Panic Attack Causes and Cure
A panic attack is when an individual experiences a sudden onset of intense fear or overwhelming anxiety. This is usually immobilizing or debilitating. Panic attacks mostly occur without warning and may not have a clear indication of a trigger.
However, reoccurring panic attacks can happen and are often triggered by specific events or situations like public speaking. Reoccurring panic attacks are often called a panic disorder and are treated with therapy, lifestyle changes, or selective serotonin inhibitors. Panic attacks can be extremely frightening as you may not be aware of what is going on. This often leaves the person feeling completely powerless and without control.
Many describe panic attacks as feeling like they are choking, and gripped with fear. That they are suffocating, or that their world is falling apart.
What Causes Panic Attacks?
Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy and clear indication of what actually causes panic attacks. For most individuals, panic attacks occur when there is a major life event or transition that causes stress or anxiety. These can include childhood trauma, having a baby, graduation, or getting married. Other then this, panic attacks can occur as a result of medical conditions such as an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism). Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), stimulant use, medication withdrawal, and mitral valve prolapse can also be factors.
Are Symptoms Panic Attack?
Symptoms of a panic attack are often associated with trembling, sweating, dizziness, intense fear of losing control. Chest pain, a racing heart, shortness of breath, nausea, chills, headaches, and a sense of impending doom are also symptoms.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, women are more likely than men to develop a panic disorder from reoccurring attacks. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough information to determine who is at a higher risk for having panic attacks.
How to stop a Panic Attack
Once you know you are at risk, there are several things you can do to lessen frequency. The first line of defence is in knowing what the symptoms are. This will allow you to recognize what is going on when a panic attack occurs.
The second step would be to choose a saying, phrase, or motto that calms you down so that during the attack. You can repeat it and lessen the grip that the attack has on you. In addition, you can use deep breathing techniques to divert your attention to your breathing. Rather than on what is causing your distress.
Other techniques focus on the smell, sounds, textures, and the environment around you. As doing so will keep you in the present.
Panic Attack Treatment
Panic attacks can be treated with cognitive behavioral therapy which focuses on changing the thought patterns that occur or trigger panic attacks. Individuals can also be treated with exposure therapy which uses panic-inducing methods to help the individual learn coping techniques. This is done in a safe and controlled environment and aims to help the individual become less afraid.
Other than this, a regular schedule for sleep, exercise, and daily activities can help in addition to minimizing stimulants like caffeine. If required, medication can be used to treat the panic attacks if they are diagnosed as a panic disorder.
It is extremely important that individuals receive medical attention for panic attacks, as there can be complications associated with lack of treatment. Avoidance of situations, problems with performance at work and school and depression all have a detrimental impact. Increased risk of suicide, substance abuse, and the development of phobias are also problematic.
*This post contains affiliate links, where we maybe compensated. Full Disclosure here