According to the NHS, panic attack is a ‘condition that happens when the person almost loses his mental control, get extremely afraid, suffers from shortness of breath, and other of the uncontrollable feeling’. Panic attack can occur due to several disorders including anxiety, panic, stress and depression from a particular situation.
Is panic attack dangerous? Well, the answer can be the either yes or no. Although they are frightening, panic attacks are not dangerous. One reason why you should worry about the panic attack is if you have a heart condition and also suffer from panic attack.
How can you try to calm yourself down when you’re having a panic attack?
- Control your breath. According to Anxieties, this can be achieved through these steps: ‘Take a long, slow breath in through your nose, first filling your lower lungs, then your upper lungs. Hold your breath to the count of ‘three’. Exhale slowly through pursed lips, while you relax the muscles in your face, jaw, shoulders and stomach.
- Acknowledge that you are having panic attack. By recognising that you’re suffering from a panic attack, you can remind yourself that this will soon pass. Get rid off the fear that you may be dying or that impending doom is looming. This can allow you to focus on other techniques to reduce your symptoms.
- Learn to relax. Relaxation techniques are strategies used to reduce both anxiety and stress. These techniques can also be used to manage symptoms of panic disorder and help a person overcome a panic attack.
- Filter your negative thoughts. You filter out the negative and focus on the positive. Example: ‘I get so nervous speaking in public. I just know that people are thinking about how bad I am at speaking.’ Reality: Probably no one is more focused on your performance than you. It may help to look for some evidence that good things happened after one of your presentations. Did people applaud afterwards? Did anyone tell you that you did a good job?
- Rehydrate your body. When you are dehydrated, your blood pressure goes down, which will increase your heart rate. This can make you feel lightheaded or dizzy. As someone who has panic attacks knows, these attacks are often triggered by these same experiences. It is important therefore that you keep yourself hydrated.
What are the treatments for panic disorder?
Panic attacks are often treated through cognitive behavioural therapy. This form of psychotherapy teaches you different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to the feelings that come on with a panic attack. The attacks can begin to disappear once you learn to react differently to the physical sensations of anxiety and fear that occur during panic attacks.
You can also take medications to treat your panic attacks. Of course, all medications carry a risk of side effects, and some may not be recommended in certain situations, such as pregnancy. Consult with your doctor about this.
Shakir Hassan runs Redstone Life which has the chief aim of providing daily life solutions for the troubles which seem hard to get rid off.