Panic Attack: Know How to Deal Effectually

Panic Attack: Know How to Deal Effectually

It’s normal to feel fast heartbeats or heavy breathing while doing any strenuous activity, but when it becomes frequent and for no reason, it clearly indicates you are having panic attacks. Is panic attack serious? Is it normal to have panic attacks? Read on as we discuss panic attack, symptoms for panic attack and panic attack treatment in detail.

What is a Panic Attack?

A panic attack is when someone suddenly feels extremely scared or anxious. They might have a fast heartbeat, trouble breathing, and feel like something bad is happening. These feelings can be really intense and scary, but they usually don't last very long, maybe just 10-15 minutes. Sometimes, there's no clear reason for a panic attack, but it can also happen when someone is very stressed or scared about something specific.

Remember that panic attacks can be treated, so if you or someone you know has them often, they should talk to a doctor or therapist for help.

What is Panic Disorder?

Panic disorder is when someone has a lot of really scary panic attacks and is always worried about having more. These panic attacks can make their heart race and make them feel like something terrible is happening. Because they're so afraid of these panic disorder symptoms, they might want to avoid such places or situations.

This can make it hard for them to do regular things. But there are treatments available, like talking to a therapist or taking medication that can help one feel better. So, in case of a panic disorder, remember that you don't have to go through it alone; there are ways to get help.

Anxiety Attack Symptoms

Panic attacks come suddenly, even in everyday situations. They can be occasional or frequent and often peak quickly, leaving you feeling the following symptoms:

  • Feeling of danger
  • Fear of losing control or dying
  • Racing heart
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Breathing trouble
  • Chills or heat
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Chest discomfort
  • Numbness
  • Feeling detached

What Triggers Panic Attacks?

If you're dealing with anxiety, figuring out what causes panic attacks can be a real challenge. Sometimes, these panic attacks seem to hit out of nowhere, making it tough to deal with them. That's why it's important to identify what might be causing your anxiety to spike. Here are the causes of panic attacks.

1. Stress

Stress tops the list for a reason—it's everywhere. Whether it's work, school, family, or health concerns, stress can come from various angles. Since it's a common trigger for panic attacks, it's crucial to take care of yourself and find healthy ways to cope with stress.

2. Health Issues

Getting  diagnosis for a health condition can be scary and can naturally lead to worries about taking care of your loved ones and staying fit enough to work. Such concerns can easily set off a panic attack.

3. Substance

Use Substances like cocaine, methamphetamine, benzodiazepines, marijuana, and heroin can lead to symptoms of anxiety and even provoke panic attacks. Withdrawal from these substances can also trigger anxiety.

4. Caffeine

While many of us rely on our morning tea/ coffee, caffeine can worsen anxiety for some folks. It boosts alertness and heart rate and, in extreme cases, can bring on panic attacks. Switching to non-caffeinated drinks can be a simple way to avoid this trigger.

5. Medications

Certain medications, like birth control, cold and flu remedies, and weight loss pills, can cause anxiety and panic attacks due to their side effects.

6. Social Situations

For some people, large social gatherings or noisy environments can be overwhelming. If you have social anxiety, events that require social interaction or meeting new people can be panic-inducing. Consider bringing a friend along to make these situations more manageable.

7. Past Trauma

Past traumatic experiences can cast a long shadow and trigger panic attacks when you encounter reminders of those events. If you're dealing with both anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), treatment can help alleviate symptoms.

8. Diet

Your diet can impact your brain's function during the day. Eating foods that are high in protein and complex carbohydrates is recommended for a reason. Staying hydrated is also necessary as it maintains blood sugar levels and increases serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter known for its calming effects. Plus, getting a good night's sleep is required.

9. Financial Worries

Debt, bills, and savings can be major sources of anxiety. An advisor can assist you in getting things sorted out and creating a solid financial plan.

10. Conflicts and Arguments

Disagreements or conflicts in your relationships can be common triggers for panic attacks. These situations are stressful because they require active problem-solving. Honest communication with a therapist and the other party involved can be a big help in managing these situations

The Body's 'Fight or Flight’ Response

When your body senses immediate danger, your brain boosts the 'fight or flight' response via the autonomic nervous system. This floods your body with chemicals, including adrenaline, triggering various physical changes. Your heart rate and breathing speed up, and blood rushes to your muscles, preparing you for physical action or escape.

A panic attack happens when the 'fight or flight' response kicks in even when there's no real danger. It can occur even in seemingly harmless and stress-free situations like watching TV or sleeping.

Panic Attack vs Anxiety Attack

A panic attack is like a sudden, super-strong burst of fear or worry. It shows up out of nowhere, gets really intense fast, and lasts only a short time, maybe 10-15 minutes. It makes your heart race, you might have trouble breathing, and you could feel shaky and scared.

An anxiety attack is more like a slow, ongoing feeling of being worried or uneasy that can last for hours or even days. You might feel restless, nervous, or have trouble focusing. It's often connected to something that's stressing you out, but it's not as intense as a panic attack.

>> Also Read: Symptoms of a Silent Heart Attack

How to Deal with Panic Attacks?

If you want to know how to stop a panic attack, consider these steps:

  • Identify stress triggers and address them.
  • Keep up with daily activities and avoid restricting your movements.
  • Practice daily breathing exercises to reduce and manage panic attacks.
  • Engage in regular exercise, especially aerobic workouts, to manage stress, release tension, boost your mood, and increase confidence.
  • Maintain a regular eating schedule to stabilise blood sugar levels.
  • Steer clear of caffeine, alcohol, and smoking, as they can worsen panic attacks.
  • Seek support from panic attack groups for valuable advice (your GP can connect you with local groups).
  • Explore cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to identify and change negative thought patterns that are responsible for panic attacks.

Medication for Panic Attacks

If you wonder how to control panic attacks, here are some common medications used to treat panic attacks and panic disorders. Keep in mind that panic disorder treatment can differ from person to person:

1. Antidepressants

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are often used to reduce the frequency and severity of panic attacks. They are typically taken daily.

 Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs) can be prescribed for panic disorder.

2. Benzodiazepines

 These are fast-acting anti-anxiety medications that can provide immediate relief during a panic attack. Examples include lorazepam (Ativan), alprazolam (Xanax), and diazepam (Valium).

 However, they are typically used sparingly and for a short duration due to the risk of dependency.

3. Beta-Blockers

 Medications such as propranolol (Inderal) may be prescribed to help reduce some symptoms of anxiety like a rapid heart rate and trembling.

4. Antidepressant with Anti-Anxiety Properties

 Medications like escitalopram (Lexapro) and clonazepam (Klonopin) are examples of medications that combine the benefits of antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs.

Let’s Wrap It Up

The blog explains what is a panic attack, what is panic disorder, how to get rid of panic attacks and more. Health is wealth, and anything can happen at any time. This gives birth to the need for health insurance. It is the smartest choice to live happily and securely because you are prepared financially for any mishap.

Care Health Insurance offers you coverage for your physical as well as mental health. Make sure you choose a health insurance policy that is well-suited to your needs and your budget.

Disclaimers: The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.

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