MORE IDEAS FROM The science behind panic attacks — and what can you do to manage them
Everyone has different triggers to cause a panic attack. Usually it is a stimulus in the environment like a sound that our brain has correlated to something traumatic. Sometimes, a panic attack can be triggered with just a small jolt of caffeine.
Our amygdala sends a distress signal to the hypothalamus therefore forewarding this distress signal to out autonomic nervous system. These chemical messages engages our body and prepares it to take defensive action.
The symptoms of a panic attack varies from person to person but they include:
However, regardless of how scary this sounds panic attacks are not inherently dangerous. Panic attacks are just manifestations of our brain and body being our of sync, and it is a normal physiological fear response.
Our amygdala has been known to be as the fear epicenter of our brain however other studies suggest that there is some other structure in the brain that is involved in this fear-making process.
The insular cotex and a part of the brain stem called the nucleus of the solitary tract has been found as an area that generates fear impulses.
Fear is the body's alarm system — it’s an innate emotional response to a perceived personal threat.
There are two different types of alarms, panic and anxiety, both of which are adaptive. Immediate threats activate the panic alarm, while anticipating a threat sometime in the future involves the anxiety alarm.
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