What Are Panic Attacks And How Do You Stop Them?
Panic attacks are a daily nightmare for some who suffer with anxiety. However, they aren’t really well understood by most people. Some people see panic attacks as an attention seeking tactic, or just someone who is immature. This isn’t really the case, and this article will allow you to understand what a panic attack really is. It’s also important that you know how to stop a panic attack in the case that you or someone you know begins to suffer with one.
Panic attacks are best characterized as episodes of mental distress that interrupt your daily life. These attacks often come at unexpected times, and without any warning whatsoever. This can be extremely dangerous for some panic attack sufferers, as panic attacks and heart attacks can be easily confused by the afflicted individual. Some people have been victims of heart attacks and didn’t seek help thinking that they were having a routine panic attack. Hence, it’s important that you seek help in ending your panic attacks.
The complications that come with panic attacks are primarily mental in nature. However, if left untreated, the attacks can destabilize your life. Often time panic attacks will come with the development of phobias. These phobias may be the things that cause panic attacks, or they may even be unrelated things that you just associate with them due to having an attack in a specific place or near certain people or things. Agoraphobia (a fear of stressful places that can cause embarrassment) is the most commonly developed phobia among panic attack sufferers due to embarrassment or trauma from a panic attack that happened in a crowded place.
Leaving panic attacks unchecked can lead to the victim avoiding commonplace daily activities, or needing assistance from other individuals to complete these tasks. In short, you will lose more and more autonomy in your daily life until you are fully dependent on other people. Likewise, stress from the panic attacks can cause depression to set in, and many individuals can become dependent on drugs and alcohol during this period of decline.
What Can You Do About Panic Attacks?
First and foremost, you should seek the aid of a professional, as prescription treatments can aid in helping to break the cycle. It may also help if you try to identify the things that cause you to have panic attacks. These things may or may not contribute to your attacks, but figuring out what could be a “trigger” may help a therapist.
If you find yourself or someone you know having a panic attack, try a few things. Tell yourself that you are having a panic attack, and that it won’t harm you. Take in deep breaths, and remind yourself that the current surroundings aren’t the cause of your panic attack. Lastly, “ground” yourself by finding up to 5 things that you can see, hear, smell, touch, and taste. Doing so helps you to regain control of your surroundings. Lastly, focusing on a specific object and it’s textures, colors, and any printed words can help to distract you from the panic attack. Find out more about anxiety relief.
If you are in crisis or think you may have an emergency, call your doctor, go to the emergency room, or call 911 immediately. If you’re having suicidal thoughts, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to talk to a trained counselor.