Understand panic attacks
In the last post I talked about some natural ways that you can deal with anxiety attacks. In this post I`m going to talk more about panic attacks, so that you can understand them better.
What is a panic attack?
A panic attack is a sudden attack of exaggerated anxiety and fear. Often, attacks happen all of sudden and with none apparent reason. As I have mentioned before, some individuals could expertise only 1 episode of a panic attack, while others will have continual episodes.
Recurring episodes typically happen when an individual is exposed to numerous events or situations that may “trigger” panic. whereas it’s typically harmless, panic attacks can severely disable an individual physically, emotionally and psychologically. In extreme cases, panic attacks can cause panic disorder.
Who gets panic attacks?
The condition affects many people. it’s believed that 10% of the entire population suffer from panic attacks, however many are still undiagnosed or under-diagnosed. they have a tendency to occur more in young adults. women are twice as liable to have an attack as men. it’s also said that the condition is genetically inherited so panic attacks might run within the family.
A panic attack can be identified by different signs and symptoms. They include
– increased heartbeat or palpitation
– chest pain
– hyperventilation or shortness of breath
– upset or stomach churning stomach
– trembling and shaking
– muscle tension
– dizziness and light-headedness
– hot or cold flashes
– tingling sensation or numbness
– fear of dying, going crazy or losing control
– feeling detached from the surroundings.
The signs and symptoms of panic attacks are similar to a heart attack. The former isn’t dangerous, the latter may be deadly. it’s best thus to seek for emergency medical help, particularly if the patient experiences it for the first time.
What cause an attack?
Many panic attacks happen without any apparent reason. They just come out of the blue. However, attacks could also be caused by past traumatic experiences like death of a loved one, family conflicts, unhealthy relationships, divorce of parents, a accident, public humiliation, etc.
An attack might occur when an individual is exposed to numerous events or situations almost just like the past that will “trigger” panic.
Stress is closely joined to panic attacks. Triggers include a stressful life event as well as stressful working or living environment.
What should you do during an attack?
Panic attacks peak from five to ten minutes and barely last for over half hour. However throughout this time, you’ll experience discomfort like those signs and symptoms mentioned higher than.
Since increased pulse rate is the main reason for experiencing different symptoms, it’s necessary to take control of your breathing throughout a attack. Breathe slowly and deeply as you can. Inhale slowly for three counts then hold your breath for the next three slow counts. Then, exhale for three slow counts.
Do this till you’re calm. If you’re able to stand, rise slowly and walk around. It’s also useful to breathe into a plastic or a paper bag. This enables you to re-breathe your CO2. CO2 helps correct the blood acid level that had been disturbed by excessive breathing.
While practicing deep breathing, try and focus your attention far from the cause of panic. Replace your anxious thoughts with happy ones. If available, do something that may occupy your mind like solving puzzles and taking part in word games.
Make sure you look for my next post soon. I will be talking about how to help someone that is having a panic attack.