In a split second, everything just changed. Your stomach drops and you feel as if the walls around you are caving in. Your heart starts to pound faster and faster, it’s starting to become harder to breathe and you’re overwhelmed with emotions. You feel so helpless and fearful and you don’t know why. You’re experiencing a panic attack.
Anyone can experience a panic attack and it will likely trigger during a person’s life when they’re fueled with high stress and anxiety. If you’re experiencing many panic attacks during your lifetime they’re likely triggered by specific situations. These situations will have you feel endangered, which triggers your body’s fight or flight response. Fight or flight response is our sympathetic nervous systems becoming stimulated. Your nervous system alerts your adrenal gland and then your stress hormones start to release inching you closer to a panic attack. It’s important to find out the reasons why these specific situations are triggering your panic attack so you can heal from the trauma to help alleviate these attacks.
Panic Attack Signs
· Heart racing
· Chest discomfort
· Nausea or Upset Stomach
· Dizziness, Faint
· Hot or cold flashes
· Fear of dying
· Detached from surrounding
· Shortness of breath
Due to how intense a panic attack can be, many people can mistake it as a heart attack or stroke while they’re going through it. They generally last anywhere from 10-30 minutes. If you’ve experienced a panic attack before it’s important to become educated on it and seek necessary treatment. Panic attacks can go hand in hand with other mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders or depression. People that have been through traumatic situations in their life that resulted in PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) may also be prone to panic attacks.
Women are twice as likely as men to develop a panic disorder and roughly 2.4 million people suffer from panic attacks. The plus side is there is treatment for this on a case by case basis. Depending on how severe a client case is, they could be prescribed antidepressants or antianxiety medications. There are different forms of therapy that specializes in this disorder that are effective as well. This would be something to consult with your doctor and therapist to see which treatment plan would be best.
If you’re experiencing a panic attack it's important to try and control your breathing. Take deep breaths through your nose and out your mouth. Keep a slow steady pattern with your breathing to help keep yourself calm. Panic attacks don’t last forever, so remind yourself that what you’re feeling is temporary. Instead of trying to distract yourself from the attack, confront your fears and face the situation so when it subsides, you will know that nothing will happen in the end.
About Panic Disorders, www.fearclinic.ufl.edu/PanicDisorders.html#:~:text=How%20Common%20Is%20Panic%20Disorder,typically%20strikes%20in%20young%20adulthood.