Left untreated, panic attacks can lead to panic disorder and other problems. They may even cause you to withdraw from normal activities. But panic attacks can be cured and the sooner you seek help, the better. With the right treatment and self-help, you can reduce or eliminate the symptoms of panic, regain your confidence, and take back control of your life.
A panic attack is an intense wave of fear characterized by
Hookup someone who has panic attacks unexpectedness and debilitating, immobilizing intensity. Panic attacks often strike out of the blue, without any warning, and sometimes with no clear trigger. They may even occur when you're relaxed or asleep. A panic attack may be a one-time occurrence, although many people experience Hookup someone who has panic attacks episodes.
Recurrent panic attacks are often triggered by a specific situation, such as crossing a bridge or speaking in public—especially if that situation has caused a panic attack before. You may experience one or more panic attacks, yet be otherwise perfectly happy and healthy. Or your panic attacks may occur as part of another disorder, such as panic disorder, social phobiaor depression.
Regardless of the cause, panic attacks are treatable. There are strategies you can use to cope with the symptoms as well as effective treatments. Paula had her first Hookup someone who has panic attacks attack six months ago. She was in her office preparing for an important work presentation when, suddenly, she felt an intense wave of fear.
Then the room started spinning and she felt like she was going to throw up. She gripped her desk until the episode passed, but it left her deeply shaken.
She also refuses to ride the elevator up to her 12th floor office out of fear of being trapped if she has a panic attack. They rarely last more than an hour, with most ending within 20 to 30 minutes. Panic attacks can happen anywhere and at any time. In fact, many people suffering from panic attacks make repeated trips to the doctor or the emergency room in an attempt to get treatment for what they believe is a life-threatening medical problem.
Panic disorder is characterized by repeated panic attacks, combined with major changes in behavior or persistent anxiety over having further attacks. 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 Hookup someone who has panic attacks anxious and tense. This anxiety stems from a fear of having future panic attacks. Phobias and Irrational Fears: Recognize, Treat, and Overcome Them.
Phobic avoidance — You begin to avoid certain situations or environments. Or you may avoid places where escape would be difficult or help would be unavailable if you had a panic attack. Taken to its extreme, phobic avoidance becomes agoraphobia.
Agoraphobia was traditionally thought to involve a fear of public places and open spaces. However, it is now believed that agoraphobia develops as a complication of panic attacks and panic disorder. Although it can develop at any point, agoraphobia usually appears within a year of your first recurrent panic attacks.
Because of these fears, you start avoiding more and more situations. 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
Hookup someone who has panic attacks the workplace, getting married, or having a baby.
Severe stresssuch 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.
The following self-help techniques can make a big difference to helping you overcome panic:. Learn about panic and anxiety. Simply knowing more about panic can go a long way towards relieving your distress. Read up on anxietypanic disorder, and the fight-or-flight response experienced during a panic attack. Avoid smoking, alcohol, and caffeine. These can all provoke panic attacks in people who are susceptible. If you need help to kick the cigarette habit, see How to Quit Smoking.
Also, be careful with medications that contain stimulants, such as diet pills and non-drowsy cold medications. Learn how to Hookup someone who has panic attacks your breathing.
Hyperventilation brings on many sensations such as lightheadedness and tightness of the chest that occur during a panic attack. Deep breathingon the other hand, can relieve the symptoms of panic. By learning to control your breathing, you can calm yourself down when you begin to feel anxious.
And if you know how to control your breathing, you're also less likely to create the very sensations that you're afraid of. And not only do these relaxation practices promote relaxation, but they also increase feelings of joy and equanimity. Connect face-to-face with family and friends. Symptoms of anxiety can become worse when you feel isolated, so reach out to people who care about you on a regular basis. Exercise is a natural anxiety reliever so try to get moving for at least 30 minutes on most days three minute sessions is just as good.
Rhythmic aerobic exercise that requires moving both your arms and legs—like walking, running, swimming, or dancing—can be especially effective. Get enough restful sleep. Insufficient or poor quality sleep can make Hookup someone who has panic attacks worse, so try to get seven to nine hours of restful sleep a night.
The most effective form of professional treatment for tackling panic attacks, panic disorder, and agoraphobia is therapy. Even a short course of treatment can help. Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on the thinking patterns and behaviors that are sustaining or triggering your panic attacks and helps you look at your fears in a more realistic light. For example, if you had a panic attack while driving, what is the worst thing that would really happen?
While you might have to pull over to the side of the road, you are not likely to crash your car or have a heart attack. Once you learn that nothing truly disastrous is going to happen, the experience of panic becomes less terrifying.
Exposure therapy for panic disorder allows you to experience the physical sensations of panic in a safe and controlled environment, giving you the opportunity to learn healthier ways of coping. You Hookup someone who has panic attacks be asked to hyperventilate, shake your head from side to side, or hold your breath.
These different exercises cause sensations similar to the symptoms of panic. With each exposure, you become less afraid of these internal bodily sensations and feel a greater sense of control over your panic. Therapy for Anxiety Disorders: Exposure therapy for panic disorder with agoraphobia includes exposure to the situations you fear and avoid is also included in treatment.
As in exposure therapy for specific phobias, you face the feared situation until the panic begins to go away. Medication can be used to temporarily control or reduce some of the symptoms of panic disorder. However, it doesn't treat or resolve the problem. Medication can be useful in severe cases, but it should not be the only treatment pursued.
Medication is most effective when combined with other treatments, such as therapy and lifestyle changes, that address the underlying causes of panic disorder. It takes several weeks before they begin to work, so you have to take them continuously, not Hookup someone who has panic attacks during a panic attack.
These are anti-anxiety drugs that act very quickly usually within 30 minutes to an hour. Taking them during a panic attack provides rapid relief of symptoms.
However, benzodiazepines are highly addictive and have serious withdrawal symptoms, so they should be used with caution.
Seeing a friend or loved one suffering a panic attack can be frightening. But by helping your loved one ride out a panic attack, you can help them feel less fearful of any future attacks.