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IN the series about mental health, panic and anxiety disorder is discussed this week. This is the final article in this series. Anyone who wants to share their experiences about mental health problems with Kalahari Bulletin can contact Ilse Watson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 079-831-5579. All information is confidential. Ilse Watson "A PANIC attack just comes. It is unexpected. The first sign for me that a panic and anxiety attack is on its way is that my arms are suddenly very heavy it feels like I can't even move them and I suddenly feel extremely tired. I am short of breath, feeling hysterical and sometimes I experience heart palpitations." This is how a woman* from Kuruman, who was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder, describes her anxiety attacks. "When I experience an anxiety and panic attack, I have to take a sedative immediately. "I also start crying because it is just too much to handle. I try to take deep breaths but how do you manage to breathe deeply when your breath is racing?" she continues. There are various types of anxiety disorders. Anxiety can include four aspects of the experiences that an individual might have. Anxiety disorder is divided into anxiety disorder, phobic disorder and panic disorder - they all have their own characteristics. General anxiety disorder: It is a common, chronic disorder and a person suffering from it experiences long-lasting anxiety and it is mostly experienced by older adults. It can be a symptom of medical or substance abuse. This disorder will be diagnosed when a person has been extremely worried about daily problems for more than six months. Phobias: Phobic disorder is triggered by a specific situation or stimulus. People with phobic disorder are anticipating terrifying consequences. Panic disorder: Someone suffering from panic disorder suffers from brief attacks of intense apprehension and worry. They will tremble, shake, are confused, might be dizzy and might have difficulty breathing. These attacks are triggered by stress and fear. Other disorders associated with panic and anxiety disorders are agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), separation anxiety, situational anxiety and childhood anxiety disorders. How is an anxiety disorder diagnosed? This disorder is often a chronic condition and it is defined as an unpleasant emotional state. By using clinical questionnaires this disorder ban be detected. Sources: http://www.onlinecounselingfast.com/cure-panic-attacks/; The South African Depression and Anxiety group (SADAG). *Name not disclosed to protect her identity. TREATMENT options for panic and anxiety disorder: It includes lifestyle changes - the aim is to learn from acting differently and observing their reactions. Psychotherapy, especially cognitive behavioral therapy - this is highly effective for panic disorder and social phobias. Cognitive behavioral therapy can include techniques such as deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises - it can also include anxiety managment training. Pharmaceutical therapy - certain medications are prescribed, such as antidepressants. Self-help books will help the treatment if someone has anxiety disorder - it is important that the patient receives education about their disorder. Stopping smoking plays a large role in anxiety disorder and it is recommended that a patient stops smoking. During a panic attack a patient should learn to focus their conscious mind on something else and stop worrying. They must learn to understand the symptoms - they must take action and do breathing exercises as taught to them.