Monday, July 8, 2013

What is Acute Anxiety?

Acute anxiety is a psychiatric disorder that is distinguished by its brief panic attacks. The panic attacks are usually accompanied by behavioral changes. Most people have stated that they have had at least one panic attack in their life and many claim to have had more. It is estimated that about 1.7 percent of the adult population in America has a panic disorder. This condition usually hits in early adulthood before the age of 24. People who have experienced some kind of traumatic event usually develop acute anxiety. Studies have shown that women are about two times more likely to develop this problem than men.
Acute anxiety is usually brief, lasting mere minutes or hours. When a person is going through a panic attack, they may be withdrawn and moody. This condition can be brought on by fear or intense worry. Those who experience anxiety attacks usually perceive these moments to be the most frightening points in their life. When having a panic attack, the person suffering the attack will have a feeling of losing control and may have a strong urge to leave the place where it started. This kind of episode is the reaction of the sympathetic nervous system or "Flight or fight" response.
Many things can cause a person to have a panic attack. Things such as phobias and major personal loss are some of the more common triggers. When someone is faced with something utterly terrifying, the reaction will likely be acute anxiety. This can also be true for a person who has gone through a major life change. Other triggers include some medications, stimulants such as coffee or nicotine, drugs such as marijuana or mushrooms, feelings of self-doubt and "what if" thinking. Long-term panic disorders can be caused by environmental factors or could run in the family.
The symptoms of acute anxiety are categorized in four different groups, physical, perceptual, emotional and mental. The physical symptoms are chest pain, shortness of breath, stomach pains, light-headedness, sweating, uncontrollable itching and crying, claustrophobia, choking sensations, numbness, exhaustion and racing pulse. Perceptual symptoms include dream like sensations, time appearing to speed up or slow down, tunnel vision and heightened senses. The emotional signs are terror, various fears and flash backs of the earlier trigger event. Mental states may include loss of control and thinking ability in general, feeling of imminent ruin, extreme nervousness and loud internal dialogue.
Treatments for panic attacks can vary. It is best to seek out the help of a medical professional. There is no one best cure and often sufferers are helped by a range of therapies. Medical treatments using drugs can help in the initial stages. Most patients come to the realisation that drugs only control the symptoms and do not offer a cure. Eventually most people who recover realise that they need to work on the faulty thoughts and feelings that cause the condition. This can be done with the help of a therapist or via self help books and tapes. The good news is that acute anxiety is not life threatening and most people go on to make a full recovery.

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1 comment :

  1. Anxiety attacks can be scary, so it's helpful to know that you can limit them when they occur.