What are panic attacks?
I discussed stress previously. Stress can cause panic. Some people have panic attacks, but they are not aware that they are panic attacks. They can feel very uncomfortable and some people fear that they have a serious condition. A panic attack is a feeling of intense anxiety with physical symptoms. They can be very frightening and they can happen for no clear reason.
Symptoms of a panic attack
• a racing heart beat
• shortness of breath (hyperventilation)
• a feeling of choking
• tingling in arms or fingers
• ringing in your ears
Some people feel pain in their chest and they can think they are having a heart attack because it feels like their heart is racing or beating irregularly. Some people think that they are going to die.
Panic attacks usually last about 5 to 20 minutes. They are not dangerous and the panic attacks shouldn’t harm you.
Causes of panic attacks
The physical symptoms of a panic attack are caused by hormones released due to stress or panic.
The body is trying to take in more oxygen and your breathing becomes quicker. Your body also releases hormones, such as adrenaline, which make your heart beat faster and your muscles tense up.
Should you see your GP about panic attacks?
Some people think they will collapse or even die when they have a panic attack. The attack is usually harmless. You may need to see your trusted medical practitioner to rule out an underlying physical cause.
See your doctor if:
• Your panic attack continues after you tried breathing slowly for about 20 minutes.
• You continue to feel unwell after your breathing returns to normal.
• You still have a fast or irregular heartbeat or pain in your chest after your panic attack.
• You have panic attacks regularly. This could mean that you have a panic disorder.
How to prevent panic attacks
Try to figure out what you find stressful and what is making your symptoms worse. It is important to continue your daily activities.
• Do breathing exercises! This will help to prevent panic attacks and they can also give relieve when they are happening.
• Exercise, especially aerobic exercise, this can help you to lower stress levels and release tension, It can also improve your mood and boost your confidence.
• Eat regularly to stabilize your blood sugar levels.
• Avoid caffeine, alcohol and smoking!
• Psychological therapies like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). This can identify and change the negative thought that are feeding your panic attacks.
Could it be a panic disorder?
If you have a constant feeling of stress and anxiety, you may have a panic disorder.
People with panic disorders may avoid situations that might cause a panic attack. If these panick attacks are happening frequently you should seek help.
Talk to your trusted medical professional. In summary: Please identify a clinic that you are comfortable with. Good Practice Clinic is always ready to listen to your concerns and to find a solution.