Anxiety is a general term that describes a variety of experiences, including nervousness, fear, apprehension and worry, that are common in several mental health disorders.While most of us have anxiety at some time, this is completely different from an anxiety attack or anxiety disorder. Normal feelings of nervousness, worry, and fear often have a known trigger (a major exam, money issues, or seeing a bug). But when you're having a full-blown panic attack or anxiety attack, the symptoms — chest pain, flushing skin, racing heart, and difficulty breathing — can make you feel as though you're going to faint, lose your mind, or die. The reality is, you won’t. The key to surviving is to learn all you can about anxiety attacks and practice the skills you need to get through them.
Signs of an anxiety attack include:
- Abdominal cramping
- Chest pain
- Dizziness, light-headedness, or faintness
- Fear of loss of control or death
- Feeling of unreality or detachment
- Numbness or tingling sensation
- Rapid, pounding heart rate
- Sense of impending doom or danger
- Shortness of breath or tightness in your throat
- Trembling or shaking
The causes of anxiety attacks are not well understood. Some traumatic life events can set off anxiety attacks if the person is prone to depression or anxiety disorders.Also, medical conditions and some medications may trigger anxiety attacks. Many believe anxiety attacks run in families with a genetic predisposition. In other words, if your mom and her sister had anxiety attacks, it’s likely you will too.