itself by fighting or fleeing, adrenaline surges through the body and the heart rate and breathing rate increase. What is unknown is why this response is triggered when there is no real danger present.

Stress can also play a part. Major life stresses such as the death of a loved one or divorce can lower the body’s resistance and thus any biological predisposition to an anxiety disorder may kick in and trigger an attack. Stress can also be felt during a happy event such as getting married or having a baby and if the stress is severe enough, this can also lead to a panic attack.

Addicts can also be prone to panic attacks. Substance abuse such as alcohol or drugs or the withdrawal from them can bring on panic disorders.

It is likely that biological and environmental factors work together in the creation of attacks. Usually, a panic attack comes out of nowhere but subsequent episodes can be brought about by an exaggerated response to one or two of the physical symptoms associated with an attack. For example, a side effect of some medications is heart palpitations. If someone taking the medicine has already experienced a panic attack and associates a racing heart with that, then they can work themselves up into another attack. Paradoxically, many times it is the fear of having another attack that brings it on.

Whatever the cause, there is help and precisely because the exact causes are unknown, this usually involves different forms of therapy.

It is estimated that nearly one fifth of Americans suffer from some type of anxiety disorder. This phenomenon is wide reaching and can have debilitating effects on quality of life. But what exactly is it?

Anxiety disorder covers a range of abnormal and pathological fears and anxieties. While use of the terms fear and anxiety are often used interchangeably, they do in fact mean two different things. Fear is the mental and physical reaction to an actual external threat whereas anxiety is an emotional state caused by a perceived threat. This threat cannot be easily indentified but is seen to be uncontrollable.

This does not mean to say that because the threat is not real to others, it is less of a problem. The threat and perceived danger is very real to the person suffering from the disorder and they may go to great lengths to avoid facing that danger

There are six main types of anxiety disorder:

• Generalized Anxiety Disorder
• Panic Disorder
• Social Anxiety Disorder
• Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
• Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
• Phobia

The biggest category of these is that of phobia. A phobia is an intense irrational fear of something or somewhere that actually poses no real danger. It is estimated that in America alone, nearly 20 million people suffer from a phobia and of these, there are twice as many women as men.

Anxiety disorders can become chronic if help is not sought. They are liable to occur under conditions of high stress and their physiological symptoms can be so disturbing and frightening that the person thinks they are about to die. At the end of an attack, sufferers often feel so exhausted that they are unable to continue normal tasks for the rest of the day.

In the case of phobia, the sufferer may go to such extremes to avoid the thing or place they fear that their quality of life is severely affected. For example, agoraphobics may reach the stage where they never leave their home, not even to go grocery shopping. Businessmen or women may leave their job so they don’t have to fly.

The causes of anxiety disorder are many. They seem to run in families though this doesn’t mean that just because a parent suffers from this disorder, the offspring will too. Likewise, the reason that there is this relationship is unclear. It could be genetic or it could be that the anxiety response is a learned behavior.

In many cases, there is a clear connection between the disorder and substance abuse. Whether this substance is as seemingly innocent as caffeine or the more obvious alcohol and drug abuse, the connection is there.

In one English study, it was found that half of the patients seeking help for an anxiety disorder were abusing alcohol or drugs. When they stopped using these substances, their anxiety also ceased.

Clinical depression has been found to occur in well over half of those suffering from anxiety disorders. Drugs which are used in the treatment of depression are also used in the treatment for anxiety disorders.

The good news is that there are treatments for anxiety disorders and no-one need suffer from them. Treatment can involve medication or behavioral or cognitive therapy. Often the most effective treatment is a combination of the two. If you would like further information about the treatments for anxiety disorder, then read the article on Treating Anxiety Disorders.

We have already looked into what a panic attack is. If you haven’t already, read the articles on this page if you would like some more information as to what constitutes a panic attack. This article will look into the relationship between panic attacks and agoraphobia. While they are two separate conditions, the relationship between them is important.

Agoraphobia has always been defined as a fear of open spaces. It is now increasingly being defined as a fear of panic attacks. Agoraphobia is one of the results if treatment for panic attacks is not sought and the panic disorder worsens. While not all agoraphobics have panic disorder, over two thirds of them do. In the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association, the two conditions that concern us here are listed as three separate disorders – panic disorder with agoraphobia, panic disorder without agoraphobia and agoraphobia without a history of panic disorder.

Panic attacks are embarrassing. Dealing with the symptoms is a nightmare, but having an audience is worse. It’s not something that goes through your mind at the time but afterwards when you think about it, you wonder what people thought or think of you; you think about how awful you must have looked. It is the fear of having another panic attack that leads to changes in behavior. The fear of having another panic attack in public gradually leads to agoraphobia. While it may develop at any time, it is usually within the first year of recurring panic attacks that agoraphobia occurs.

