Panic Disorder and Anxiety Attacks: What They Are
Philip R. Muskin, MD
Professor of Clinical Psychiatry
Chief: Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry
Columbia University Medical Center
New York, NY
Co-Author (with Richard P. Brown, MD, and Patricia L. Gerbarg, MD) of:
How to Use Herbs, Nutrients, & Yoga in Mental Health (W.W. Norton & Co, Inc; [Paperback]; 2012.
Philip Muskin is a psychiatry professor at Columbia University and inexpert in integrative medicine. Here, he explains what anxiety attacks are all about. The symptoms of an attack can make your heart pound and cause you to feel short of breath, dizzy, and sick to your stomach. The attacks can take many different forms, but in general, the symptoms will peak within 10 minutes and last about half an hour. Some people feel very tired after the attack has ended. When a person has had 4 or more panic attacks and has spent 1 month or longer being afraid of attacks occuring, he or she may have a condition called panic disorder. With panic disorder, your fear of having an attack can be so strong that you avoid certain everyday situations. You may be unable to leave your home, for example, a condition called agoraphobia. Panic attacks are difficult to manage without medical care, and people who experience them should get medical help as soon as possible. Because the symptoms can also resemble other serious health problems, such as a heart attack, it is important to see your health care provider if you are not sure what is causing your symptoms. Scientific studies have found a link between anxiety attacks, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Many people who have panic attacks think they are having a heart attack. Here, Dr. Muskin points out how the symptoms differ and when you should go to the emergency room.
Country: United States
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