When To Go To The Emergency Room For A Panic Attack
Stress & Anxiety
If you are wondering whether you can get ER treatment for a panic attack or if you can even go to the emergency room for a panic attack, rest assured that ERs are here to help. In fact, going to the ER for a panic attack is highly recommended in many situations.
Lets dig a little deeper and discuss a few different examples of when you should go to an emergency room for a panic attack and review how ERs typically provide emergency anxiety relief
How To Stop Panic Attacks From Occurring Or Shorten Them
If you suffer from panic attacks, stopping them should be your priority. There are several methods you can use to stop panic, and some of them may even shorten the duration of your panic attack or reduce its severity. Some examples include:
These are some quick tools that you can use to make sure your panic attacks are less severe. But the key is to also ensure that you are targeting your anxiety and looking for ways to cure it forever.
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Panic Attacks I Turned My Mental Health Crisis Into A Mental Health Triumph
“Although it’s taken me a long time I have learned I am a strong person who has the potential to help others.”
You might find that you become scared of going out alone or to public places because you’re worried about having another panic attack. If this fear becomes very intense, it may be called agoraphobia. See our pages on types of phobia for more information.
“I felt like I couldn’t breathe, I just wanted to get out, to go somewhere else, but I couldn’t because I was on a train.”
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Always Seek Professional Advice
Always seek medical advice if you are not sure whether your symptoms, or another persons symptoms, indicate a panic attack. In an emergency, dial triple zero for an ambulance. Its important to see your doctor for a check-up to make sure that any recurring physical panic-like symptoms are not due to illnesses, including:
How Is Panic Disorder Treated
First, talk to your doctor about your symptoms. Your doctor should do an exam and ask you about your health history to make sure that an unrelated physical problem is not causing your symptoms. Your doctor may refer to you a mental health specialist, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist.
Panic disorder is generally treated with psychotherapy, medication, or both. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment for you.
Psychotherapy. A type of psychotherapy called cognitive behavioral therapy is especially useful as a first-line treatment for panic disorder. CBT teaches you different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to the feelings that come on with a panic attack. The attacks can begin to disappear once you learn to react differently to the physical sensations of anxiety and fear that occur during panic attacks.
For more information on psychotherapy, see .
Medication. Doctors also may prescribe different types of medications to help treat panic disorder:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors
Another type of medication called beta-blockers can help control some of the physical symptoms of panic disorder, such as rapid heart rate. Although doctors do not commonly prescribe beta-blockers for panic disorder, they may be helpful in certain situations that precede a panic attack.
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What Is The Purpose Of Self
Greater self-confidence allows you to experience freedom from self-doubt and negative thoughts about yourself. Experiencing more fearlessness and less anxiety. Greater confidence makes you more willing to take smart risks and more able to move outside your comfort zone. Having greater freedom from social anxiety.
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What Is An Anxiety Attack
As mentioned previously, an anxiety attack is not a recognized medical condition as defined by the DSM-V. But this doesnt mean that it doesnt exist. Rather it is a term people with anxiety use to describe very intense or extended periods of anxiety.
Many people live with low-level anxiety on a daily basis. But every now and then, their anxiousness may increase, either gradually or suddenly, to a higher level than is usual for them. Symptoms of these anxiety attacks are more severe than the simple feeling of anxiety but less severe than a panic attack and may be short-lived or persist for days, sometimes weeks. Symptoms may include:
- Feeling particularly wound up or on edge
- Feeling irritable
- Difficulty concentrating or periods where your mind goes blank
- Having difficulty controlling worries
- Tire easily
Sometimes an anxiety attack is a prelude to a panic attack. For example, some people have experienced anxiety attacks on the way to an airport because they have previously had a panic attack on an airplane.
Anxiety attacks do not necessarily indicate that a person has an anxiety disorder, although anxiety as a symptom is linked to numerous mental health conditions, including depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and PTSD. Anxiety is appropriate in some circumstances and anxiety attacks are only more intense forms of that emotion.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Panic Disorder
While many people experience just one or two panic attacks without further episodes or complicationsand theres little reason to worry if thats yousome people go on to develop panic disorder. Panic disorder is characterized by repeated panic attacks, combined with major changes in behavior or persistent anxiety over having further attacks.
