Posted by: Annie | 2009/07/10

Doesnt panic attacks damage your heart...

I have panic attacks often, i want to know how it cant be dangerous, your heart truly is beating faster (or skipping beats) does that not affect your heart is some way in the long term!?

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Our expert says:
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Psychologist: Hi Annie,
One of the symptoms of panic disorder is fear of another panic attack and fear that this is going to cause you harm. It sometimes helps to think of these fears of harm as part of the disorder and this will tell your brain that the danger you feel is not necessarily real. Another thing to remember is that people who exercise often are healthy and their heart beat increases as part of the natural process of exercise and this does not cause damage. For the quality of your own life though, it is best to manage your fear of harm from panic attacks with psychotherapy. This will not only improve your quality of life, but also prevent you from feeling fear of further panic attacks which stops the cycle of the attacks happening. If you would like to get in touch with a therapist to help you do this you can contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group on 0800 70 80 90. they will put you in touch with a therapist who deals in this area.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: PSYCHIATRIST | 2009/07/12

Angie, please be assured that panic attacks do not damage your heart but you need help to manage your panic attacks because they are so distressing and debilitating to the quality of your life generally.

Posted by: Steve | 2009/07/11

HI Angie. A panic attack is a natural reaction to a fearful situation. The problem arises when you perceive non-life threatening situations as truly dangerous. Medication does alleviate symptoms, but does not address the cause of it. You have to find time to see a therapist. Remember, therapy does not work - you make it work.

Reply to Steve
Posted by: Angie | 2009/07/10

What causes panic attacks as I have to take medication daily

Reply to Angie

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