Can Panic Attacks Cause Seizures?
Panic attacks seizures are two distinct neurobiological conditions that can both be debilitating distressing. While panic attacks are associated with intense feelings of fear anxiety seizures involve abnormal electrical activity in the brain. While they may appear similar in some aspects panic attacks seizures are fundamentally different phenomena.
Panic Attacks Explained
Panic attacks are intense episodes of fear anxiety that usually arise abruptly peaking within a few minutes. Symptoms can include a rapid heartbeat shortness of breath chest pain dizziness trembling a sense of impending doom. The physical psychological symptoms can be so overwhelming that individuals may fear they are having a heart attack or going insane.
A seizure occurs due to abnormal electrical activity in the brain leading to temporary changes in movement behavior sensations or consciousness. There are different types of seizures they can manifest in various ways including convulsions staring spells or temporary loss of awareness. Seizures are generally caused by underlying neurological conditions such as epilepsy traumatic brain injury brain infections or tumors.
Connection Between Panic Attacks Seizures
While panic attacks seizures arise from different biological mechanisms there can be instances of overlapping symptoms. In rare cases panic attacks can induce convulsive movements that may resemble seizures. These episodes are called psychogenic or pseudoseizures can be triggered by extreme stress emotional trauma or other psychological factors. Psychogenic seizures do not involve abnormal electrical brain activity like genuine seizures.
Seeking Medical Attention
It is essential to seek medical attention if you experience episodes that resemble seizures or panic attacks. Accurate diagnosis is crucial to determine the appropriate treatment as the management approaches for panic attacks seizures differ considerably. A thorough assessment by a healthcare professional including medical history evaluation physical examination potentially further diagnostic tests can help distinguish between the two conditions.
Panic attacks seizures require different treatment approaches. Panic attacks are commonly managed through psychotherapy cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or benzodiazepines to alleviate anxiety symptoms. Seizures on the other hand are treated by addressing the underlying cause antiepileptic medications are often prescribed to control abnormal electrical brain activity.
While panic attacks seizures are distinct in their origins mechanisms there can be instances where panic attacks may manifest as episodes resembling seizures. These psychogenic seizures induced by extreme psychological distress are rare do not involve abnormal electrical brain activity. Seeking medical attention is crucial to receive an accurate diagnosis appropriate treatment for these conditions. Remember you are not alone help is available to manage both panic attacks seizures effectively.