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Anxiety and Panic Attacks - What am I Afraid of?

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By: Barney Garcia

Anxiety affects people of all ages, from the teenage to the senior years. Although it can affect both sexes, it is more common in women though this may be because men are reluctant to report it to their doctors. In general, women are more open to expressing their feeling and sharing their emotions than men.

There are two types of anxiety, acute and chronic. Acute anxiety is commonly known as a "panic attack", where the body's response to an emergency is activated at an inappropriate time. Symptoms of a panic attack can include, but are not limited to, shortness of breath, claustrophobia, rapid heart beat, chest pain, dizziness, trembling, hot flashes or chills, nausea, and a sense of unreality. Over time, anxiety can have cumulative effects such as generalized aches and pains, muscle aches and twitching, sleeplessness, depression, loss of sex drive, and the inability to relax. Panic attacks are unpredictable and can occur at any time without warning and last for a few seconds up to a half hour; some people have them several times each day, while others experience them less frequently. Some people will have just one and will never have another. Many people think they are having a heart attack or stroke and some people are afraid of being alone or of being in public places for fear of having an attack. For years it was thought that there was no physical basis for anxiety but many experts feel that a malfunction in brain chemistry can cause it.

With chronic anxiety, people experience a vague sense of unease, feel as if something bad is about to happen, and tend to be jumpy and startle easily. The symptoms are not as pronounced as with acute anxiety but can still impact a person's enjoyment of life. People with chronic anxiety go through life on pins and needles, wondering when their bubble will burst. They can be negative in their outlook on life as if this will prevent the worse from happening.

Some doctors recommend calcium and magnesium, B vitamins and herbs such as catnip, chamomile, kava, and valerian to promote relaxation. Sometimes antidepressants can be effective in treating the disorder but can have side effects or promote dependency. Relaxation techniques such as meditation, massage and listening to music can also help to ease the symptoms. Exercise is a great stress reliever and can lessen the impact of anxiety on one's life.

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About the Contributor

Author Barney Garcia is a proud contributing author and enjoys writing about many different topics. Please visit my web sites @ http://www.anxiety-attack-help.info and http://www.topnotch-health.com

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