Learn some cognitive & behavioral techniques to help cope with different forms of panic.

Eating right, Exercising, & staying busy are effective strategies.

Many people with anxiety disorders benefit from joining a self-help or support group and sharing their problems and achievements with others. Internet chat rooms can also be useful in this regard, but any advice received over the Internet should be used with caution, as Internet acquaintances have usually never seen each other and false identities are common. Talking with a trusted friend or member of the clergy can also provide support, but it is not a substitute for care from a mental health professional.

Stress management techniques and meditation can help people with anxiety disorders calm themselves and may enhance the effects of therapy. There is preliminary evidence that aerobic exercise may have a calming effect. Since caffeine, certain illicit drugs, and even some over-the-counter cold medications can aggravate the symptoms of anxiety disorders, they should be avoided. Check with your physician or pharmacist before taking any additional medications. Using brain imaging technology and neurochemical techniques, scientists have discovered that the amygdala and the hippocampus play significant roles in most anxiety disorders. The amygdala is an almond-shaped structure deep in the brain that is believed to be a communications hub between the parts of the brain that process incoming sensory signals and the parts that interpret these signals. It can alert the rest of the brain that a threat is present and trigger a fear or anxiety response. It appears that emotional memories are stored in the central part of the amygdala and may play a role in anxiety disorders involving very distinct fears, such as fears of dogs, spiders, or flying.

The hippocampus is the part of the brain that encodes threatening events into memories. Studies have shown that the hippocampus appears to be smaller in some people who were victims of child abuse or who served in military combat

*     Panic disorder: Sudden attacks of terror usually accompanied by a pounding heart, sweating, weakness, dizziness, chest pain, & sense of impending doom.

*     Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Exaggerated worry & tension for no apparent reason. A person with GAD has excessive worries for at least 6 months, often accompanied by physical symptoms such as sleep disorders (falling asleep and staying asleep)  & breathing difficulties especially fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, muscles aches,  difficulty swallowing, trembling, twitching, irritability, sweating, feeling lightheaded, feeling out of breath, easily startled, being irritable & hot flashes.

*     Obsessive – Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Persistent, intrusive thoughts (obsessions) & rituals (compulsions), or repetitive such as hand washing, counting, checking, or cleaning, which R an attempt to control anxiety caused by these thoughts. Performing these so-called “rituals” provides only temporary relief, and not performing them markedly increases anxiety. It is the fourth most common mental disorder. OCD obsessions are repeated, persistent and unwanted ideas, thoughts, images or impulses that you have involuntarily and that seem to make no sense. These obsessions typically intrude when you're trying to think of or do other things. There's a difference between being a perfectionist and having obsessive-compulsive disorder. Perhaps you keep the floors in your house so clean that you could eat off them. Or you like your knickknacks arranged just so. That doesn't necessarily mean that you have obsessive-compulsive disorder.

*     Post – traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Develops after a terrifying ordeal involving physical harm or its threat. Symptoms include flashbacks, anxiety, sleeplessness & terror lasting at least a month. It is a severe and ongoing emotional reaction to an extreme psychological trauma. This stressor may involve someone's actual death, a threat to the patient's or someone else's life, serious physical injury, an unwanted sexual act, or a threat to physical or psychological integrity, overwhelming psychological defenses. In some cases it can also be from profound psychological and emotional trauma, apart from any actual physical harm. Often, however, incidents involving both things are found to be the cause.

*     Social Anxiety Disorder (PTSD): Develops after a terrifying ordeal involving physical harm or its threat. Symptoms include flashbacks, anxiety, sleeplessness, & terror lasting at least a month. Aka social phobia, is an anxiety disorder in which a person has an excessive and unreasonable fear of social situations. Anxiety (intense nervousness) and self-consciousness arise from a fear of being closely watched, judged, and criticized by others. A person with social anxiety disorder is afraid that he or she will make mistakes and be embarrassed or humiliated in front of others. The fear may be made worse by a lack of social skills or experience in social situations. The anxiety can build into a panic attack. As a result of the fear, the person endures certain social situations in extreme distress or may avoid them altogether. In addition, people with social anxiety disorder often suffer "anticipatory" anxiety -- the fear of a situation before it even happens -- for days or weeks before the event. In many cases, the person is aware that the fear is unreasonable, yet is unable to overcome it. People with social anxiety disorder may be afraid of a specific situation, such as speaking in public. However, most people with social anxiety disorder fear more than one social situation. Other situations that commonly provoke anxiety include:

*      Eating or drinking in front of others.

*      Writing or working in front of others.

*      Being the center of attention.

*      Interacting with people, including dating or going to parties.

*      Asking questions or giving reports in groups.

*      Using public toilets.

*      Talking on the telephone.

*  Biological: Social anxiety disorder may be related to an imbalance of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Neurotransmitters are special chemical messengers that help move information from nerve cell to nerve cell in the brain. If the neurotransmitters are out of balance, messages cannot get through the brain properly. This can alter the way the brain reacts to stressful situations, leading to anxiety. In addition, social anxiety disorder appears to run in families. This means that the disorder may be passed on in families through genes, the material that contains instructions for the function of each cell in the body.

*  Psychological: The development of social anxiety disorder may stem from an embarrassing or humiliating experience at a social event in the past.

*  Environmental: People with social anxiety disorder may develop their fear from observing the behavior of others or seeing what happened to someone else as the result of their behavior (such as being laughed at or made fun of). Further, children who are sheltered or overprotected by their parents may not learn good social skills as part of their normal development.

Children with this disorder may express their anxiety by crying, clinging to a parent, or throwing a tantrum.

*     Phobias: or morbid fear is an irrational, intense, persistent fear of certain situations, activities, things, or people. The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive, unreasonable desire to avoid the feared subject. When the fear is beyond one's control, or if the fear is interfering with daily life, then a diagnosis under one of the anxiety disorders can be made. When the fear or aggression response is initiated, the amygdala releases hormones into the body to put the human body into an "alert" state, in which they are ready to move, run, fight, etc. Phobias vary in severity among individuals. Some individuals can simply avoid the subject of their fear and suffer only relatively mild anxiety over that fear. Others suffer fully-fledged panic attacks with all the associated disabling symptoms. Most individuals understand that they are suffering from an irrational fear, but are powerless to override their initial panic reaction. For more on this topic visit or, or,

Experts believe anxiety disorders R caused by a combination of biological & environmental factors such as an imbalance of brain chemicals, genetic tendencies toward anxiety, & life events. Some anxiety disorders R caused by underlying medical issues, so consult Ur physician to be sure. Living with anxiety isn’t easy; it helps to know that up tp 90% of people affected can be effectively treated. Treatment varies per individual.

Source of reference: Healthmonitor Vol.7, No 1 Feb/March 09 Pg. 6-7,,,, ,,,,