Other symptoms of panic attacks include a racing heart, shaking, choking, dizziness, feeling numb or experiencing a tingling sensation, nausea, and a sense of doom. Panic Disorder: Causes There may be a genetic basis to panic disorder that makes people prone to frequent panic attacks. Almost anything can trigger a panic attack. Severe, extreme fear or terror can strike at home, work, and even during sleep. Quite often, people with anxiety disorder often become so afraid of having a panic attack that they develop agoraphobia , another anxiety disorder that makes them afraid to leave their homes. Panic Disorder: Diagnosis and Treatment Panic disorder is diagnosed through a full physical and psychiatric evaluation. Other health conditions and problems like substance abuse have to be ruled out before a panic disorder diagnosis can be made. Treatment for panic disorder typically involves a combination approach of medications, usually antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs , and therapy.
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She suggested that tobacco smoke may induce panic attacks in susceptible individuals. “There can be other mechanisms by which smoking induces panic: the effect of nicotine for example,” Breslau says. Nicotine has a stimulating effect on the brain. It does all sorts of things.” Panic attacks may be a false alarm in which a person’s body mistakenly thinks it is suffocating, Klein previously has written. Based on this theory, Breslau and Klein suggest in their article that carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke may set off panic attacks in people predisposed to overreact. In an interview seeking objective comment, clinical psychologist Benjamin Fialkoff, PhD, tells WebMD that the study findings appear to be in line with his experience in treating patients with panic disorder. “It doesn’t surprise me in view of the findings that smoking increases stress,” he said.
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