You may be suffering from panic disorder if you:
- Experience frequent, unexpected panic attacks that arent tied to a specific situation
- Worry a lot about having another panic attack
- Are behaving differently because of the panic attacks, such as avoiding places where youve previously panicked
While a single panic attack may only last a few minutes, the effects of the experience can leave a lasting imprint. If you have panic disorder, the recurrent panic attacks take an emotional toll. The memory of the intense fear and terror that you felt during the attacks can negatively impact your self-confidence and cause serious disruption to your everyday life. Eventually, this leads to the following panic disorder symptoms:
Anticipatory anxiety Instead of feeling relaxed and like your normal self in between panic attacks, you feel anxious and tense. This anxiety stems from a fear of having future panic attacks. This fear of fear is present most of the time, and can be extremely disabling.
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Causes Of Panic Attacks And Panic Disorder
Although the exact causes of panic attacks and panic disorder are unclear, the tendency to have panic attacks runs in families. There also appears to be a connection with major life transitions such as graduating from college and entering the workplace, getting married, or having a baby. Severe stress, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, or job loss can also trigger panic attacks.
Panic attacks can also be caused by medical conditions and other physical causes. If youre suffering from symptoms of panic, its important to see a doctor to rule out the following possibilities:
Why We Need To Make Sure People Understand The Difference
While conducting research for this article, we encountered more than a dozen mental health professionals who mistakenly believed the terms anxiety attack and panic attack were synonymous. They were licensed professionals, but none of them had a specialty in anxiety. Because anxiety attack is not a clinical term, they assumed it was a synonym for panic attack. This caused them to use the terms interchangeably, which can often confuse the issue even more.
People who deal with anxiety attacks or panic attacks often make similar mistakes. Some suffer from panic attacks but use the term anxiety attack to describe their symptoms and vice versa.
This confusion is why potential therapy clients and other anxiety sufferers need to educate themselves more on the topic or work with an anxiety specialist who really understands the differences. If you dont understand the terms and their differences, you might end up treating a panic disorder that you dont actually have. In the worst case scenario, you could even become dependent on a medication you dont need. Thats why its vital to seek out information about your specific condition and work with someone who is knowledgeable about the challenges that your unique condition presents. With luck, this article has been helpful in shedding some light on the differences between these similar terms!
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Visit Complete Care For Compassionate Panic Attack Treatment
Seeking ER treatment for a panic attack can be a very good idea and shouldnt be considered an overreaction. Your health should always be your top priority, and you should never not go to the ER when you are experiencing severe symptoms.
Again, this is especially true when it comes to panic attacks. A panic attack can easily be misdiagnosed on your own, and this can be extremely dangerous if youre actually suffering from a heart attack, tachycardia, or something similar.
At Complete Care, we treat all of our patients with professionalism and humanity. Our award-winning team is available to you 24/7 for your medical emergencies, including panic attacks.
Get effective ER treatment for panic attacks without the typical long wait times of your typical ERs when you visit one of our locations today.
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Signs That You May Be Having A Panic Attack
If youve ever experienced the dread that comes with a panic attack, you most likely wont be needing any indicators of this condition. However, if youve found yourself feeling an unexpected wave of panic, and are unsure if they qualify as panic attacks, here are a few signs of this disorder to look out for:
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How To Help Someone Having A Panic Attack
Seeing a friend or a loved one experience a panic attack can be a frightening experience. It can also be challenging to feel powerless to help that person and to watch them suffer. While youre unlikely to be able to stop your loved ones panic attack in its tracks, there are things you can do and say to help them through the experience.
Primarily, it is important to stay calm, patient, and understanding. Help your friend wait out the panic attack by encouraging them to take deep breaths in for four seconds and out for four seconds. Stay with them and assure them that this attack is only temporary and they will get through it. You can also remind them that they can leave the environment they are in if they would feel more comfortable elsewhere and try to engage them in light-hearted conversation.
Once the panic attack is over and the person has returned to a calm state, encourage them to seek help from a mental health professional at their earliest convenience, if they havent already. You can help them further by assisting with the search for a licensed professional, researching coping techniques online, and looking for self-help books that might be useful.
