7 Things To Do If You Suffer From Panic Attacks
Panic attacks are an intense, overwhelming, physical expression of anxiety. They are the result of a mental health disorder and can not be controlled by the person undergoing the attack.
Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet many sufferers live without treatment. In fact, only 36.9% of those suffering from anxiety receive treatment. If you are a victim of an anxiety disorder, it is important that you seek professional treatment from a doctor.
In the meantime, here are 7 things you and those around you should consider if you suffer from panic attacks:
What is a Panic Attack?
A panic attack is the sudden onset of intense fear and anxiety that reaches a peak within minutes and then subsides. The peak is usually reached within 10 minutes and the physical symptoms will begin to dissipate.
Panic Attack Symptoms
Panic attacks are triggered by anxiety and fear through a specific situation, person, or thing. There are an array of physical and mental symptoms associated with panic attacks:
- Sweating or chills
- Trouble breathing or choking feeling
- Feeling a loss of control
- Upset stomach
- Heart palpitations
- Feeling weak or dizzy
- A sense of terror even when there is no actual danger
- Fear of dying
Anxiety Attack vs. Panic Attack
An anxiety attack and a panic attack are under the same mental health umbrella. However, the main differentiating factor between the two is that while anxiety can be accompanied by physical symptoms, a panic attack is much more intense with a duration of about 10 minutes.
A panic disorder is a recurring panic or anxiety attack that inhibits your everyday life and is a type of anxiety disorder. Panic attacks are categorized as an anxiety disorder when the attacks begin affecting the person’s social life. Once the sufferer begins avoiding public or social interactions out of anxiety or fear of having a panic attack, they have now developed a disorder.
What to Do
- Acknowledgment – panic attacks cloud your judgment. If you know you’re having a panic attack, acknowledge reality and try to realize that your fears are irrational. For instance, if you feel like you’re going to die during a panic attack, try to remember that you’re not. Separate your fears from reality.
- Go to a quiet place – panic attacks are often triggered in public places. Once you feel your anxiety increasing into an attack, separate yourself and go to a quiet place for some peace. Excuse yourself to the bathroom until you feel at ease. In most situations, it’s ideal that you return to the event instead of ducking out and going home. You don’t want to encourage your panic attacks.
- Focus on right now – anxiety is the sudden onset of fear of the future. Focus on the present. Find a focal point in the room, hone in on it, and remember that the future isn’t here yet.
- Talk about it – not talking about your fears and anxiety will only make things worse. Thought suppression will always make your attacks worse. Willingly speak about your disorder with family and friends and let them hold you accountable.
- Breathe – hyperventilation results in the expelling of too much carbon dioxide, resulting in chest pains, lightheadedness, and difficulty breathing. Take a second, slow down, and purposely relearn how to breathe.
- Exercise – one of the most powerful tools for your mental and physical health is exercising. Exercise creates endorphins, and endorphins will keep you in a positive mood. When you’re feeling ridden with anxiety, exercise can be a way to escape your thoughts.
- Seek treatment – not enough sufferers of panic attacks seek professional treatment. Anxiety and panic attacks are easily remedied with proper medication and a treatment plan.
Panic attacks should not be overlooked, let’s talk about these disorders freely. Be apart of the mental health movement and share our blog on social media! If you suffer from panic attacks, seek treatment from an experienced and empathetic doctor today at GMP Medical.
May 1, 2018 11:14 am
Categories: Family Health