Heart pounding, profuse sweating, inability to breathe normally, and cannot think straight. Have you ever felt like this? Have you ever felt like you are about to explode, yet don’t know where you can run to?
If you experience feelings like this, don’t misinterpret them as having any physical problem, such as a heart attack or asthma attack. Your pounding heart and breathing problem may be a mental health issue known as a ‘panic disorder.’
This disorder, if left ignored, can adversely affect your quality of life. It can also lead to other types of fears and mental health issues, such as depression. It can also cause problems at work and interfere with your social life.
Common Causes of Panic Disorder
Everyday inconveniences and stressful situations, such as rush-hour traffic or missing your bus, can lead to anxiety and panic. Problems at work and lingering relationship issues can also result in persistent, excessive worry. These can become overwhelming and cause your heart to palpitate, make you feel short of breath, and suffer from extreme nervousness.
Undesirable Thoughts or Emotions
When you’re distressed or unsatisfied, the words you say to your inner self can prompt greater feelings of unease. Saying negative things to yourself can cause you more apprehension, and negative thoughts can trigger physical reactions.
Worries about money or having debts that feel like they have gotten out of control can trigger anxiety and panic attacks. Unexpected bills and looming payments can lead to extreme trepidations.
Relationship problems, arguments, and disagreements are sure causes of anxiety and can trigger panic attacks. Even when there is an impasse on the issues at hand, the worries continue persistently, and the body responds.
A diagnosis that’s distressing or difficult to manage, such as a lingering illness or cancer, can activate anxiety and prompt panic attacks. This type of trigger is very controlling because of the instantaneous and personal feelings it produces.
Specific medicines and over-the-counter pills can lead to symptoms of anxiety. The ingredients in these medications can make you feel uncomfortable or ill. These feelings can begin a sequence of events in your mind which result in other indications of nervousness. Drugs that can trigger anxiety include:
- Birth control prescriptions
- Cough and congestion tablets
- Weight loss capsules
Upcoming Parties or Social Events
Events demanding you to make an appearance, whether it be a formal occasion or a party with friends, may cause some individuals to set off a panic attack. An overly anxious mind can trigger physical responses such as sweating, heart palpitations, migraines, and stomach aches..
Self-Help Tactics to Cope with Panic Attacks
Even if you feel immobilized or defenseless about your panic attacks, there are things you can do to help yourself. You don’t need to rush to see a health care professional if you are able to begin to control them yourself. Below are some self-help practices you can do to help you cope with a looming panic attack.
Among the effective ways of slowing down your body’s reaction to anxiety is to do deep breathing. Hyperventilation creates many sensations that happen during a panic attack. Deep breathing can terminate the indicators of panic. Taking deliberate, deep, conscious breaths can help you relax. At the same time, unhurried breathing can do wonders for the stress response system.
Do Something Different Right Now
When the attacks come, it’s time for you to control your mind by engaging yourself in different activities that can distract you from whatever you’re feeling. The list of activities you can engage in can be as simple as watching a funny movie, reading your favorite book, or taking a walk in the sunshine. Activities like yoga and meditation are also great activities to immerse yourself in.
There is a need to fully understand that the warning signs of panic attacks are not linked to some grave ailment. While the attacks may terrorize you, they are not in themselves fatal, although when they are persistent they will adversely affect your health and happiness.
Anxiety and panic can become worse if you find yourself isolated from the people you feel can help and support you. Take the effort to reach out to people who care about you and those whom you think are important in your life.
Panic Attacks are Real
Remember that panic attacks are very real. You’re not imagining the symptoms and you’re not crazy. They exist. To overcome the symptoms and avoid the disorder from taking over your life, seek help.
Recognize its presence, accept its reality, then act to manage it. Don’t expect a sudden, magical ‘cure’, but know that with support and practice you can manage the symptoms and reduce their occurrence and their debilitating intensity.