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Old 05-17-2005
black_mamba's Avatar
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I'm a bit confused about the nature of panic attacks:

Obviously there will be varying degrees of panic involved between different people, but I was always under the impression that panic ATTACKS were almost like fits i.e. very extreme loss of control.

I always seem to be on the verge of tipping into a crazed 'attack' but never do loose control completely, but instead am struck by a sense of numbness - not being able to talk - heart beats faster - feel sick and dizzy - want to run away.....this doesn't seem like a panic attack but maybe adrenaline kicking in...any ideas anyone? or are panic attacks instigated by the hormone anyway?

:?
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Old 05-17-2005
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yep what you described are the type of panic attacks I've been suffering from for years. That's what my doctor diagnosed my symptoms as, plus reading things online over the time theres a general sort of list that accompanies panic attacks.

This may sound strange but the way it was always explained to me over the years was by using primal instincs as an example. When one feels threatened, more often than not the instinct is to run therefore adrenaline kicks in to give your body the extra oomph to outrun whatever might be trying to eat you. The extras like sweating, heart palputations etc are all side effects of the adrenaline. I've always put dizziness down to blood pressure rising, probably the same with the numbness? A few occasions over the years I have ended up hysterical and lost control but this has always been where I have been forced to endure a situation I couldn't handle. I don't know if this is like a stay and fight instinct or whether it's just an overload to the system. There must be an additional trigger which kicks off the fear to start with though but I would certainly put most symptoms down to the adrenaline. Hmm I guess take your rollercoasters for example ... that gives you an adrenaline boost right? probably provides all of the same sort of symptoms but because you like thrill rides it gives you a buzz, the elevated heart rate all adds to your excitement rating. Put someone on who hates them, and they would probably get a panic attack.

This probably tells you basically what you already knew but 'panic attack' is a very loose term, it can be different for each person and no attack will ever be the same, can vary quite a lot depending on the anxiety level.
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Old 05-18-2005
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I thought that was the case. Thankyou for the reply.

Wow, I'm building up quite an impressive list of ailments for my doctor next time I see them. I never manage to get through it in one sitting though. Doh!
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Old 05-18-2005
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Psychologists call it "fight or flight" because the body prepares itself to literally engage in battle or run away.

Before I learnt this I used to call it "caged bird syndrome" because to me it was just like a poor little canary in a cage being terrorfied by somebody and having nowhere to go.
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Old 05-18-2005
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I've heard the term fight or flight before and was asking if the flight reaction (in extreme cases) is in fact a form of panic attack in itself?

I don't know how calmer people react to adrenaline, but presumeably the bodily reactions are the same. Does that mean everyone has panic attacks?

<--too many questions!
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Old 05-18-2005
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Everyone in life will suffer from anxiety at some point, whether that be worrying how much car repairs maybe, to concern that the red wine stain won't come out of the carpet, but I think that's the difference between anxiety and fear. Fear is the key to the adrenaline release.

You're right, from what I understand the bodily reactions to adrenaline are the same in anyone, which would mean the majority of people will indeed suffer a form of 'panic attack' at some point in their lives.
Because our fears revolve around day to day living, the inctinct to flee probably kicks in more often whereas in most cases it would only come into play say by finding a big spider in the bathtub. Everyone in life has a phobia of something so depending on the level of fear that must control the strength of reaction.

I know most people would consider an adrenaline rush as a good thing though, and purposely try cause the reaction. In one of my posts I wrote how I enjoy the adrenaline rush I have after achieving getting into say a shop, but then I hate the feeling of a panic attack. Isn't this a contradiction?

Maybe the euphoria is created as an after effect. Once the adrenaline levels return to normal the brain will release endorphins to help to calm the body down?
This hasn't occured to me before but sort of makes sense in explaining the natural high thrill seekers get and why I feel that way post panic.
If anyone happens to know if this is what happens I'd be interested to know
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Old 05-27-2005
 

Well i think the difference between a panic attack and a adrenaline rush and the reason you can get a buzz out of a adrenaline rush, Is that when you get the fight or flight action kicking in umm its hard to explain, But say you get into a fight if you decide that your gonna run away, you will get a buzz out of it because you commited to a desicion and acted on your instincts, the same as if you choose to stand and fight (im not saying fighting is a good buzz im just using it as an example).You get a buzz out of it when you comit to a decision as your body actualy uses the adrenaline.But say your your up town and this is somthing which triggers your adrenaline, well theres no one to fight, and i mean you feel like running away but i mean you dont do you, So you have all this adrenaline flowing through you and no way for your body to release it, and adrenaline is basicaly a natural drug the body produces for in time of need,But adrenaline is only ment for short periods of time, so the longer your in a situation without being able to choose a fight or flight reflex your body cant handle the distress of all the adrenaline and i think that is what triggers a panic attack.
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Old 05-27-2005
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There's a part of your brain called the amygdala, which controls anxiety. In a normal person, it switches on when they're held at gunpoint (for example). In someone with an anxiety disorder, it comes on when there's no danger. It tells your body to start producing loads of adrenaline so that you can escape danger (which quickens your pulse) makes you sweat, and your blood rush to the skin to cool your body, and your pupils dilate so you can see better. You are supposed to become hyperaware, but an anxiety attack is all these things in overdrive, so instead of being extra focused, you can't focus at all.
I've rambled for ages, but in answer to your question, the anxiety attack causes the adrenaline rush.
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Old 05-27-2005
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Thanks for the responses guys

I'm still a little confused over the good rush and bad rush but it must be down to the state of mind and emotions felt when the adrenaline is released, but both Dan's and Crimefishes info did explain some stuff I've been wondering about since this post started so thanks for that
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Old 06-11-2005
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Hello Mysti,and everybody in the p.a. forum.Toomuch adrenalin when youre hunting or being hunted may give after a god result (you being sucesful hunting or yuo have not being eaten) the pleasure of something welldone,but when youre dealing whit your boss,mother,son or whoever,there is always the fact that your mind is getting ready for the hunt but theirs isnt.By the way Iwas told that inside we are people that do not want to be grownups, we want the others to resolve the things that are overpowering us.After what you said I think I will go down to the subway thinking how rollinking it can be.Good day for you all.
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Old 06-12-2005
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Hello to everybody. Today i went to Tai-chi again after seven years.and at this moment it seems to be what helps me more to control anxiety.Maybe it will help some of you too.While I think about Tai-chi and the movemts of the hands,legs,feet I get relax and I feel very well,may sound childish but I feel protect. Good week to you all.
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Old 06-14-2005
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That's great Junio congrats for getting back into that, I'm pleased to hear you have found it to be so effective.
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Old 02-25-2006
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anyone suffered with needing the loo with fight or flight

I seem to get it in odd circumstances and its ruining my life

help
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