You feel a sudden onset of intense fear, your palms are sweaty, you are getting heart palpitations, and having difficulty speaking. What you are experiencing is a panic attack, and the physical reactions you’re undergoing are psychosomatic symptoms.
So what exactly is a panic attack and how why does it manifests itself?
Panic attacks are very similar to physical reactions to danger, which in this case does not exist. They usually occurs when a person is afraid of something, and sometimes can occur for no apparent reason. And once you experience the initial panic attack, you may also develop a fear of the situation that led to the panic attack.
So whys is this a problem? Well fear can affect every aspect of your life and a panic attack can be just as debilitating as any physical injury, and the desire to avoid a repeat panic attack can in itself generate such fear of having an attack that you will avoid all situations in which you think an attack can occurred.
Thankfully for most of us a panic attack only occurs once in a lifetime, but for some this fear of experiencing a panic attach can become a disorder.
Panic disorder are characterized by an acute fear reaction, which has accompanying symptoms. These attacks do not have to have any external cause, with the most common symptoms of panic attacks being severe agitation, palpitations, irregular heartbeat, rapid pulse, impaired balance, tremors, sweating, suffocation, the rush of heat, whole body muscle tremors, chest pain, fainting, dizziness, weakness, nausea, chills, numbness, blurred vision and the feeling of losing your mind.
The onset of these attacks cannot be predicted, and such attacks can happen in situations that create nerviness or worry are. But It is also important to understand that you do not need to have all the above symptoms of panic attacks, and that you can even have symptoms not listed above and still be having a panic attack.
If you do have a panic attack, try some of these methods listed to help manage the attack.
- Sometimes during a panic attack one can feel a bloating and stiffness of the body, focus on tightening and relax distinct muscles groups and mentally focus on relaxing your body. The will relieve the thoughts of anxiety and ease the physical discomfort.
- Breathe slowly and deeply, this is essential in reducing the symptoms of a panic. Proper breathing soothes the body and mind. In a panic attack, breathing becomes shallow and rapid. So emphasis should be given to calming the breath by focusing on each inhalation and exhalation. Focusing your thoughts on deep breathing is an effective mental distraction from the “physical effects of the attack”. I may even help if you say to yourself “it’s just a panic attack and nothing else, it is of no consequence”. This can counter other thoughts that can well up and feed the fear when we feel alone and having an attach.
- One of the important things to do is that when you feel a panic attack coming on, try not to think about it! Turn your thoughts to something you love, sing your favorite song or watch your favorite show, etc. Distracting attention from panic attacks can prevent an attack.
- If panic attacks are controlling your life, be sure to contact medical professional who can refer you to a therapy that maybe be helpful in teaching you to control the attacks. But also be warned that many medical professional resort to drugs only reduce the effects of a panic attack, and drugs will not solve the problem, they only mask the symptoms.
Breathing exercises are effective in helping to reduce and calm a panic attack, so try to remember to focus on deep breathing, both the inhale and exhale, and concentrating the breath in the belly.
If you are consistent, patient and persistent, you can control your panic attacks! A panic attack should be accepted as something that is there, but can be controlled. First and foremost is to recognize what triggers a panic attack, and what feed your fear for a long term control and healing.
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