Panic attacks cause the sufferer an uncontrollable sense of anxiety. The person feels that they could even die at that moment and feels hopeless. This sensation causes a terrible fear, and the fear increases the anxiety even more, causing the panic attack to last longer.
This is a psychological disorder. Its causes can often been found in people suffering from prolonged stress.
To control panic attacks, the person should begin to analyse what excesses they have in their life. There, they will surely find the cause.
Psychological support is important to help self-awareness and self-control, which are crucial for being able to keep yourself calm and prevent a panic attack.
Sometimes, moderating your pace of life and avoiding situations that provoke anxiety can help this problem to become less common and eventually disappear.
Panic attacks often occur without warning, especially the first time it happens. Generally, they last 10 to 20 minutes, although some symptoms can last longer.
What are the symptoms that someone might be having a panic attack?
- Chest pains, dizziness, or feeling faint
- Fear of losing control of the situation or fear of imminent death
- Difficulty breathing
- Stomach pains or nausea
- Increased heart rate or heart palpitations
- Cold shivers or shakes
If the persons often suffers from panic attacks, it’s possible that they know they are about have one before it occurs. This is the moment to put some strategies into practice that can help control the situation.
Strategies for avoiding a panic attack
- Meditate. Analyse your lifestyle and things that you could do to improve it. Pay attention to your diet, how much rest you’re getting, your recreational activities, and how much exercise you’re getting. Adopt healthy habits. It’s the very first thing to do.
Remember that panic attacks are normal. A person that suffers from panic attacks should not consider themselves sick. They can happen to anyone. The causes are internal, and therefore, it has nothing to do with our environment or what other people do to affect us.
- Don’t think too much about it. Avoiding thoughts about anxiety is very important. It could be harmful to think about it or could even cause a panic attack, as fear is the root cause.
- Positive statements. Prepare some positive statements to repeat to yourself in the moments that you think a panic attack is imminent. The key theme should be “I’m not going to die, this is just fear.” Phrases like this can calm your anxiety.
- Breathing. Focusing your attention on breathing is an excellent strategy for getting rid of negative thoughts and fears. Make yourself conscious of the act of breathing: breathe in, keep your breath for a three seconds, and then breathe out slowly. Full attention on your breathing will relax your muscles and joints.
- Focus your eyes and ears. Watch or observe something specific: a button on your clothing, a car number plate. Focus on specific sounds: car horns, birds tweeting, people chattering. If you focus your thoughts on external stimuli, it will reduce your internal fear.
- Don’t get angry or sad. You must avoid blaming yourself for your anxiety. It doesn’t help to think or say “I’m so weak!”, “this is horrible”, or expressions of that sort. Nothing like that will solve your problem. In fact, it’ll make it worse, deepening the problem. It’s better to react with humor.
- Accept help. There are moments when professional help is necessary. A psychologist can help guide you to overcome your problems.
Professional treatment for people who suffer from anxiety seeks to help people to live a normal live. It’s possible that they may need to resort to a combination of medication and psychotherapy.
Generally, the medications that are used are those used to treat depression, or sedatives which calm the nerves.
Support groups have been shown to be very effective. Sharing your experiences with other people who have been in the same situations helps to combat the feeling of isolation.
People who suffer from panic attacks are particularly prone to resort to alcohol or take other drugs. It’s important that family and friends pay attention to make sure this doesn’t happen.