A Short Guide About Panic Attacks
When you experience a sudden episode of intense fear or anxiety, with physical symptoms based on a perceived threat rather than real danger, this is known as a panic attack.
These are a type of fear response and are usually an exaggeration of how your body would typically respond to danger or stress.
The most common symptoms of panic attacks
There are various symptoms that one experiences when having a panic attack. These symptoms include:
Difficulty in breathing
When you suffer intense anxiety, you may experience the feeling of breathlessness prior to the onset of the panic attack itself. Unfortunately, such a situation always worsens the attack and can be dangerous if not controlled in advance.
This is one of the most common symptoms. When it occurs, it is so frightening since it makes an individual worry about severe health problems like heart attacks – it can lead to a feeling of imminent death. In addition, this symptom could be accompanied by difficulty in breathing and heart palpitations.
One can also experience excess sweating during a panic attack. This is strange since sweating is associated with an extreme physical workout. When you notice that an individual is just sweating from nowhere, it should be an alarming thing that should never be ignored. Some people may also shiver in the process.
When you go through a panic attack, it is common to experience a rapid increase in heart rate that may also cause difficulty in breathing. This situation is always frustrating since it usually leaves an individual feeling helpless.
Feeling weak or dizzy
Feeling weak, especially in the joints, is a frequent symptom during panic attacks that can’t be ignored. People suffering from a panic attack can easily fall down and injure themselves.
When you experience a panic attack, the associated unnatural breathing often deprives the brain of sufficient oxygen, which may make you feel dizzy.
Panic attacks are very common in the current society and are normally caused by the following:
Traumatic events, such as sexual assault or a serious accident
A panic attack can quickly occur when a person has a flashback of a sexual assault since they were taken advantage of against their will. It always reminds you how helpless you were at that moment.
Big changes in your life, such as divorce or the birth of a child
When things happen in our life that are beyond our control, they often leave us feeling helpless. For example, when you recall the good times that you had with your partner and realize they are just memories now, you can easily experience a panic attack due to denial.
Major stress, such as the death of a loved one or a serious illness
When a death occurs, it may cause a great deal of stress to the family members since a gap has been left and can never be filled. Whenever such a thing crosses an individual’s mind, it might easily cause a panic attack.
Family history of panic attacks
Although more studies are required, a predisposition to panic attacks and other anxiety disorders is thought to run in families. So having family members who experience these conditions might increase your risk of also suffering.
If you are worried about panic attacks, there are various techniques that you can use to stop them, such as:
This exercise helps stop panic attacks by shifting your focus from your worry and putting it on your body. When you breathe deeply, you end up releasing tension in each muscle hence feeling relieved after a while.
For those whose panic attacks are intense and can not be stopped by a physical exercise, you can visit a doctor who can advise you on taking medicines such as SSRIs and benzodiazepines.
You can counter panic attacks by shifting your mind to positive things when the thought of helplessness occurs in your mind.
Using muscles relaxation techniques
These techniques aim to release tension in one group of muscles at a time, which helps relax the body and stop the panic attack.
Panic attacks can be very frightening and debilitating, but the good news is that the techniques and treatment options mentioned above can provide relief from the worst of the symptoms or even prevent the attack altogether.