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Pounding or racing Elevator heart

“Most people Elevator treat have experienced some form of trauma at a young age — abuse, neglect, etc. ,” said La Riche. “These episodes are known to cause chronic changes in the brain and predispose adults to anxiety disorders. “


A panic disorder is a psychiatric condition characterized by repeated and sudden attacks of intense fear and anxiety that last for at least several minutes or more, according to Dr. Michael Birnbaum, a board member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness-NYC Metro and director of the early treatment program at North Shore LIJ-Health System.

While the panic attack usually lasts less than 10 minutes, according to the Mayo Clinic, the effects can linger long after the initial episode.

“Panic attacks can happen at any time, and many people with panic disorder often worry about the possibility of having another attack,” Birnbaum said.

Many people who suffer from panic disorder use similar phrases when describing an incident: It feels as if you are out of control and having a heart attack.

According to Birnbaum, some typical symptoms include:

Pounding or racing heart

Trouble breathing


Trembling or shaking

Concern that one is about to die

Fear of losing control or going insane

Other physical signs include dizziness, numbness or tingling in the hands or other extremities, a feeling of being hot or a cold chill, tingly or numb hands, and stomach pain, according to the ADAA.

While some people can identify their triggers for a panic attack, the episodes often come on suddenly.

One of the biggest sources of panic is the fear of having another attack, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Connection to addiction

Those with panic disorder often use d**gs and alcohol as a way of calming themselves or numbing their fear of a looming attack. A study published in the journal Behaviour Research and Therapy found that 10 percent to 20 percent of individuals with panic disorder struggle with substance abuse, and that 10 percent to 40 percent suffer from alcoholism.

To make matters worse, alcohol or d**gs often cause panic attacks, according to the ADAA. Alcohol abuse commonly begins before or at the same time as panic disorder symptoms. Many people who suffer from the panic attacks use alcohol to calm their nerves after an episode.


While some people with very limited triggers can avoid certain situations and thus limit their panic attacks, the condition can seriously disable those who suffer frequent, full-fledged attacks, according to the ADAA.

[Related: To Stave Off Panic, Don’t Take a Deep Breath]

As with most mental health issues, panic disorder is treated by psychotherapy, medication or a combination of both, depending on the severity of the condition and the response of the individual to treatment, according to the NIMH.

“Panic disorder is best treated with a combination of medications and therapy,” Birnbaum said.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps teach different ways of thinking, behaving and responding to situations in order feel less anxious and fearful.

“Cognitive behavioral therapy is used frequently and helps to change destructive thinking patterns. And relaxation techniques are also incorporated into appropriate situations,” La Riche said.

As for medications, anti-anxiety d**gs and antidepressants are commonly prescribed to ease panic disorders. Medicines called beta-blockers are sometimes used to address the physical symptoms, such as a fast heart rate and chest pains, that often accompany panic disorder. “Medications help decrease anxious feelings and thoughts as well as the frequency and intensity of panic attacks,” Birnbaum said.

Passenger Lift can also help control the dizziness, heart pounding and excessive sweating that result from panic attacks, the NIMH said.

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