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What is a panic attack and how to overcome it? A guide to mental balance

Date: March 4, 2024 Time: 05:14:18

clinical psychologist, gestalt therapist, supervisor

Each of us is periodically in a state of stress – the sensations are not pleasant. However, a panic attack is not just a moment of anxiety. This is an unexpected attack of fear, panic, which develops into a feeling of impending death or loss of reason. Of the most common symptoms: suffocation, tremor, sweating, lethargy, low blood pressure, arrhythmia, dizziness. The duration of this state is up to half an hour.

Which is the reason?

A panic attack occurs when we fear our condition is getting worse, such as becoming agitated, scared, or paralyzed by fear. Often the cause of such an ailment may not be psychological, but physiological factors, if, for example, you drink a lot of coffee and suddenly feel a rapid heartbeat “for no reason.”

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The emotional background also affects: experiences, past negative experiences, exhaustion, as if by a click, can cause a painful panic attack out of the blue. In this case, the trigger will be incommensurable with the response. The fact is that the brain is always on guard and tries to predict an unpleasant situation, or at least be prepared for it.

What are the specific reasons:

tragedy in the family, health problems of relatives; childhood trauma (violence, traffic accidents, relationships with parents); sudden and dramatic changes in life; bad habits; psychological problems.

Also read:

What to do if you have a panic attack? Instructions from a psychologist.

What are the symptoms?

In addition to the above, the nature of the manifestations may be as follows:

Blurred mind Blurry vision Loss of reality Body pain Frequent urination Tingling Feeling of warmth

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With such an unpleasant set, the expectation of death or imminent disaster seems logical, because really pain and arrhythmia can be mistaken for a heart attack, and the cloudy mind for a stroke or fainting.

How does a panic attack manifest itself?

A distorted perception of the physical response to anxiety leads to a catastrophic fear of the anxiety itself. Feeling the lack of air, a person thinks that he is about to suffocate. The rapid beating of the heart leads to the fear of a heart attack, which will begin at any moment. And in the end, the very fact of losing control over your own body leads you to be stupefied.

By trying to stay in control instead of relaxing, the panic attack victim makes his reaction even more acute.

During an attack, the following thoughts may occur:

“I’m passing out! I’m passing out!” “I’m suffocating! I have nothing to breathe!” “My heart can’t take it!” “I’m about to vomit in public.” “I won’t make it to the bathroom.” “I am helpless, I cannot help myself, I am losing control of my physical condition.” “I am not responsible for myself, unable to control my behavior. Now I will do something completely unpredictable.” “My condition is obvious to everyone. People will think I’m sick, crazy, ‘I’ll go crazy and go to the clinic.’

To do?

The most common response to what happens during a panic attack is to fight. People seek to regain control of their body and escape from a state of terror, find shelter or someone to take their hand and accompany them.

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This is the wrong approach. First of all, you need to reduce the rising tension, withdraw and relax, wait out the storm. You can resort to breathing practices or focus on finding specific items. As soon as the panic attack passes, you should think about making an appointment with a therapist, cardiologist, neurologist, endocrinologist.

Also read:

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After a series of studies, the specialist will determine whether you have a dangerous disease and will refer you to a psychologist or psychotherapist who will help you get rid of the scourge, recommend a healthy sleep, and possibly prescribe medication.

If the attack took you by surprise

Ask yourself: what is happening to me right now? Don’t forget: if you get over one panic attack, you’ll get over the next. Nothing bad is happening to you. It is important to know: no one has ever died from this, you will recover.

Try to think less about your condition and switch to abstract topics. For example, find five blue objects around you. Breathing practices can also help you.

One of them:

breathe measuredly and slowly, inhale at the expense of 1-2-3-4 and exhale, mentally counting to six, continue the exercise until the state normalizes, observe yourself as if from the side.

When you have an attack, remember that your body is only defending itself. This is not a heart attack, nor a loss of consciousness, nor a mental disorder.

Don’t push. Fear will pass faster if you don’t fight it with all your desperation. The main thing is to be patient and learn to go through a panic attack.

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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