Have You Gone To The Hospital For Panic Attacks Before
If so, you probably had a series of tests, such as an electrocardiogram and bloodwork. The results are a sure way to find out if your symptoms came from a heart problem or a panic attack.
If doctors didnât find a health issue then and you have the same symptoms now, itâs likely that youâre having another panic attack. But if youâre not sure, you should go to the hospital.
Most panic attacks pass within 30 minutes, but you can take a few steps to calm them on your own. If youâre short of breath, you can try breathing exercises. Sit or lie down somewhere comfortable. Take slow, deep breaths gently, in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Even if you know panic attacks can cause your symptoms, itâs a good idea to ask your doctor if thereâs a chance you have heart disease.
What Makes A Panic Attack Severe
Since all panic attacks are severe, how does one figure out what makes a severe panic attack?
There are two important characteristics that make some panic attacks more severe than others:
- How much they disrupt healthy living.
- How much your life is controlled by the attacks.
It’s not whether the attacks themselves are severe, but rather whether the entire disorder is causing a severe disruption of your ability to lead a healthy or happy life. Think of it in terms of the entire disorder rather than the attack itself.
When assessing severity, psychologists will generally look at the following:
Someone with severe, debilitating panic attacks that does not show any avoidance behaviors or depression may still have severe attacks, but someone with slightly less severe attacks that has developed agoraphobia and depression and struggles to focus on work or attend social functions may have more severe panic disorder.
Engage In Light Exercise
Endorphins keep the blood pumping in exactly the right away. It can help flood our body with endorphins, which can improve our mood. Because youre stressed, choose light exercise thats gentle on the body, like walking or swimming.
The exception to this is if youre hyperventilating or struggling to breathe. Do what you can to catch your breath first.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Phobia Of Clowns Called
Ways To Prevent Panic Attacks
“You need to try to work out what particular stress you might be under that could make your symptoms worse,” says Professor Salkovskis. “It’s important not to restrict your movements and daily activities.”
- Doing breathing exercises every day will help to prevent panic attacks and relieve them when they are happening
- Regular exercise, especially aerobic exercise, will help you to manage stress levels, release tension, improve your mood and boost confidence
- Eat regular meals to stabilise your blood sugar levels
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and smoking these can make panic attacks worse. Panic support groups have useful advice about how you can effectively manage your attacks. Knowing that other people are experiencing the same feelings can be reassuring. Your GP can put you in touch with groups in your area
- Cognitive behavioural therapy can identify and change the negative thought patterns that are feeding your panic attacks
What Is It Like To Have Panic Disorder
One day, without any warning or reason, a feeling of terrible anxiety came crashing down on me. I felt like I couldnt get enough air, no matter how hard I breathed. My heart was pounding out of my chest, and I thought I might die. I was sweating and felt dizzy. I felt like I had no control over these feelings and like I was drowning and couldnt think straight.
After what seemed like an eternity, my breathing slowed and I eventually let go of the fear and my racing thoughts, but I was totally drained and exhausted. These attacks started to occur every couple of weeks, and I thought I was losing my mind. My friend saw how I was struggling and told me to call my doctor for help.
Also Check: Panic Attack Syncope
What Other Behaviours Are Related To Panic Disorder
Adults with panic disorder will often change their behaviour to feel safer and try to prevent future panic attacks. Examples include:
- Carrying items such as medication, water or a cell phone
- Having a companion accompany them places
- Avoiding physical activities that might trigger panic-like feelings
- Avoiding certain foods or beverages because they might trigger panic-like symptoms
- Sitting near exits or bathrooms
What Are Some Of The Long
There are many ways to treat panic disorder and panic attacks including CBT , exposure therapy, and medications.
Otherwise known as talk therapy, psychotherapy can help you understand your diagnosis and how it impacts your life. Your therapist will also work with you to develop strategies that help decrease the severity of the symptoms.
One psychotherapy technique that has been proven successful in treating panic disorder and attacks is CBT. This form of therapy emphasizes the important role that thinking has in how we feel and what we do.
CBT teaches you new ways of thinking, acting, and reacting to situations that cause anxiety. It also teaches you how to view panic attacks differently and demonstrates ways to reduce anxiety. Plus, you can learn how to change unhealthy thoughts and behaviors that bring on panic attacks.
But if therapy isnt something you can access, Viciere recommends the following activities to help you get a better understanding of your triggers:
Even though panic attacks can feel like a heart attack or other serious condition, it will not cause you to die. However, panic attacks are serious and need to be treated.
If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular basis, its essential that you contact your physician for further help.
Recommended Reading: Can Panic Attacks Cause Fainting
Calming Step : Have A Script Ready
A panic attack can fill your head with racing, negative thoughts, which can keep the panic going and make you feel worse. But you can wield a powerful weapon against them: A script of positive thoughts.
