Panic attack is a sudden feeling of very strong fear or extreme inconvenience and discomfort that is most often described as a feeling that something terrible has happened – we have a feeling that we will die, lose control, crash or go crazy.
The attacks usually do not last longer than half an hour but within a few minutes reach the pinnacle. However, the subjective feeling is that they last forever. Sometimes we think that attack will never end. It’s Not surprisingly that in the moments of panic attack people expect death from exhaustion so severe and prolonged panic.
During the attack person have these symptoms: shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, rapid heartbeat and / or irregular heartbeat, vertigo, dizziness, unconsciousness, “rubber legs”, numbness, loss of touch sensitivity in the fingers, hands or feet, shortness of breath, sweating, trembling , heat, cold, nausea, anxiety, blurred vision, feeling that things around us are not real or that we have changed, the feeling that we can not think / talk normally, the fear that we will die / fall / lose control of himself / crazy / act the abnormal …
People usually have only some of these symptoms and it does not necessarily to have to be the same every time.
When the attack happens most people often trying to escape from the situation, the place where the attack happened in the hope that in that way the attack will disappear .They often go home and feel better as soon as they get there. Later they create the impression that the house is the only safe place. Or, ask her family and friends to keep (if happen “real” fall, mad or has a heart attack), you , or to follow us when you go somewhere.
Although more than 90% of people do not understand themselves to explain why the attack occurred. The first panic attack may occurred in a time of stress increased when we are physically exhausted, sick, in constant strife to work or home, when we felt that we can’t handle that stresses and effort anymore. Often the first attack occurs a few days or weeks after childbirth, the period of mourning after the loss of a loved one, after the divorce, in a state of hangover, during withdrawal from alcohol or drugs, etc… When we feel satisfied, safe, relaxed, and when we are not exposed to great stress, panic attacks are rare.
In order to avoid panic attacks, it is necessary that they match our tendency to panic reaction and set of circumstances. This means that without proper preferences (which can be inherited and learned), certain circumstances will not have the power to cause a panic attack.
After the initial panic attack, most people go to the doctor for a checkup. This review usually includes ECG, after which the doctor concluded that our heart is healthy, sometimes adding “it is your nerves” (whatever that means). Doctors usually do not provide an explanation of what this means, maybe they do not know or do not know how to explain. When we accept the psychological explanation or the idea that our heart is healthy , our body is healthy and that situation and fear is a panic attack, it usually occurs fear of future attacks or “fear of fear”.
To be diagnosed with panic disorder should be ruled out the existence of a physical illness. The most common physical illnesses that can lead to symptoms of fear and panic attacks are thyroid disease, cardiac arrhythmias, some forms of epilepsy, diseases of the lungs and airways disease , the support center of balance, hypoglycemia …
Panic attacks usually begin in the third decade of life (although this is not necessarily so), which is understandable because it is the period of life when the person expects a lot.
They expect a lot from themselves , in terms of professional and family affirmation, sometimes they are in the absence of capacity support , to meet all expectations.
The attacks are more common in women, it can also be caused by (obligations to the family, the need for professional affirmation, and occasional disturbances of balance between certain hormones).
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO GET PANIC ATTACKS SERIOUSLY ?
Because when panic attacks become panic disorder then there is no sphere of life that do not seem negative, especially if it’s coupled with some mental problems.
During a panic attack, individuals have a feeling that they are weak or incompetent, undermines their self-confidence, are more likely to be increasingly dependent on their surroundings, especially from partners , because other people think that person exaggerates the problem .
Preoccupation with the problem leads to communication with friends become”same theme every single day ” , like that no more other things to talk about and constantly asking support and understanding. Sometimes because of shame, fear and uncertainty lead to withdrawal from social contacts , even from closest friends that had previously existed.
Working ability is also reduced (especially when there is agoraphobia) because the person has difficulty in itself to goes to work because thinks that at work can experience a panic attack or them afraid of will happen again. Fearing that they won’t be able to maintain concentration, they giving up from work and can’t find another because don’t have courage.
