Are Panic Attacks Symptoms of Brain Disorder?
In order to address the question, are panic attacks symptoms of brain disorder, we need to understand what are panic attacks and what causes them. Actually getting into a state of panic is a normal human response to fear and it is definitely a needed function for a normal human being.
Adrenalin is produced when we’re in the state of panic or fear. In fact this hormone is sometimes even called the fright or flight hormone.
The adrenalin that is rushed into your body is responsible for increasing your heart rate, making you perspire and cause heavy breathing, all symptomatic of a panic attack. It is when the danger is not in the same measure as the panic response that it becomes questionable.
Panic attacks can seem to happen out of the blue and to anyone at all not factoring in age or sex of a person. The problem arises when the attacks begin to disrupt the lives of the person going through it and for people around that person.
Since it’s the reactions in your brain that results in the panic attack, would it then seem fair to assume that panic attacks are symptoms of brain disorder? Let’s find out what a brain disorder is. Not withstanding the major brain disorders like seizures, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, learning disability and brain injury, there is a particular condition that may result in symptoms that are similar to panic attacks. It’s called post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the symptoms include panic attacks and nightmares.
Going through a traumatic experience like seeing a loved one die right in front of your eyes or witnessing an emotional event can cause you to have PTSD after that. If untreated, this condition can be detrimental to a person’s general wellbeing.
Some of the other accompanying symptoms include inattentiveness, inability to perform simple tasks, forgetfulness, confused and always seemingly preoccupied with some thought or other. Because the symptoms are very much like that of a brain injury, it can be assumed that it is a brain disorder. Actually it is not.
Panic attacks happen for a variety of reasons and in the case of PTSD the reason is quite identifiable. While a traumatic experience is one of the reasons for panic attacks brain, there are other reasons like genetics, side effects of medication taken or withdrawal symptom of stopping a medication or drug and even certain types of phobias.
In a brain disorder the reasons are usually initiated from a lack of oxygen to the brain thus causing serious problems like stroke and other brain injury. Problems like learning disability and neurological disabilities could have occurred while a person is still a toddler due to fever or other illnesses. In all likelihood panic attack would not be one of the symptoms of this sort of brain disorders.
So to reiterate, are panic attacks symptoms of brain disorder, the answer is definitely a ‘No’ but there are exceptions to the rule! Panic attack and brain disorder are two distinct problems and should be treated as such.