What Does Anxiety Attack Mean
Anxiety attacks often have triggers, although they can be triggered by nothing at all. Some people experience anxiety attacks during periods of intense anxiety, but many others experience them out of nowhere, usually as a response to a physical sensation. For example, its not uncommon to have your first anxiety attack simply because your heartbeat speeds up, because anxiety has caused you to be hypersensitive to these changes.
The causes of anxiety attacks are everything from severe stress to hyperventilation to a need to regain control. It differs for different people, which is why treating it has a great deal to do with identifying triggers. Once youve experienced an anxiety attack, the fear of another anxiety attack may actually trigger an attack, because those that are afraid of getting a panic attack again often pay too much attention to their own body, and react to any changes in sensations.
How Can I Stop A Panic Attack
It can be very overwhelming and extremely scary to have a panic attack for the first time. However, it is necessary to know as much as possible about panic attacks to be prepared in case they happen again.
Once you recognize all of the signs and understand that you are having a panic attack instead of a heart attack, it becomes easier to control it. Part of solving a problem is identifying it, right?
There are multiple ways to stop a panic attack. I personally prefer to sit down and put my head between my knees. I then focus on my breathing and try to calm myself down.
- Finding a focus object is also very helpful, I remember once I had a panic attack at the train station and couldnt move. I focused on my yellow shoelaces and tried to breathe deeply until it stopped.
- Deep breathing is considered very useful in stopping a panic attack. You basically focus on taking deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Breathe in for a count of four, hold it in for a second, then let it out for a count of four. You can practice this breathing technique before going to bed so you can get used to it.
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What Does A Panic Attack Feel Like
When a panic attack happens, you get this sudden and intense surge of fear accompanied by severe physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and the feeling as if you are choking. Thats why many people who have experienced a panic attack are more likely to visit the hospital.
The unfortunate component about panic attacks is that they are unpredictable. You can have one at any time, anywhere, and it doesnt matter if youre calm or anxious. There are times when you wont even know the cause of the panic attack because, with panic attacks, the stressor is unidentifiable.
Anxiety Attacks And Severity
What makes anxiety attacks unique is that even though they are a mental health issue, it is often the physical symptoms that get the most attention, This is what those without anxiety often struggle to understand. Anxiety attacks cause intense physical symptoms that mimic serious health disorders. Symptoms include:
- Tingling or numbness in the hands and feet
- Rapid heartbeat/heart palpitations
In many ways, anxiety attacks are similar to heart attacks. There may be other unusual issues as well, such as trouble with your vision, your teeth, your muscles, your nerves, and more. For example, some people experience weird jolts, others experience blurry vision, others experience tooth pain or hear unexplained noises.
Not all anxiety attacks are the same, but they all tend to be very physical and result in a feeling like something is terribly wrong.
What makes anxiety attacks worse is that they cause other symptoms that exacerbate the physical problems. One of the symptoms of anxiety attacks is this incredibly intense feeling of doom – as though something horrific is about to happen. That is actually a symptom of anxiety attacks, not just a response to the physical sensations, but when combined with the physical symptoms it can make a person convinced that they are about to suffer from something terrible.
Anxiety attacks also have other frightening psychological symptoms as well, such as:
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Talking To A Health Care Provider About Your Mental Health
Communicating well with a health care provider can improve your care and help you both make good choices about your health. Find tips to help prepare for and get the most out of your visit at Taking Control of Your Mental Health: Tips for Talking With Your Health Care Provider. For additional resources, including questions to ask a provider, visit the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality website.
If you or someone you know is in immediate distress or is thinking about hurting themselves,call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free at 1-800-273-TALK . You also can text the Crisis Text Line or use the Lifeline Chat on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.
Types Of Anxiety Disorders:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by chronic and exaggerated worry and tension, much more than the typical anxiety that most people experience in their daily lives. People may have trembling, twitching, muscle tension, nausea, irritability, poor concentration, depression, fatigue, headaches, light-headedness, breathlessness or hot flashes.
Panic Disorder: People with panic disorder have panic attacks with feelings of terror that strike suddenly and repeatedly with no warning. During the attacks, individuals may feel like they cant breathe, have lost control, are having a heart attack or even that they are dying. Physical symptoms may include chest pain, dizziness, nausea, sweating, tingling or numbness, and a racing heartbeat. Some people will have one isolated attack, while others will develop a long term panic disorder either way, there is often high anxiety between attacks because there is no way of knowing when the next one will occur. Panic disorders often begin early in adulthood. Many people with panic disorder also suffer from agoraphobia . See more on Panic Attacks.
Phobias are irrational fears. Individuals with phobias realize their fears are irrational, but thinking about or facing the feared object or situation can bring on a panic attck or severe anxiety.
