Panic is the sudden and overwhelming feeling of fright. It can often paralyze people, causing them to lose all sense of normalcy. Panic often occurs during dangerous situations, such as a car accident, a robbery, or when a loved one is in grave danger. Panic affects people and animals - just take a look at a show on animals for instance; when a lion charges a herd of animals that is what all-out panic looks like.
The word panic derives from the name of the Greek god Pan, who was said to have the ability to cause extreme, irrational fear, especially in lonely or open places. You may have experienced panic when you found yourself separated from your friends or family in a crowded mall, or in an unfamiliar place and all you notice are strange faces.
Panic is known to spread from one person to the next. If there is a fire in a building and one person starts to panic, many people will also panic causing a stampede for the exits. This is why during the aftermath of a fire, many firemen find the exit doors blocked by the bodies of those who were trying to escape. During their panic they lost all sense of rational thought and just made a mad dash for the doors. If they would have stayed calm then they probably would have all been able to get through the doors in an orderly fashion.
That is the reason why many architects and city planners devise office buildings, malls and schools with easy methods of getting out of the buildings. If a crowd starts to panic and rush all at once for the exits, they usually have a design in the building that works to break up the crowd before they reach the doors - this could be a large column or a garden area in a mall. This acts as an obstacle and separates the growing number of people charging for the doors.
Doctors often prescribe therapy for people who often panic in certain situations. They may also prescribe medications such as Valium, Xanax, Paxil or Prozac. These medications can be addictive and they also have some very uncomfortable side effects such as stomach pain, dizziness, nausea, irregular heartbeat and confusion.
Natural alternatives don't have these side effects and they can also treat the symptoms that occur during a panic episode. These herbal pills and treatments soothe a person; make them feel more relaxed even when they are in a stressful situation. They are also readily available but you should research them and their ingredients before making a purchase.