Many agoraphobics feel safe only when following a specific routine or going to set places. Anything different will trigger an attack. These are panic attacks with the intense feeling of fear, heart palpitations, sweating and/or getting the chills, feeling faint and dizzy. Agoraphobics also experience the depersonalization that some panic attack sufferers feel; as if they are floating above their bodies and witness what is happening as if it is to someone else. Another symptom they have in common is the feeling they are going crazy or the fear that they are going to die. In severe cases, agoraphobia results in the person becoming completely housebound, sometimes for years.

It is no simple thing to allow your fear to control your behavior to such an extent as to severely limit the choices you feel able to make. Treatment may take some time, months or even more. The condition has taken years to develop; and so, it will take time to cure. Agoraphobia is treatable, however, and does respond well to treatment.

Usually, a combination of therapies is the best approach with a limited use of medication (if necessary) and a therapy such as cognitive behavior therapy or interoceptive exposure.

The first step in treating agoraphobia is an examination of the conditions in which it developed in the first place. Family background, upbringing, genetics, stress factors, diet and lifestyle all contain clues of the cause or causes of panic disorders and phobias.

All over the world plastic surgery is becoming popular day by day. People have started realizing that the external look being an integral part of personality and there are options to look better by altering look with the help of plastic surgeons. Most of the times people interested for a plastic surgery to be done ask for who are the top ten plastic surgeons available in a particular region. People are always apprehensive about the after effect of a surgery, but when they see the testimonials and also the accolade the top 10 plastic surgeons have won, they start building trust in them. It is really difficult to rank top ten plastic surgeons. This is because there is no agency which does the similar kind of work. There may be a professional agency which accredits the practitioners or provides them licenses for legal practice, however when it comes to evaluate their current practice then it is really difficult to do so. However, depending on several factors the top ten plastic surgeons can be chosen. Those factors could be the number of cases they are doing per annum, the cost comparison, effectiveness of surgery and lesser number of repetition for same case and patient feedbacks. Sometimes post specialization and super specialization training also can be considered to rank the top ten plastic surgeons. However most of the times this comparison is very subjective and there may be other surgeons who are good and do not come into picture because of their involvement in public health sector or other reasons. However there should be a methodology to choose such doctors and decide a proper methodology and plan to carry out this exercise such as if patient feedback is considered a bigger sample size and a stratified approach would be more realistic and practical to get a broad view yet target oriented approach is maintained. While doing this exercise, there should be collection of enough data and specific tools and techniques should be used to rank the top ten plastic surgeons. To take an example of a tool, a questionnaire for patient can be designed containing both open and closed ended questions to get maximum input from them. When the data collection is done there should be a proper approach to segregate the data and then analyze them with the help of experts and there should be some scalability. If this has to be published then the assumptions should be recorded along with the publication to share the list of leading plastic surgeons.

Have you seen a paper towel? Maybe all of us have this paper towel at home and we use it more often like for example you use it to drain all those fried foods you made, or if you have dirty windows or mirror you wipe it out using this paper towel. You can use it also if you are planning to cook food in your microwave oven like those bacons. You can also use it store and cover those herbs to stay the freshness of it. And you can use it by wiping all those dirt you have in your kitchen, living room or anywhere else. If you are going to put this paper towel in a container with small amount of water you can see that this paper towel absorb the water that you can’t figure out how this paper towel absorb it. But have you been curious how this thing or rather this paper towel absorb some liquid substances especially the water? So let take a look.

This paper towel is made from the cellulose fibers which it can make also into a cotton, woods and even plants. This cellulose fiber is a huge molecule that is has small molecules inside that connect each other. This paper towel when you’re going to look nearly to it you can see that it has a holes like a sponge and usually some cloth construction is like this sponge design in the fiber so that it can absorb same as the sponge. Those tiny holes that you can see gaps or holds the water because of the tension in the surface and this action is commonly occurring between those molecules you can see in the water. Every hole you can see in the paper towel containing this called small bubble for the tension in the surface and it will be formed if the towel has a contact to any liquid substances because this small space in the towel is separating this liquid to the other pores. And it allows this liquid bubble to hold and to be suck upward because each pockets or pores has a small amount of water that makes an strong attraction of intermolecular compare to the gravity pulling the liquid. And if you squeeze this paper towel the water will come out because it breaks the tension of the pores or the pockets that compressed those spaces and liquid molecules is force to flow by the gravity. Another thing is that the molecules that have been combining to make it cellulose called a sugar molecule which is the reason why paper towel absorb liquid.

Those are the reasons why paper towel absorb any kinds of liquid every time you use it. Since it is popularly use in cleaning and doing something to absorb, now we all know how it works.