A panic attack is an unexpected surge of dread and worry that manifests physically and psychologically. Fear is exaggerated and out of proportion to the events or situations that precipitate the panic attack. While anybody can experience a panic attack once in a while, frequent and persistent episodes may indicate the presence of a panic or anxiety disorder that requires immediate medical care and treatment.
The following are examples of physical symptoms associated with a panic attack:
• Fast breathing
• Shortness of breath
• Severe perspiration
• Dizziness, feeling faint
• Numbness or tingling
• Chills or sensations of heat, hot flashes
• Tightness in the chest, throat
• Increased heart rate
• Disconnection from oneself
• Loss of control
• Imminent danger
• A strong desire to flee or avoid the situation
What Causes Panic Attacks?
There is no one-size-fits-all cause of panic episodes. However, numerous elements are considered to have a role in the development of panic attacks, with the influence varying according to an individual:
Genetic Factors: Although no one gene has been discovered as the cause of panic attacks, research suggests that having a first-degree relative who suffers from them increases the likelihood that you will as well.
Psychological Consequences: Numerous psychological variables, which are frequently examined in panic attacks therapy, are considered to contribute to an increased likelihood of experiencing panic attacks. These include the following:
- Low self-esteem
- Chronic stress
- Work-related stress
- Caregiving duties
- Grief or loss of a loved one
- Financial stress
- Performances or presentations
- Driving in heavy traffic
Mental Health Disorders
Additionally, anxiety episodes can be a sign of a variety of wider mental health disorders. Anxiety and panic episodes, in particular, are characteristics of a variety of anxiety and associated illnesses, including:
- Anxiety disorder
- Anxiety problem in social situations
- Distress following a tragic event (PTSD)
- Anxiety disorder with widespread manifestations
- OCD is a kind of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Phobias that are specific
Self-Care is important.
While experiencing an anxiety attack, you may feel completely out of control, but there are steps you can do to regain control. You can lower your stress levels, lessen the intensity of anxiety episodes, and even avoid future anxiety attacks if you practice good self-care habits.
Some self-care methods that may be used to combat anxiety episodes are as follows:
- Aerobic exercise on a regular basis
- Getting an appropriate amount of sleep
- Meditation and mindfulness are being practiced.
- The relaxation that happens gradually
- Assistance from others
- Taking deep breaths
- Visualization in a positive light
- Consuming A Mediterranean-style diet
Anxiety attacks must be treated. Anxiety episodes can lead to avoidance of previously loved activities or circumstances, as well as an increased chance of suicide attempts.
Thankfully, there are several effective anxiety therapies available. While most of these therapies are for anxiety disorders, they will also help those who suffer from panic attacks. Because anxiety attacks can be a sign of a larger anxiety problem.
Medications are a common therapy for anxiety disorders and can assist many people. Anxiety medication is usually prescribed by your primary care physician or psychiatrist.
- Anti-anxiety drugs: Benzodiazepines can be used to alleviate anxiety quickly.
- Antidepressants: The most often prescribed antidepressants for anxiety are SNRIs and SSRIs.
- Beta-blockers: Acute anxiety symptoms including tremors and fast pulse are treated with these off-label medicines. This makes them a suitable therapy for those who become anxious when performing in public.
Psychotherapy can help anxiety attacks. Ask your primary care provider to send you to a therapist or psychiatrist for your anxiety. Two forms of treatment, in particular, can reduce panic and anxiety episodes.
Anxiety problems are effectively treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
- (CBT) A therapist uses CBT to help you become aware of your erroneous ideas and actions and help you alter them.
- Exposure therapy may also help alleviate anxiety episodes, particularly those caused by phobias. Exposure therapy is progressively exposing yourself to scary stimuli. Exposure teaches adaptive strategies and helps you adjust to the stimuli, making them less scary.
The sensation of having an anxiety attack, whether for the first time or a hundred times, is terrifying. For a variety of reasons, it is critical to seek medical attention while experiencing anxiety episodes. The first step is to link you with appropriate treatment, such as medication and psychotherapy. Your healthcare practitioner may also be able to advise lifestyle modifications that can help you get back to doing what you like without the worry about having another anxiety attack.
Furthermore, the symptoms of worry might be mistaken for those of serious medical illnesses such as heart attacks. Your healthcare practitioner can assist you in diagnosing or ruling out these diseases, as well as ensuring that you remain healthy and safe.