Your heart is racing, your breath is constipated, but you can’t catch your breath? These are all classic signs of a panic attack. And it can happen even when you are doing something you enjoy, like playing at Tony Bet or going out with friends. Where does panic come from, what are the dangers, and how do you deal with it?
What a Panic Attack Looks Like
Did you know that panic attacks are much more common than you think? Only about 6 million Americans experience them every year. Many people don’t even know they suffer from panic disorder: Statistically, 10% of the population has latent PA.
So how does a panic attack feel? An indescribable feeling of fear and a sense of impending death. Tears that can’t be stopped, trembling and lack of air. You seem to forget how to breathe at all and become hostage to your own body.
Panic attacks can be incredibly frightening, but they don’t cause any physical harm. In other words, when the symptoms seem real, there is actually no danger to your body. PA is a natural reaction to the difficult times and stress in our lives.
Manifestations of panic attacks can be physical or emotional.
Physical symptoms include palpitations, sweating, nausea, chills, or hot flashes. People also experience shortness of breath and chest pain, feeling short of breath and unable to breathe fully. This is why panic attacks are often confused with heart disease.
Emotional symptoms include uncontrollable anxiety, irrational fear of going crazy, losing control or dying suddenly, and increased tearfulness.
Triggers of Panic Attacks
They always occur suddenly and without warning. Although it’s impossible to predict the next attack, there are some common triggers that can trigger a panic attack.
One of the most common triggers is stress. Deadlines at work, family problems, and financial difficulties contribute to the risk of a panic attack. Learn to better manage your stress levels with the help of a therapist or learn self-help techniques. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation can help reduce the risk of a panic attack.
Fears and phobias are often the catalyst for panic attacks. To reduce anxiety caused by certain triggers, the exposure method will help. Its essence is simple: under the strict control of a specialist, you are placed in a specially recreated trigger situation. The goal of such therapy is to gradually become accustomed to the object of fear and, as a result, to reduce anxiety and panic attacks.
Physical health problems such as low blood sugar or dehydration can also be triggers for panic attacks. It’s important to eat regularly and drink plenty of fluids so that your body has enough energy reserves for unexpected physical health problems.
Panic attacks are debilitating. Fortunately, you can use measures that will prevent more attacks. Here are some strategies to help you manage panic attacks before they happen.
The first step in preventing panic attacks is to understand what triggers them. These can be certain situations, people, or even thoughts that cause anxiety and fear. Once you identify the triggers, it will be easier for you to deal with them and reduce your risk of having a panic attack.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
Deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and meditation will help you reduce your stress levels. If you take the time and do the techniques daily, you will be able to keep your stress levels low and better cope with difficult situations that provoke a panic attack.
To cope with an attack, focus on your breathing – take slow deep breaths through your nose and exhale through your mouth until your emotions dissipate.
Get Enough Sleep
Lack of sleep is one of the most common triggers of panic attacks. It’s important to get at least eight hours of rest each night to keep you healthy and alert during the day. Try going to bed at the same time every night, avoid caffeine at the end of the day, and reduce screen time before bed to speed up falling asleep and improve the quality of your night’s sleep.
Exercise reduces stress levels and improves your overall physical and mental health. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily to help increase your endorphins in your blood and reduce your risk of panic attacks.
If you are struggling with anxiety or fear, seek support from friends or family members who understand what you are going through. Talking about your anxiety with someone else often relieves stress and brings relief.
Look for Help
Get professional help if you realize you can’t handle it on your own. A professional will help you determine the cause of your panic attacks and tell you what to do next.
How Panic Attacks Affect Life
Panic attacks cause severe physical and emotional suffering. Although frequent panic attacks don’t affect a person’s physical health in any way, they do significantly reduce their overall quality of life.
When a person experiences panic attacks, they feel overwhelmed and become unable to interact with their surroundings. This leads to a lack of concentration in the workplace or classroom, which subsequently greatly affects performance and results.
Frequent attacks also affect relationships with friends and family members. People who suffer from panic disorder become withdrawn and avoid social interaction for fear of having another seizure in public. Lack of social interaction leads to feelings of isolation and loneliness, which can further exacerbate symptoms.