What Is A Panic Attack? How do you know you’re having one? What causes them? How do you stop a panic attack?
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What Is A Panic Attack?
A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear. When you’re having one, it triggers severe physical reactions even when there’s no danger or obvious cause.
Panic attacks can be scary. When they happen, you might think it’s something else. For example, a panic attack might be mistaken for a heart attack or you you might think you’re dying and on the verge of passing out.
Most people will have at least one panic attack in their lives. They might be facing a time of chronic stress as well as intense fear because of an ongoing crisis. However, there are some people that have panic attacks all the time.
It’s normal for a panic attack to stop and subside when the cause of the stress and intense fear passes, but some people have problems with chronic anxiety.
Chronic anxiety can be a symptom of a much bigger problem such as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and even bipolar disorder.
How Do You Know You’re Having One?
Panic attacks are intense fear that usually strike suddenly, without warning. They can strike when you’re driving or stuck in traffic, while you’re shopping for groceries or they can strike in the middle of an important meeting.
How Do You Know You’re Having A Panic Attack?
When you’re having a panic attack, you may not know you’re having one. Let’s learn how to recognize some common panic attack symptoms.
Your body might show physical sensations of fear, these include a racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, trembling as well as muscle tension. Also, you may have a sense impending doom or danger as well as a fear of loss of control or even death.
What Causes Them?
What Causes Panic Attacks?
Intense fear might be caused by long periods of stress, a traumatic event, major changes in your life as well as an underlying mental illness. Also, panic attacks can be triggered by activities that lead to intense physical reactions which include exercising as well as drinking too much coffee.
If you suffer from a mental illness such as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) or even bipolar disorder, your brain is structured differently.
A part of the brain called the amygdala is responsible for creating fight-or-flight responses. A fight-or-flight response is an automatic reaction to an event that’s seen as stressful or frightening.
What makes this brain different is an overactive amygdala, which leads to an imbalance in the brain chemical norepinephrine (NE). As a result, your fight-or-flight response is overactive.
Here’s a related post: “Tips For Helping A Bipolar Brain!”
How Do You Stop Panic Attacks?
Talk to your doctor about your panic attacks. If they’re happening all the time, it might be a sign of a more serious issue. Therapy might be needed to overcome the intense fear you may be facing.
Along with medication and therapy, there are ways to help yourself.
1. Becoming Aware Of Your Triggers:
Self-awareness or being self-aware is about noticing things about yourself. It’s about being able to notice your feelings as well as physical sensations. Also, your reactions, habits, behaviors as well as your thoughts.
Self-awareness is understanding how your reactions, habits, behaviors as well as thoughts affect yourself and others around you.
It’s also about noticing what triggers your panic attacks.
Are you obsessing over things you can’t control that you fear?
What problems and fears are you having about your relationship?
Are you anxious for no reason?
In order to minimize the risk of having a panic attack, it helps to avoid caffeine, nicotine, alcohol as well as pleasuring yourself with drugs. It’s helpful to avoid these when you’re facing something you fear.
It also helps to make changes to you diet. If you eat a diet rich in simple carbs such as processed food with added sugar, you may notice how it puts you in an anxious mood. When you switch to complex carbs such as whole grains, you’ll notice that you’re less anxious.
It helps to get enough sleep and also exercise. Also, you should practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and yoga.
If relaxation techniques are not for you, try falling back on other interests including fishing or even cooking.
Here’s a post we recommend: “Coping Through Cooking”
3. Learn As Much As You Can
How does your mental health come into play?
When you’re learning about panic attacks, those are the questions you should be asking. It’s vital to learn as much as you can about these episodes of intense fear.
After you learn about what triggers them and also why you have them in the first place.
Also, you’ll recognize when it’s happening, then you can take a deep breath and remind yourself that it will pass.
4. Picture Your Happy Place
When you’re having a panic attack, it may help to picture yourself in your happy place. A happy place may be your favorite hiking trail, being on your couch petting your cat or even lying on the beach in the middle of the summer.
Panic attacks are scary. Once you have one, you fear that you’ll have another one. Just remember that that they’re temporary and can be stopped.
Have You Ever Had A Panic Attack?
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