It rises, seemingly, out of nowhere. It is sudden, yet discrete… an intense feeling of terror. You cannot breathe, and are nearly unable to stand as you tremble with chills. Most frighteningly, your heart races, it seems that it will explode from your chest. Before you know it, though… this attack has vanished… leaving you only with the fear that you will soon be struck with another. This, contrary to what you may believe is not a heart attack, nor are you losing your mind. You have been hit by a panic attack. Frightening as this is, it is not uncommon. Ten percent of the American population will, at one time in their lives, experience a panic attack. (1). One in every 75 Americans will be afflicted with Panic Disorder in their lifetimes. (3).
When you are faced with more stress than you know how to deal with, your body becomes aroused because it is being bombarded with anxiety producing stimuli. Your body is, in essence, preparing to protect itself against sudden danger, making you physically ready to react by either fighting the stressor, or fleeing from it. The brain releases powerful hormones that constrict the blood vessels
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