NINE BASIC ISSUES RELATED TO PANIC ATTACKS AND/ OR AGORAPHOBIA
If you are not sure you have a panic disorder and / or agoraphobia, here are a few questions you can ask yourself in order to clarify this:
- Do you often repeated that suddenly experience a strong fear, which quickly reaches a peak and lasts 10 minutes or more?
- Is this fear sometimes totally unexpected?
- Are you due to these episodes of fear particularly worried or upset?
4. Whether because of these episodes of fear you are very afraid for your health?
- Do you often avoid certain places, situations, activities or even some people , because of this fear?
- Does it became difficult to work because of fear or because you neglected some of your activities?
7. Are you worried about the reactions of your friends and relatives and what they thought of you and your unreal fears. And do you feel ashamed and uncomfortable because of that ?
- Do you think your fear in a strong degree annoy your environment or bother others to live normally?
- Are you so preoccupied with your fear that often ,worry about future episodes or fears about their possible consequences for your health?
If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, you need to help yourself. This does not mean that you have set for the final diagnosis (it is the job of doctors or therapists).
Once again you find yourself in situations where you have experienced panic attacks, rather than continue to intimidate yourself to your terrible thoughts, tell yourself something that will encourage you, like a sentence:
– What I feel is just fear, fear is an unpleasant but not dangerous, I’ll wait to pass me.
– These unpleasant sensations that I feel are harmless and are just uncomfortable, I can stand.
– I do not have anywhere to run, I feel this is just fear that I experienced many times before , I’ll stay here because I can make it.
– This fear is not a sign of madness or some physical illness, it is just a fear, I’ll wait to pass me.
– That’s what I’m afraid and I feel helpless does not mean that I am weak / or helpless / on, it’s just a feeling .. I’ll wait to pass.
– There is no shame to be afraid of, other people they do not even notice how I feel. Even if anyone notices that I’m scared / at that does not mean that I am an inadequate or disturbed person.
HOW TO CALM A PANIC ATTACK WITH THE HELP OF BREATHING ?
While telling yourself one of these sentences, use the abdominal breathing technique “Abdominal breathing” . By using this technique you will introduce yourself in a state of relaxation and will remove the unpleasant symptoms of shortness of breath that occur when you’re scared.
THE TECHNIQUE OF ABDOMINAL BREATHING
Abdominal breathing is “stomach” breathing . What does it mean? Actually, we do not breathe through the stomach, but only through the ribs and diaphragm muscle. Breathing stomach is actually breathing through the diaphragm and the muscles of the lower ribs.
How do you learn to breathe stomach? First, you need to practice your breathing this form, it is very simple. Take a comfortable position (eg, sitting in a chair, lie down on the bed, etc.). Place one hand on your stomach. With breath you notice how your stomach rises and inflates like a ball and the exhalation is lowered, don’t move the upper part of the chest ,as much as possible.
Now start counting to yourself. Let your breath lasts 1,2,3, (seconds), and then exhale (no rest) 1,2,3,4,5. Repeat this several times. Focus your attention solely on the breath. You can breathe with eyes open or closed, as you now fits.
WHAT TO DO WITH THE UNPLEASANT SYMPTOMS OF PANIC ?
When you experience unpleasant physical sensations that represent the physical component of fear (rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness, etc.) Do not suppress them, not to fight and to keep these sensations (such as this will strain muscles and cause additional physical tension) but just wait until they pass. If you stop yourself to litter the terrible thoughts your body will calm down by itself.
Do not be impatient, wait until your body just calm down, your body has its own natural and automated mechanisms for this and your control is not required. The more you try to control your body , the more uncomfortable sensations and fears you will have.
WHAT TO DO IN A SITUATION OF A PANIC ATTACK ?
Never leave a situation where you feel fear because the fear that you feel is not the result of a situation where you are (eg: bus, elevator, a town full of people, confined space, etc.), but the result of your thoughts in that situation.
And what you really afraid of is never a situation where you can experience a panic attack, but when you imagine , what could happen in this situation.
You are actually afraid of your fear because erroneously believe that you can lose control of your body and mind, which in reality never happens. So stay in this situation as long as fear stops.
Each time you leave a situation where you feel fear you actually enhances and maintain your fear, so do not run away, stay and apply the above strategies of thought and behavior.
“Everything is possible, but you have to start working on it “