Panic Attack Vs Everyday Worries
Everyone worries now and again. It is important to understand that it is a common occurrence to feel worry or dread even when difficult things happen. A panic attack is different from this, however, in that it feels like a zero-sum game to the sufferer. Their experience is outsized and extreme in comparison to the trigger. Additionally, the physiological response in a panic attack differentiates it from normal worry or anxiety.
- Panic attacks are often comorbid with agoraphobia
- 1 million individuals in the US have a panic attack once a month
- Almost half of panic attack sufferers have depression, too
The Physical Symptoms of a Panic Attack
- Increased heart rate, galloping heart rate
- Dizzy feeling
- A sense of being in danger, losing control or impending doom
- Pains in the chest
- Tingling in arms and legs
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Learn About Panic Attacks And Anxiety
Knowledge is power. With more information about panic attacks, you can be aware of your symptoms, feel more in control, and shorten your attacks.
While many people experience a panic attack just once or a few times, others experience them as part of an existing anxiety disorder. Learning about anxiety can help you better manage it.
Is It A Panic Attack Or Anxiety Attack
While panic attacks and anxiety attacks may seem the same, they are actually distinct from one another due to their triggers. Anxiety attacks are triggered by events that would be triggering for almost anyone. Panic attacks on the other hand are reactions to internal stimuli alone and can happen in environments or settings that would not trigger someone else.
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What Are The Complications Of Panic Attacks
Agoraphobia with Panic Disorder
The fear of public places can cause intense anxiety that often leads to panic attacks.
After experiencing a first panic attack, people fear experiencing the next one.
People will avoid situations that they believe will cause a panic attack. This can ultimately lead to Agoraphobia if you experience a panic attack in a public place, in a crowd, while using public transportation, or where escape seems difficult. The place is associated with extreme fear, anxiety, and the public place will be avoided.
Agoraphobia symptoms include fear and avoidance of:
Using public transportation
Being in open spaces
Being in enclosed places
Standing in line or being in a crowd
Being outside of the home alone
These situations cause anxiety because you fear that there is no easy escape and you will not find help if you have a panic attack or other embarrassing symptoms.
Your fear and belief that these situations are dangerous is out of proportion to any actual danger that these situations may pose. You either actively avoid these situations, need to have a companion with you, or you endure intense fear and anxiety in these situations.
What Is Panic Disorder
Periodical experiencing a panic attack is referred to panic disorder. And as to panic attack, there are no clear medical causes of panic disorder. But there are established facts about the triggers.
The triggers are those conditions that lead to a panic disorder such as:
- The cardiac problem resulting from when the heart valve doesnt close well. It is medically known as mitral valve prolapsed
- When the thyroid gland overreact
- Low blood sugar in the system known as hypoglycemia
- The use of stimulant or hard drugs such as cocaine, caffeine, and amphetamines
- Withdrawal from some medication.
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When Do You Know You Have Panic Disorder
You may actually have a panic disorder when you have recurrent panic attacks causing you to avoid doing behaviors that you think may elicit a panic attack. It may cause you to want to avoid going shopping or it might cause you to want to avoid being around certain people, and you may have certain expected triggers.
What Causes Panic Disorder
Panic disorder sometimes runs in families, but no one knows for sure why some family members have it while others dont. Researchers have found that several parts of the brain, as well as biological processes, play a key role in fear and anxiety. Some researchers think that people with panic disorder misinterpret harmless bodily sensations as threats. By learning more about how the brain and body functions in people with panic disorder, scientists may be able to create better treatments. Researchers are also looking for ways in which stress and environmental factors may play a role.
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How Are Panic Attacks Diagnosed
Serious health problems, such as heart disease, thyroid disease and respiratory problems, cause symptoms similar to panic attacks. Your healthcare provider may run tests to rule out a physical problem. If theres no physical cause, your provider may make a diagnosis based on your symptoms and risk factors.
How Can I Treat Panic Attacks While They Are Happening
- Try to control your breathing to avoid feeling short of breath. Inhale through your nose and from your stomach, and exhale fully from your mouth.
- Remind yourself that this feeling is temporary and that it is indeed a panic attack and it cannot physically harm you.
- Engage your senses and practice grounding techniques. Focus on things you can see and feel. If overstimulation is making your panic attack worse, turn off anything playing in the background that is causing extraneous sights and sounds.
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