How to cope with a panic attack?
If you know what panic attacks are, then surely you want to find out their causes and understand how to deal with them.
What it is?
Panic attack - a condition that causes a number of changes in the body.
And these changes entail the appearance of certain symptoms. As the name implies, the fundamental point of a panic attack is fear, panic. Such fear is completely unfounded and can arise suddenly. And the organism responds to this fear with a surge of adrenaline, which, in turn, causes the reaction of the nervous system.
The same affects the functioning of the respiratory system, as well as the cardiovascular. This chain of events and processes is built up very quickly, but its consequences can manifest themselves for quite some time. Most often, panic attacks occur in people aged 20-30 years. Women suffer twice as often.
There are several types of panic attacks:
- Unexpected and spontaneous, appearing suddenly.
- Occurs during an unpleasant or stressful situation.
- Emerging because of the expectations of a stressful situation (the so-called fear of fear).
- Arising from biological changes (such as the onset of sexual activity, hormonal disruptions, medication, severe illness and so on).
- Caused by chemical influences and associated, for example, with the use of alcohol, smoking or taking drugs.
How does it manifest itself?
The main symptoms of a panic attack:
- Dizziness, darkening of the eyes. Such symptoms can become almost pre-unconscious.
- Palpitations. Sometimes it seems that the heart is beating so hard that it is about to “jump out” from the chest.
- It seems to a person that he does not have enough breath, he cannot take a full breath. Also, breathing can be shallow or, on the contrary, deep.
- Tingling, numbness of the extremities, and their cooling can also be observed.
- Some cannot budge.
- There may be discomfort, aching chest pain, a feeling of constriction or, conversely, distension. Strong and pronounced pain, as a rule, do not arise.
- Noise in the ears, blurring of surrounding sounds.
- Feeling of unreality of what is happening.
- Chaotic movements and actions.
- Fear of fainting, going mad or dying.
- Severe weakness
- Nausea or even vomiting, spasms of the intestines and stomach.
- Increased sweating.
- Chills, tremor.
- Sensation of a lump in the throat.
- Disturbance of speech, vision.
Panic attacks can occur suddenly or in certain situations. The attack can last from a few seconds to several minutes. The frequency of attacks can also be different. In some, attacks occur almost daily or even several times a day, in others - once a month or several months.
As a rule, after a panic attack remains an unpleasant disturbing sediment. In addition, people confronted with such a problem constantly fear a recurrence of an attack, which greatly impairs the quality of life, interferes with work, sleep and doing usual things.
The causes of panic attacks are not fully elucidated, but some doctors consider them a symptom associated with some diseases of the nervous, cardiovascular and other systems. Often seizures occur in people suffering from vegetative-vascular dystonia.
Some kind of impetus for the development of attacks may be some kind of life shock, global changes, constant experiences or a state of depression. In addition, various fears and phobias often lead to the development of attacks.
How to treat?
Treatment of panic attacks should be comprehensive. First of all, a person must be aware of the problem and want to solve it.
- The first and very important step is to limit the situations in which panic attacks occur. If you know what serves as a kind of trigger, then try to reduce to zero the likelihood of falling into adverse conditions.
- The second step is to ensure the most comfortable and favorable living and working conditions. Tell your family about your problem, ask them to help and support you. If you are nervous at work, then it makes sense to change it. If your life does not suit you, then change it completely, sometimes such shakes save panic attacks and make people start to perceive everything differently.
- Try to find some interesting activity.
- Stop drinking and smoking.
- Observe the daily regimen, get enough sleep and rest, eat properly and lead an active lifestyle. Better yet, go in for sports.
- As for drug treatment, it is usually prescribed tranquilizers of a new generation (for example, Xanax or Clonazepam), as well as antidepressants (Tsitalopram, Sertralin, Fluoxetine). But any funds can be appointed only by a specialist!
- If necessary, seek help from a psychologist or psychiatrist.
How to cope with a fit?
How to deal independently with attacks, what to do during a panic attack? Some effective methods:
- Proper breathing. First, you can simply concentrate on your breathing and breathe deeply and very slowly. Secondly, try to breathe the diaphragm. Place your palm in the upper abdomen and make sure that this part rises while breathing and the chest remains stationary. Fill the stomach with air and strain it, the shoulders and other parts of the body should not move.
- Breathe in a paper or plastic bag to reduce the amount of oxygen and increase the volume of carbon dioxide in the lungs and thereby stop the production of adrenaline and stop all symptoms. Put the bag on your nose and mouth and breathe into it, taking deep breaths and inhaling.
- If the fear arose suddenly, try washing your face with cold water.
- Try to count any objects, for example, trees, people, pieces of furniture or dishes.
- Try to be distracted. The easiest way to do this is to hurt yourself a little. Just pinch yourself or slap your cheek.
- Try to turn on your imagination. For example, you can imagine that you are on the seashore under a palm tree and eat exotic fruits. Simulate a situation that seems pleasant to you and causes positive emotions.
- Turn on the logic. When you realize that an attack is about to begin, think about what is really happening. Convince yourself that nothing can happen to you. Understand that what you are afraid of is only an illusion and a figment of your imagination.
Find the most effective method and use it.
From panic attacks you can get rid completely if you realize the problem and start acting.
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