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Mindfulness Meditation And Relaxation Techniques
This means having a moment-by-moment consciousness of our thoughts, feelings, and environment by accepting and living at peace with everything. This is done to prevent the feeling of not being in your own body or feeling unreal that are associated with panic attacks.
In mindfulness, you focus on the real things surrounding you. For example, you can use your feet to play with the soil while focusing wholly on it. You can also for example focus on the texture of your clothing or hair
Focusing on such things will help you to stay away from the harmful thoughts of fear, nervousness, and worry thus stopping impending anxiety or panic attack.
Other relaxation techniques that are important in preventing anxiety disorders include progressive muscle relaxation, massage, listening to calming music among others. For massage, which is one of the best relaxation techniques, you can get one of the best massagers for anxiety.
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How To Deal With Panic Attacks
A panic attack is a feeling of sudden and intense anxiety.
Panic attacks can also have physical symptoms, including shaking, feeling disorientated, nausea, rapid, irregular heartbeats, dry mouth, breathlessness, sweating and dizziness.
The symptoms of a panic attack are not dangerous, but can be very frightening.
They can make you feel as though you are having a heart attack, or that you are going to collapse or even die.
Most panic attacks last somewhere from five minutes to half an hour.
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Panic Attacks In Children And Adolescents
Panic attacks often begin during adolescence, although they may start during childhood. Attacks can lead to severe anxiety, as well as affecting other parts of a child’s mood or functioning.
Some children begin to avoid situations where they fear a panic attack may occur. Adolescents might use alcohol or drugs to reduce their anxiety. If not recognized and treated, panic attacks can cause future complications for children such as severe depression and suicidal behaviour.
When diagnosed early on, children experiencing panic attacks usually respond well to treatment.
What Are The Signs Of A Panic Attack
If you’re having a panic attack, you may experience:
- tingling fingers
- ringing in your ears
Some people think they are having a heart attack because it feels like their heart is beating fast or irregularly, or even that they are going to die.
Panic attacks usually last somewhere from 5 to 20 minutes. Although it may feel like something is seriously wrong, they aren’t dangerous and shouldn’t harm you.
You wont usually need to be admitted to hospital if you have had a panic attack.
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Dont Shame Or Minimize
Its pretty common to worry about having a panic attack, especially in front of strangers, or believe the attack might annoy or inconvenience friends or loved ones.
People struggling with anxiety or panic attacks might intellectually understand the response is illogical. But hearing that from someone else can increase their isolation, Bingham explains.
Avoid saying things like:
- Just relax. Theres nothing to be afraid of.
- Youre upset over that?
- Whats wrong with you?
You might not intend to make your friend feel ashamed, but denying the reality of their distress can certainly have that effect.
When To Call A Doctor
911, or other emergency services immediately if you have symptoms of a heart attack. These may include:
- Chest pain or pressure, or a strange feeling in the chest.
- Shortness of breath.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Pain, pressure, or a strange feeling in the back, neck, jaw, or upper belly, or in one or both shoulders or arms.
- Lightheadedness or sudden weakness.
- A fast or irregular heartbeat.
After you call 911, the operator may tell you to chew 1 adult-strength or 2 to 4 low-dose aspirin. Wait for an ambulance. Do not try to drive yourself.
- Attacks of intense fear or anxiety that seem to come on without a reason.
- A panic attack or worry that you will have another one, and your worrying keeps you from doing your daily activities.
- Physical symptoms now and then , and you aren’t sure what is causing them.
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The Website Has An Odd Domain Name
One of the easier ways to spot suspect stories is if theyre located on a news site with a strange domain name. Sometimes if a story originates on a site ending in .ru or .co, thats a red flag. .Ru is used by the Russian federation, while .co is used by Colombia these two extensions are considered suspect.Other untrustworthy sites will try to imitate a reputable, well-known website by incorporating it into its own URL for example, using NBC as part of its URL: www.nbc-real-news.com. Another trick? Using nearly the same URL as a popular site, omitting a letter or two, or misspelling the name. Very long, complex domain names are another sign something might be amiss
Remember, too, that anyone can pay for any domain name theyd like. In the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, for example, someone who was ticked at Republican candidate Carly Fiorina snagged the domain name carlyfiorina.org. The site illustrates, through frowny faces, the 30,000 people she laid off as head of Hewlett-Packard . This isnt a story, of course. But if you read a story on, say, the evils of butter, and its on a site called ilovebutter.org, you should suspect something slippery is going on.
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Risk Factors For Anxiety Disorder
Some things also make you more likely to develop an anxiety disorder. These are called risk factors. Some risk factors you canât change, but others you can.
