What are panic attacks and how to deal with them



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November 16, 2018


Everyone is ever worried or nervous. Anxiety is a normal response to stressful situations, but for people with anxiety disorders, these fears and worries are not temporary. Their anxiety lasts and can get worse. Anxiety can seriously impair an individual's ability to work at work, school, and social situations, but effective treatment methods exist.

What is a panic attack?

Panic is the most extreme form of anxiety and anxiety. Panic attack usually occurs suddenly.

Fear and anxiety, which seem to appear out of nowhere, cause physiological and psychological symptoms. The level of fear experienced is unrealistic and totally disproportionate to events or circumstances that trigger a panic attack. In fact, it is a reflection of what happens in the amygdala, which can not recognize what the past is and what the present is.

Everyone can have panic attacks, and frequent and constant episodes can be a sign of panic or anxiety disorder requiring treatment. Excessive stress, for example, can trigger a panic attack that is completely unpredictable, and anxiety during panic may have been present for a long time. Attacks generally last for a short time (5 to 30 minutes), and can occur in most people only once in life, or more often and more often a day.

They often have an obvious trigger, such as an intimidating event, a place, a person, or a memory, but they can also appear apparently without a clear reason, although many therapists believe that panic attacks generally have an explanation that can be detected and addressed.

Symptoms of panic attack

A panic attack, which is often intimidating and disturbing, can lead to sudden, sudden anxiety and discomfort, and can be physiologically very intense and overwhelming. They usually appear

– shaking,
– shallow breathing, feeling of damping,
– increased heart rate, chest pain,
– nausea, dizziness, fainting,
– restless thoughts,
– t. i. tunnel view,
– numbness of the limbs,
– frightening thoughts, especially with regard to death,
– extreme restlessness,
– muscle tension,
– the belief that a person loses control or a sense of reality,
– the feeling of separation from one's own body

Is there self-help?

People who have frequent panic attacks often change their lifestyle because they try to avoid situations that could cause attacks. This may have favorable consequences in the short term, but long-term avoidance of challenges is not the best solution, as this can be done by anxiety through reducing living space and avoiding many social interactions that can be beneficial to individuals. This can lead to the formation of various phobias, such as agoraphobia.

Stress control plays an important part in self-help. Many people have panic attacks when they are so overwhelmed by the stress that they can no longer cope with it. Already talk about stress and regular breaks and breaks can reduce the effects of chronic stress.

During the attack, focus on breathing and find a safe space that will give you privacy. It can also help to relax physical tension with movement, prayer, meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, etc.

Panic attacks are not dangerous and usually break down on their own, but they can become dangerous if they occur while driving or otherwise risky. It can also help realist thinking, as opposed to overestimating the risk of panic attacks (unconsciousness, death, heart attack) or catastrophism of danger (public stirring, the lack of willingness to help nearby people). You can write such thoughts or imagine the worst possible scenario that a panic attack can bring to you, and make a plan how to act and resolve it.

Psychotherapeutic help

Talk with the therapist is recommended especially for those who often experience panic attacks or are afraid of them. In some cases, medicines play an important role in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Research shows that behavioral therapy, alone or in combination with medicines, is a very effective treatment method for most people with this type of disorder.

Therapy helps to change patterns of thinking and responses in fear-inspiring situations. Client therapists learn more healthier and more effective methods for tackling attacks. We learn to recognize and regulate factors that can affect their anxiety, and techniques that can help remove unwanted behavior associated with anxiety disorders. We thus encourage the implementation of activities that can trigger anxiety, as they can learn that their fear will not be realized and gradually restore confidence in yourself and your body.

Therapy is a collaborative process where the therapist and the client together attempt to detect specific fear and form techniques that will help to cope with anxiety. Customers can use these techniques outside therapy in situations where they feel uncomfortable. In any case, the client's therapist will not be forced into such a situation until he is convinced that he has mastered the necessary techniques that will enable successful coping with fears.
Marital and family therapy helps family members, in particular, to understand the anxiety of their loved ones, teach them how to coexist with them, and above all help children and adolescents suffering from anxiety disorders.

Treatment may reduce anxiety disorders or symptom symptoms after a few months of therapy, and many can see progression after several meetings.

Matjaž Petrič, legal and family therapist
Center for Marriage and Family Therapy, Upan, Ljubljana

Photos are symbolic. Photo: Tatjana Splichal

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