Anxiety attacks, also known as panic attacks and panic disorder are different from "normal" stress. Stress and stressful events seem to happen to some people more than others. If you are a calm person, or someone who has learned to manage stress, life is easier for you. But sometimes an event happens in your life that frightens you. Nature designed your body to protect you from danger and is equipped with an automatic response to aid in your survival. You have undoubtedly heard about the common response to fright as being “fight or flight”. There is another response as well, but it is not the type of reaction that will help you survive. It’s what I call “deer in the headlights” response.

That’s where a panic attack or anxiety attack differs from normal fear. With an anxiety attack you don’t know what is causing the fear! The panic attack can happen at any time without provocation or warning. The fear level is out of proportion to the situation, which is most often not threatening. Emotions and symptoms from the anxiety attack can last a lot longer than the usual response to a fright.

In a startling fright, you may be walking on a path and hear a rattle, and see a snake in front of you. Your heart pounds, pupils dilate, digestion and all unnecessary body functions change while blood goes to your muscles to help you run away or battle the snake. But as soon as the snake slithers away, your heightened state of stress goes away, and you go back to enjoying your walk, albeit a little more cautious. That is normal. In a panic attack, that heighted state of terror would continue for 10 minutes or more. Those feelings of terror are terrifying. Feeling your heart pound makes you feel like you could die!

The intensity is so great that a secondary fear is created. Now your are having anxiety about having another panic attack, rather than having fear from the root cause of why you are feeling anxiety in the first place! This is a panic disorder that is a closed and destructive vicious cycle or negative feedback loop.

When you have an anxiety attack you get stuck in fear. Sometimes you can’t move. But your symptoms are real enough, even if they are caused by your thoughts. Many people end up in the hospital believing they are having a heart attack.

Symptoms of a Panic Disorder often last about 10 minutes, or more. They include some or all, and are not limited to:
• Pounding heart, or chest pain
• Difficult breathing
• Intense feeling of terror
• Sensation of choking
• Feeling faint or dizziness
• Trembling or shaking
• Sweating
• Nausea or stomach ache
• Tingling or numbness in fingers and toes
• Hot flashes or chills
• A fear that you are losing control or are about to die

If you are suffering from panic attacks you may be afraid to go for a drive in your car or go to a social event, even a business meeting because you have a fear you will have an attack. Many sufferers are under the misconception that there is no permanent solution. There are ways to help you get your life back and be free from the fear of being a life long victim to anxiety attacks. I encourage you to listen to the successful stories of these people who have learned how to deal with this debilitating disorder and have their lives back. There are many alternative methods of recovering and getting your life back. The good news is nobody has to continue to live a life in fear.

Author's Bio: 

Lianda Ludwig, MS, Author, Speaker, and Educator, reminds you the flight cabin attendant’s words, “In case of an emergency, put on your own oxygen mask first, and then help others!”
According to Lianda, “Happiness, Wellbeing and Success is what happens when what you think, feel, say and do are in alignment with your heart’s compass… when not, that creates stress.” Learn unique and effective ways to manage, relieve and prevent stress on her website.
Lianda’s Best Selling book as a co-author, “Align Expand and Succeed: Shifting the paradigm of entrepreneurial success”, about creating conscious business hit #1 in 4 categories on Amazon!
Get her FREE report , “10 Myths even your doctor believes; 2010’s Worst Prescription drugs and what YOU can do to protect your health” on her website