Panic Attack

Do you know someone who suffers from a panic attack? If you do, they are not alone. Over one percent of the global population is reported to be suffering from panic attacks. A significant number go unreported. A panic attack is a sudden feeling of anxiety that overwhelms you. It can last for a minute and can go on for much longer. They are completely unpredictable and can occur with no apparent trigger. Your heart pounds, you can perspire and feel dizzy. You may get chest pains, or feel like you are choking. Your body can convulse. It makes you feel a complete loss of control. Once over, you feel drained and exhausted. It is hard to distinguish whether you had a stroke or a minor panic attack.

The ailment is believed to be hereditary. Some experts believe that a part of your brain is misinterpreting body signals as threats and reacting. This reaction is your amygdala responding to anxiety despite no imminent danger. Adrenaline, also known as the “fright or flight” hormone is released. If you have been going through an extended phase of stress including trauma or loss of a loved one, it can also induce panic attacks.

The treatment usually involves coaching or medication. In coaching, an expert helps you identify potential triggers with the objective of overcoming any fears. Medication can include the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s). A SSRI is a drug that enhances the fucntion of your nerve cells. Your nerve cells communicate using chemicals. One such chemical or neurotransmitter is serotonin. The drug augments your normal body functioning.

There are natural ways to enhance serotonin. Exercise, sitting in the morning sun, eliminating or drastically reducing sugar, meditating and getting massages help. A massage in particular also reduces cortisol, the stress hormone.

A panic attack is a medical condition and needs to be treated by a doctor. Using natural means to alleviate your condition cannot possibly hurt.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.