A panic attack is a sudden feeling of overwhelming anxiety and fear, as is something unexplainably horrible is about to happen. Sudden attacks of fear and nervousness, as well as physical symptoms such as sweating and a racing heart. During a panic attack, the fear response is out of proportion for the situation, which often is not threatening. Panic attacks are common. Research has found that most people experience at least two panic attacks in their lifetime.
Many people experience their first panic attack due a build up of chronic stress. Anxious personalities often then become afraid of them, which further stresses the body
Panic attacks generally start between the ages of 14 and 25, but they can start anytime, including in childhood and well into adulthood. Many children remember having a panic attack even at the age of 5 or younger. It’s just that they didn’t know what it was then.
Symptoms of a panic attack:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Heart Pounding
- Intense feeling of dread
- Shortness of breath
- Sensation of choking
- Dizziness or feeling faint
- Trembling or shaking
- Tingling or numbness in the fingers and toes
- Chills or hot flashes
- A fear that you are losing control or are about to die
What Causes Panic Disorder
The exact cause of panic disorder is not fully understood, studies have shown that a combination of factors, including biological and environmental.
Medical conditions and other physical causes panick disorder is:
- Mitral valve prolapse, a minor cardiac problem that occurs when one of the heart’s valves doesn’t close correctly
- Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland)
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Stimulant use (amphetamines, cocaine, caffeine)
- Medication withdrawal.
Some of the most effective home ways to treat panic attacks are:
The first thing you need to do is re-train your body to breathe in a more efficient manner.
Numerous studies have shown that most panic attack symptoms come not from adrenaline, but from hyperventilation.
Hyperventilation is when your body releases too much carbon dioxide. It usually occurs because quick breathing.
Symptoms of hyperventilation play a key role in panic attacks:
- Chest pains.
- Shortness of breath.
- Muscle weakness and tingling.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Rapid heartbeat.
Hyperventilations can control in two ways:
Train yourself to slow down your breathing. When you think you’re going to have a panic attack. Breathe in for at least 5 seconds, hold for 2 or 3 seconds, and breathe out for at least 7 seconds. Make sure you’re breathing in through your nose and either out through your nose or out through pursed lips.
Taking 30 minutes out of every day to practice this type of breathing can help your body re-learn how to breathe this way, and should make you less likely to hyperventilate in the future.(Panic attacks and anxiety train your body out of its normal breathing pattern).
Self help tips for panic attack:
Practice relaxation techniques.
When practiced regularly, activities such as yoga, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation strengthen the body’s relaxation response—the opposite of the stress response involved in anxiety and panic. And not only do these relaxation practices promote relaxation, but they also increase feelings of joy and equanimity. So make time for them in your daily routine.
Exercise is a natural anxiety reliever so try to get moving for at least 30 minutes on most days. 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 anxiety worse, so try to get seven to nine hours of quality sleep a night
Avoid smoking, alcohol, and caffeine.
These can all provoke panic attacks in people who are addicted in these. As a result, it’s wise to avoid alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, and other caffeinated beverages
Connect face-to-face with family and friends.
Anxiety thrives when you feel isolated so regularly reach out to people who care about you.
There are other ways to stop panic attacks, as well. Including:
- Reduce your stress and give your body time to respond.
- Relax breath. Relax breathing will stop stress responses. Then, it’s just a matter of time until your body calms down.
- Calm yourself down.
- Relax your body as much as you can. Relaxing stops the stress response.
- Go for a walk. Leisure walking can shut of the stress response.
- Focus on something near you. Changing your focus to something near you will stop anxious thinking
- Reducing your body’s stress overall will prevent involuntary panic attacks.
- Remember that panic attacks aren’t harmful. They are just strong reactions to worry and fear.
- The most important thing you can do is learn to stop scaring yourself with worry. Worry is the number one cause of panic attacks. Containing your worry – which we explain in the Recovery Support area – is a great way to eliminate problematic worry and panic attacks.
- panic attacks and their symptoms can be overcome for good by getting the right information, help, and support.