Life In The ER: Panic Attacks

Life In The ER: Panic Attacks

It’s estimated that 2 to 4 percent of the population will experience panic disorder or panic attacks sometime during their lives. Many more will suffer from other anxiety-related psychological problems. According to Everyday Health, women appear to get the disorder twice as often as men do. The condition often shows up for the first time during young adulthood. However, it can begin at any age and get worse as time goes on. Panic attacks and panic disorder are serious issues that can change your life, and not in a good way.


Usually, the first panic attack happens out of the blue, while you are going about your normal routine. Suddenly, symptoms may show such as abnormal heart palpitations, a racing pulse, or a pounding sensation in the chest. You may be short of breathe and feel like you are choking. The trembling, nausea, and dizziness you experience add to your alarm. You are fully aware that something is very wrong, assuming it’s a medical issue you may go to the doctor or even the emergency room for help.

The symptoms of a panic attack are similar or identical to symptoms of various non-psychological conditions. That’s one of the things that makes diagnosing panic disorder rather difficult. If you’ve never had such symptoms before, it’s absolutely necessary to investigate from a medical angle. You may undergo all sorts of tests and visit several specialist, just to rule out problems with your heart or nervous system or any number of other potential causes. Taking care of yourself by going to the doctor at the first sign of risk is not a waste of your time, it’s always best to be reassured that your health is fine.


Panic attacks are usually related to anxiety and are often associated with whatever you were doing at that moment it happened. For more information on dealing with anxiety, click here. Because of this, people may decide to avoid the specific activity or place so that it doesn’t happen again. Even if someone continues to go the same places and do the same things, having another attack is always in the back of their minds.

Simple tasks such as sitting on the bus, eating in a restaurant, or having conversation with family can cause former panic attackers to begin to feel anxious once again. What if you have another attack? Your heart begins beating faster out of fear of having another attack. You may begin feeling a bit lightheaded and sweaty. Your throat becomes dry and starts closing up…then your anxious thoughts start racing out of control.


Panic attacks are really just your mind playing tricks on you You’re not having a heart attack, you’re not going to die, and you’re not going to go crazy. Thinking about having a panic attack can actually bring one on, but only if you allow it to happen.

Panic attacks and the anxiety surrounding them can turn into a destructive cycle that changes your life. Those with this problem sometimes say that the anticipation and fear of another panic attack is more troublesome than the episode itself, You become constantly afraid of losing control again. You can’t relax, and the persistent worry affects your job performance and your relationships.

When you’re dealing with panic disorder, it’s important to try to control the anticipatory fear that is only making your situations worse. If you learn how to change the way you think so that you are less fearful and anxious, then the attacks will loosen their hold on you.

Seek out help and treatment as soon as you can, so that panic doesn’t take over your life.


Dr. Jerisa ER

As one of the nation’s acclaimed doctors, board-certified in Emergency Medicine Dr. Jerisa Berry a.k.a “Dr. Jerisa ER” is also a nationally recognized speaker, media consultant, and author. She is on staff at several emergency facilities in South Florida and is co-owner of a medical clinic, Vital Care Medical Center, Inc. with her husband. Dr. Jerisa is founder of, where she helps single ladies and career-minded women take control of their fertility.

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