Amanda Seyfried’s Panic Attacks: 20 Things You Need to Know!

Although she’s only 25, actress Amanda Seyfried has already had a pretty impressive career.

Starting as a child model at the age of 11, she moved on to recurring roles on As the World Turns and All My Children by the age of 15.

In 2004, she landed her first film role in Mean Girls, playing one of the “Plastics”. She moved on to a leading role in the HBO series Big Love, and then to her breakout role as Sophie Sheridan in the 2008 musical film Mamma Mia! 

Since then, she’s appeared in lead roles in Jennifer’s Body (2009), Chloe (2009), Dear John (2010), Letters to Juliet (2010), and Red Riding Hood (2011).  In Time, a sci-fi thriller in which she stars with Justin Timberlake, will be released later this month.

Despite this success, she’s had two fairly public relationships, and breakups-with actors Dominic Cooper and Ryan Phillippe.

Seyfried now tells the British edition of Glamour that all this has contributed to her development of panic attacks. She currently is seeing a therapist once a week to help her with the problem.

“I still do get terribly nervous, and that’s party due to the fact i think too much and over-analyze things. I’ll start worrying about my parents or my dog, and I’ll picture him opening the window of my apartment and falling out, even though I can’t get that thing open myself.”

Panic Attacks are Scary!

1.  Panic disorder is a real illness that can be successfully treated.

2.  Panic disorder affects about 6 million American adults.

3.  They are twice as common in women as men.

4.  Panic attacks are characterized by sudden attacks of terror.

5. It is unknown what causes panic disorders.

6.  They are usually accompanied by a pounding heart, sweatiness, weakness, faintness, or dizziness.

7.  Other symptoms include:

  • chills
  • numbness and tingling of the hands
  • nausea
  • chest pain, or smothering sensations

8.  Sufferers often experience a sense of unreality, a sense of impending doom, or a fear of losing control.

9.  A fear of one’s own unexplained physical symptoms is also a symptom of panic disorder. People having panic attacks sometimes believe they are having heart attacks, losing their minds, or on the verge of death.

10.  Panic attacks can occur at any time of the day.

11. People who have full-blown, repeated panic attacks can become very disabled by their condition.

12. They start to avoid places or situations where panic attacks have occurred.

13. Suffers lives can become so restricted that they avoid normal activities, such as grocery shopping or driving.

14. About one-third become housebound or are able to confront a feared situation only when accompanied by a spouse or other trusted person.

15. This symptoms is called agoraphobia, or fear of open spaces (originally taken from the Greek expression for “fear of the market place”).

16. Since many of these symptoms mimic physical disorders, patients often have repeated physician or emergency room visits before they are diagnosed.

17. Patients with panic disorder usually respond well to medications, talk therapy, or both.

18. Medications for panic disorder include antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications.

19. Additional measures to reduce stress, including meditation, yoga, biofeedback, and so on are also helpful in reducing anxiety and panic attacks.

20. You can learn more about panic attacks and panic disorder by clicking here to go to the Resounding Health Casebook on the topic.

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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