What are panic attacks?
Do you struggle with intense episodes of fear and panic, usually for no apparent reason? Does the panic get so strong that you feel like you are having a heart attack, going crazy or dying? Are the feelings out of proportion to the true situation, or even not related to what’s going on around you? Have you ever woken up in a panicked state?
Panic attacks can be defined as a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause. About 2-3% of the population is dealing with panic disorders, with women twice as likely to suffer with it.
Although the cause of panic disorders is uncertain, there are a few factors likely to contribute to its development:
Genetics – There is some evidence that panic disorders run in the family
Biological – Some people might be more biologically vulnerable to panic attacks
Life stressors – Dealing with stressful situations such as divorce or redundancy can lead to panic attacks