Write down encouraging words you can read to yourself during a panic attack, Dr. Josell says. Your script should answer the negative thoughts. So if you feel like youre going to pass out, tell yourself you wont. If you feel like youre dying, tell yourself you wont die from a panic attack. The words you hear are powerful, and over time, they become your truth.
Ideally, write your script when youre feeling calm. Tuck it in your pocket or purse or type it into your smartphone notes so its easy to access.
If youre in the middle of a panic attack and dont have your script, you can fight negative thoughts on the fly. Try repeating in your mind or out loud phrases like, Im strong, and I can handle this, or This is only temporary, and it will pass.
Your script helps you deal with an attack that arises, but its a preventive measure, too. It can calm your fear of having another panic attack because you know youre in control. The more confident you are that you can manage a panic attack, the less likely you are to have future attacks.
The Role Of Genes In Anxiety Disorder
Just like a major heart attack, a burn is a horrible thing, says McCann. About 33% of patients who have really severe burns develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Which makes us wonder about the 66% who do not get PTSD. We think genes are a huge part of it. Were currently researching whether this same genetic vulnerability holds true for cardiac disease.
Johns Hopkins Women’s Cardiovascular Health Center
The Johns Hopkins Womens Cardiovascular Health Center provides education, comprehensive treatment and diagnostic services to prevent and manage heart disease in women.
Also Check: Does Pristiq Help With Anxiety
Different Types Of Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety disorders fall into several categories. Here are a few of them:
- Panic disorder can be associated with cardiac disease or mistaken for heart attack. Feelings of extreme agitation and terror are often accompanied by dizziness, chest pains, stomach discomfort, shortness of breath, and rapid heart rate.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder a condition that can follow a shocking or frightening incident or sudden, life-threatening event such as a violent crime, major accident, or heart attack. A person suffering from PTSD often has trouble dealing with anything associated with the incident that caused their condition, and experiences feelings of jitteriness and detachment.
- Obsessive-Compulsive disorder People with OCD will manage unreasonable thoughts and worries by performing the same actions over and over. For example, an individual obsessed with perceived cardiovascular symptoms that have been checked and cleared by a physician may compulsively research them or find new ones for hours on end.
What Do You Think
Doctors and scientists have long known that major depression and bipolar disorder can be contributing factors to getting heart disease. These studies show the same sort of risk factor in Anxiety Disorders. Its just one more reason why you should not delay seeing a mental health professional about you Anxiety!
- Do you know somebody who has Anxiety and heart disease? What is their experience?
- Do you think that a good relationship with a cardiologist can help?
- Does this article produce even more anxiety, or does it make you want to have your Anxiety treated?
If you have enjoyed this article, please consider subscribing to this blog, either via RSS or email at the top of the screen. I would also appreciate it if you shared this article with your favorite social media, such as StumbleUpon or Digg. Just click the little green ShareThis button at the bottom of the post.
Resources used in this post:
Levin, Aaron. . Anxiety Hits Women Harder After Heart Attack. Retrieved July 22, 2008 from Center for the Advancement of Health Web site:
Nauert, Rick. . Anxiety is Bad for Your Health. Retrieved July 1, 2008 from Psych Central Web site:
Reinberg, Steven. . Anxiety Raises Heart Attack Risk. Retrieved July 22, 2008 from MentalHelp.net Web site:
Read Also: What Is The Cure For Such Disorders Beatings
Anxious Trends During Childhood
A second reason why people develop panic attacks is that as children, they may have grown up in an atmosphere which, for one reason or another, failed to teach them that the world was “their oyster”, a safe place in which they could happily pursue their own enjoyment. Maybe there was an early death in the family, severe illness, or some other serious problem like alcoholism or divorce. Maybe the parents were themselves anxious and over protective, perhaps in response to their own anxiety disorder. Perhaps the child learned to spend too much time and effort taking care of others, trying too hard to please others, and feeling responsible for the happiness of others.
Worrying About Your Health Can Make It Worse
James L. Januzzi, cardiologist and co-author of one of the studies, said that they provide,
further insight into the complex connections between the brain and heart. ardiologists have traditionally focused their therapeutic efforts on factors known to influence long-term outcome in coronary disease, such as making sure to aggressively lower LDL cholesterol. e may need to consider more thoroughly evaluating patients with mood disorders such as anxiety, as treatment may very well reduce the risk of heart disease.
The study, published on May 27, 2007, also found that cardiologists who spent more time with patients established a caring relationship that reduced anxieties that could shorten a patients life. Charles M. Blatt, the other co-author, said, My hunch is that for the majority of patients, the greatest anxiety-reducing effect comes from having a good relationship with a doctor.
