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Panic Attack: Symptoms And Prevention

Care24 Administrator Neuro, Quality of life

Anyone can have a panic attack and unlike what many people feel, it is a ‘real’ thing and not a made-up situation. So, if you feel you have ever been there and felt it, or a friend or loved one has mentioned about suffering from the same, pay heed. Here are some symptoms you can watch out for that will help prevent and treat the condition at the right time.

panic attack

As the name suggests, a panic attack is a sudden feeling of intense fear and anxiety that grips you for no reason at all. It is a feeling where you feel your heart starts beating too fast and it gets difficult for you to even breathe. The feeling is so intense that you will believe that you are almost about to die, which can further increase the panic and scare. While a panic attack usually is not a health scare, if steps are not taken to treat it urgently, it can lead to serious health issues. On a severe scale, it can make it socially impossible for the affected person to carry out daily tasks and routine activities. Timely professional intervention and treatment can help to minimize the condition and help the sufferer deal better with the same.

when panic attack happens

A panic attack can happen at any time, in the middle of an activity, while you are already busy, and will almost always happen without any warning. It can even happen at a time when you are resting or even asleep. While in many cases it is possible to have a panic attack only once or twice, it is possible to also have it over and over again. When you get repeated panic attacks, it is often triggered by a specific memory or incident.

panic attack symptoms

Here are some of the most common symptoms of a panic attack. Keep in mind that the person who is experiencing the same can experience one or multiple of the symptoms mentioned below.

  • Your heart starts beating at a very fast pace, and you can almost feel it physically throbbing, as if it will come out of your body
  • Difficulty in breathing or focusing
  • Suddenly feeling dizzy or a sudden sense of weakness. Feeling faint all of a sudden
  • Having pain or a feeling of tightness or discomfort in the chest
  • Finding it difficult to control emotions and situations around. There is a sudden feeling of losing control, as if things are spiraling out of control and you don’t know what to hold on to.
  • Feeling sweaty and hot, or feeling cold all of a sudden and experiencing chills and shivers
  • Having a tingling sensation in fingers or hands and feet. Loss of sense or a feeling of numbness in hands and fingers

It is important to get professional help in order to help get out of a panic attack on a long term basis. However, it is possible to prevent the occurrence of a panic attack by trying the following:

Understand About Panic Attacks And Know The Reason

read about panic attacks

The first step to help yourself from getting a panic attack or to prevent it from getting out of control is to know that having a panic attack is a normal thing. If you feel yourself about to get a panic attack, or if you are in the middle of one, tell yourself that it is normal and the feeling will go away soon. Read about it and speak to your doctor so that you can start spotting the warning signs as early as you can. Also, when you are getting a panic attack, keep repeating certain phrases such as “I am fine, this is just a feeling” and inhale and exhale deeply.

Avoid Triggers Such As Smoking And Drinking

avoid drinking caffiene

Certain things and habits can trigger a panic attack in some people, such as smoking and drinking. If you really want to prevent a panic attack, cut down on your smoking and drinking levels, or better still, give it up completely. Foods and drinks that contain caffeine are also a powerful trigger for some people and can lead to the onset of a panic attack. If you are on medication when you experience a panic attack, speak to your doctor about it.

Learn Relaxing Breathing Techniques

relax and breathe fresh air

There are some forms of breathing techniques that can help you get out of a panic attack, or help prevent it. Practice some deep breathing exercises that will help you calm down in case of a panic situation and help you maintain a feeling of control. When you learn to breathe and hold on to your feelings, it will help you prevent the onset of fear and also help you to think more clearly. 

Distract Yourself

distract yourself

This may not work always, but when you feel a panic attack coming on, try and distract yourself by thinking of or getting involved in something else. If you want, you can make a call to a friend and talk about things that you like, or head out to a place where you have things you can look at that will make you feel better. If nothing else, you can try listening to some favourite music and going out for a jog or fast walk.

It is important to pay attention to your panic attacks, as regular occurrence can create havoc on your overall health. If nothing helps, make sure you speak to your doctor about it.