Risk factors for anxiety disorders include:
- History of mental health disorder. Having another mental health disorder, like depression, raises your risk for anxiety disorder.
- Childhood sexual abuse. Emotional, physical, and sexual abuse or neglect during childhood is linked to anxiety disorders later in life.
- Trauma. Living through a traumatic event increases the risk of posttraumatic stress disorder , which can cause panic attacks.
- Negative life events. Stressful or negative life events, like losing a parent in early childhood, increase your risk for anxiety disorder.
- Severe illness or chronic health condition. Constant worry about your health or the health of a loved one, or caring for someone who is sick, can cause you to feel overwhelmed and anxious.
- Substance abuse. The use of alcohol and illegal drugs makes you more likely to get an anxiety disorder. Some people also use these substances to hide or ease anxiety symptoms.
- Being shy as a child. Shyness and withdrawal from unfamiliar people and places during childhood is linked to social anxiety in teens and adults.
- Low self-esteem. Negative perceptions about yourself may lead to social anxiety disorder.
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Panic Attacks Quiz: Do I Have Panic Disorder
In order to manage threatening situations, humans have evolved to experience a fight or flight response. As part of this response, when humans are confronted with a dangerous situation, their body mobilizes by sending blood away from their extremities and into the major muscles, producing adrenaline, and increasing heart rate so that we are better equipped to fight off danger.
How Do You Calm Panic Attack 5 Things You Can See
Calming a panic attack with 5 things you can see is considered a very useful exercise where you use your imagination to go to your safe place.
There you attempt to engage your senses where you describe what you can see, hear, feel, taste and smell.
This will help you engage the areas of the brain that are involved in decision-making and rational thought.
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Complications Of Panic Disorder
Panic disorder is treatable and you can make a full recovery. But it’s best to get medical help as soon as you can.
If you do not get medical help, panic disorder can escalate and become very difficult to cope with.
You’re more at risk of developing other mental health conditions, such as agoraphobia or other phobias, or an alcohol or drug problem.
Having panic disorder may affect your ability to drive. The law requires you to inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency about a medical condition that could impact your driving ability.
Visit GOV.UK for further information about driving with a disability or health condition.
Understanding The Triggers Is The First Step To Helping Your Child Overcome The Condition
A panic attack is an intense feeling of fear and anxiety. It often happens if people feel anxious about something happening in their life or have experienced something difficult or stressful.
Panic attacks can feel very frightening, especially for children, but they can usually be stopped with treatment. Its important to know that a panic attack wont cause any harm and, even if it may not feel it during an attack, the feeling will pass.
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How Can I Know If Someone Is Having A Panic Attack
If you know someone who struggles with panic disorder or anxiety, you might have already seen them having an attack so it would be easier for you to help. Otherwise, if you have never witnessed an attack, it might be frightening to not know what was happening.
There are ways to tell when someone is having a panic attack, such as becoming withdrawn, they suddenly become distant and quiet. Their breathing changes and they look hot and agitated. They might even break in sweat and start shaking or trembling.
What Causes Panic Attacks
The physical symptoms of a panic attack are caused by your body going into “fight or flight” mode.
As your body tries to take in more oxygen, your breathing quickens. Your body also releases hormones, such as adrenaline, causing your heart to beat faster and your muscles to tense up.
Having a panic attack now? Try these tips for coping with panic attacks.
You may also find that breathing exercises help.
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When To Seek Professional Help
While self-help coping strategies can be very effective, if your worries, fears, or anxiety attacks have become so great that theyre causing extreme distress or disrupting your daily routine, its important to seek professional help.
If youre experiencing a lot of physical symptoms, you should start by getting a medical checkup. Your doctor can check to make sure that your anxiety isnt caused by a medical condition, such as a thyroid problem, hypoglycemia, or asthma. Since certain drugs and supplements can cause anxiety, your doctor will also want to know about any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies, and recreational drugs youre taking.
If your physician rules out a medical cause, the next step is to consult with a therapist who has experience treating anxiety disorders. The therapist will work with you to determine the cause and type of your disorder and devise a course of treatment.
Give Cognitive Behavioural Therapy A Go
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, also known as CBT, sounds a lot scarier than it actually is! The medicine-free treatment is designed to make you think and react in a different way when you find yourself feeling anxious or a panic attack coming on.
It gives you coping mechanisms when you get a feeling of unease in everyday situations. Practising these coping mechanisms enables you to tackle challenging moments, and eventually your anxiety is likely to lessen.
CBT is now available for free on the NHS with Talking Therapies. You dont need to be referred by your GP either. You simply fill in a form, and hey presto, youre on your way to receiving therapy. Easy!
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