Recommended Reading: What Are The Three Stages Of Schizophrenia
How It Feels After A Panic Attack
A more likely possibility is that you had a single panic attack that leaves you feeling generally anxious, tired, and frayed. While panic attacks can be scary, they’re not dangerous. But the fear they may cause you can be more unsettling than the attack itself. That’s especially true if you’ve never had one before. When it’s your first episode, you may think you’re having a stroke or a heart attack.
How do you tell if it’s a panic attack or high anxiety? It’s tricky. It helps to talk to your doctor, but a closer look at your symptoms often can give you some clues.
A true panic attack tends to have clear, intense, physical symptoms — a pounding heart, shortness of breath, and so on.
Anxiety can give you some of these, but they tend to be milder. Instead, you’ll have more mental symptoms like a racing mind, lots of worries you can’t stop, and a hard time focusing. You might also feel restless and have a hard time sleeping.
What Causes Panic Disorder
While the exact causes are not known, what researchers do know is that panic disorder does sometimes run in families. And it is often seen in individuals who suffer from other anxiety disorders explains Cole.
For example, a person with obsessive-compulsive disorder may experience a panic attack when their schedule or compulsions are interrupted. Individuals who struggle with specific phobias are also susceptible to panic attacks. A person with an extreme fear of heights may experience a panic attack in a penthouse apartment.
And for someone with generalized anxiety disorder , a condition characterized by extreme fear or worry, the unending anxiety can escalate to a panic attack. People with post-traumatic stress disorder have a higher incidence of panic disorder than the general population. Illness or traumatic events increase the chances of panic attacks.
People with hyperthyroidism , mitral valve prolapse, and other conditions or diseases also may be more easily triggered.
You May Like: Does Pristiq Make You Tired
Can Running Cure Anxiety And Depression
Running is a great way to release stress and anxiety.
It has been shown that running can help people feel less anxious.
It also lowers the risk of depression by up to 50%.
The act of running releases endorphins which make you happier.
Running is an inexpensive hobby too.
Here are five reasons why running will cure your anxiety and depression:
- Its fun
- Endorphin release makes us feel good
- There are no costs upfront
- It can be done anytime, anywhere
- Exercise releases dopamine
Your Sweat Glands Go Into Overdrive
A person having a panic attack may excessively sweat for a myriad of different reasons. From a fight-or-flight perspective, the Anxiety Centre notes that the body increases its perspiration production in order to reduce the amount of water being stored in the kidneys. Less water in the kidneys means a decreased need to go to the bathroomand as far as the body is concerned, there’s no time for that when there is an imminent threat.
In other instances, someone having a panic attack can also experience an uncomfortable amount of perspiration due to their increased heart rates and respiration. These upticks occur as the body works in overtime to reroute the flow of blood from the less essential parts of the body to the more important areas essential for survival.
Also Check: Fear Of Clowns Called
Is Running As Effective As An Antidepressant
Running exercise is as effective as antidepressants in treating depression and anxiety.
New research shows that running for 30 minutes three times a week is as effective at curing both conditions as taking antidepressants or attending counselling sessions with cognitive behavioural therapy .
Concluding that regular exercise such as running can be just as beneficial to treat mental health problems such as panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Anxiety Is A Major Factor In The Prediction Of Heart Disease
The other study was directed by Biing-Jiun Shen of the University of Southern California, and was published on January 15, 2008.
It found that chronic Anxiety leads men to have a 30-40 percent greater chance of heart disease, not even accounting for any other risk factors. Shen said,
There is an independent contribution of anxiety that can predict the onset of a heart attack among healthy older men. The relationship between anxiety and heart attack cannot be explained by depression, hostility or type A personality. It is something that doctors can look out for.
Shens study did not include women. The results of other earlier studies suggest that there is a high chance for the effect of Anxiety on women to be the same.
Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, a cardiology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, said,
An important finding of this study is that anxiety not only represents an independent risk factor for heart attack but may also explain the associations between heart attack risk with other psychosocial risk factors.
Fonarow said that an exaggerated response to acute and chronic stress in individuals with Anxiety may trigger a number of factors that increase the risk of developing coronary artery disease and being stricken by a heart attack. He said,
Recommended Reading: Fear Of Clowns Explained
What Is Panic Disorder
People with panic disorder have sudden and repeated attacks of fear that last for several minutes or longer. These are called panic attacks. Panic attacks are characterized by a fear of disaster or of losing control even when there is no real danger. A person may also have a strong physical reaction during a panic attack. It may feel like having a heart attack. Panic attacks can occur at any time, and many people with panic disorder worry about and dread the possibility of having another attack.
A person with panic disorder may become discouraged and feel ashamed because he or she cannot carry out normal routines like going to school or work, going to the grocery store, or driving.
Panic disorder often begins in the late teens or early adulthood. More women than men have panic disorder. But not everyone who experiences panic attacks will develop panic disorder.