If you’ve ever experienced a panic attack, you know how debilitating they can be, and even scarier to witness. They often times take up symptoms of strokes and can cause unconsciousness. With 1.7% of the population, approximately 2.4 million Americans, having experienced a panic attack at least once in their life, it has become more common and imperative to bring awareness to panic attacks, and highlight possible remedies.
What are Panic Attacks?
A panic attack is the overwhelming feeling of anxiety or fear that seemingly occurs out of nowhere. Symptoms of a panic attack include a dangerously fast heart rate, shortness of breath, an inability to move, choking up, chills and shaking. These frightening signs of a panic attack happen usually without any warning, and make the situation even more difficult to deal with.
Why Do You Experience Panic Attacks?
While the origins of each individual’s panic attacks vary, we can assume that the majority of them stem from high levels of stress. Genetics also play a role in the likelihood of a panic attack and other mental health conditions. There are times, however, when your subconscious is responsible for triggering a panic attack. Traumatic situations, bad dreams or generally negative experiences have a tendency to remain in the subconscious, and appear without warning, causing a panic attack. Panic attacks can also be a symptom of heart problems, low blood sugar, drug addiction and hyperthyroidism.
Possible Treatments for Panic Attacks
Conventional medications, while sometimes effective, are known for their undesirable side effects. Less intrusive treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy, which is a common and effective treatment for individuals who have experienced multiple panic attacks. Another newer approach to treating panic attacks is CBD oil. Being a completely natural product (with no known side effects) CBD oil has become a very popular choice for panic attacks.
Cannabidiol (CBD), extracted from hemp plants, has been shown to be beneficial for the treatment of several mental health conditions. As you may have heard, CBD oil is proven to be beneficial for epilepsy, and many other conditions that deal with the nervous system.
According to a preclinical study published in NCBI, CBD exhibited the possibility of reducing symptoms of fear, a commonality in those who have experienced multiple panic attacks.
These individuals are conditioned to feel fear in particular situations that can trigger their panic attacks. CBD may be able to target and reduce the feeling of fear by targeting the infralimbic cortex, which is responsible for emotional responses such as fear.
Blocking Unintentional Memory Retrieval
It is believed that memory, specifically flashbacks to a traumatic incident, can play a significant role in triggering said panic attacks. Scientific trials with rats have shown that CBD could possibly block traumatic memories, therefore lessening the possibility of recurring panic attacks. Furthermore, CBD may stimulate serotonin production, which aids in reducing fear, panic and anxiety. Treatment with CBD over a long time period are also a means of decreasing heart rate and blood pressure. Both of these factors could lead to a decrease of panic attacks altogether.
As our understanding of this growing mental and subsequently physical ailment, it is clear that an all natural, safe and non-addictive alternative is the best way to treat this oft times debilitating disease.