Can Panic Attacks Cause Blackouts?
Some of the people who suffer from panic attacks do experience unconsciousness as part of the panic-attack experience. According to some medical research, panic-attack blackouts happen to hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people around the world.
Everyone experiences stress in life, because of work, family issues and health issues. In many cases, this stress can be managed. In fact, people often just take it in stride, get through it and go on. When the tension builds to anxiety, getting through it or over it may be more difficult.
Surveys and medical research show that millions of people suffer from panic attacks in the United States alone. This may be due to genetics. A history of similar incidents in the family might actually lead to panic disorder, a longer, more consistent incidence of panic attacks.
Panic attacks may be caused by extreme stress, causing physical changes and symptoms such as trembling hands, sweating, increased heart rate and tightness in the chest. In addition to medications that have been prescribed to treat panic-attack symptoms, some people learn deep-breathing techniques and learn to focus on specific tasks as a way to limit the effects of an attack.
People respond to panic attacks in different ways, with pre-existing health conditions contributing to more severe symptoms such as increased heart rate, blood pressure changes and even fainting. It is not easy to determine when a panic attack will come, since they are so sudden. It’s difficult to determine if a panic attack could lead to fainting or black out, though a good knowledge of your general health should uncover some of the risk factors. Treating such medical conditions as high blood pressure and breathing difficulties might be of some help.
So, the best way to avoid a black out associated with a panic attack is to limit or prevent the attack in the first place. Counselors and psychologists with experience in panic disorder advise patients to be particularly aware of the thoughts and actions that take place just before an attack and in the early moments of a panic attack.
If a specific work or family situation seems to trigger an episode, it may be necessary to avoid these situations altogether (if possible). Perhaps a certain food item or additive starts the process. These may be more difficult to identify but doctors have found some artificial sweeteners, excess sugar and foods with high levels of preservatives may contribute to attacks.
One interesting result that doctors have uncovered when working with panic-attack patients is that the individual sometimes increases the negative effects by engaging in non-productive, worry-based thinking. This sometimes leads to physical changes such as hyperventilation, increased heart rate and so on. Adding to the problem in this way sometimes leads to fainting/blackout. While the information might not be sufficient at this time, there is also a possibility that limiting the length of a panic attack can reduce the possibility of physical events such as blackouts.