Experiencing anger, panic, worry, fear will happen to all of us at some point. All these are natural reactions to some situation or stimulus, which may be dangerous, frightening or stressful.
However, for some people, the feelings can be more intensified than others due to various reasons as each individual is different from the other. Here we explain all that one needs to know about the “Panic Attack” in detail.
In The Article
What Is A Panic Attack?
The sudden occurrence of intense fear at unexpected situations which causes the feeling of losing control or the feeling of death nearing is known as a Panic attack.
The panic symptoms occur within a few minutes and typically the experience will last for about 30 minutes, but the duration can vary from one individual to another from seconds to hours. These attacks do not cause physical danger.
Signs And Symptoms
- Sweating or Chills
- Shortness of breath or Hyperventilation
- Racing heart or Heart palpitations
- Discomfort or Chest pain
- Shaking or Trembling
- Feeling of getting choked
- Feeling unreal or detached from the surroundings
- Stomach upset or Nausea
- Feeling faint, dizzy or light-headed
- Tingling sensations or Numbness
- Cold or Hot flashes
- Fear of losing control, dying or going crazy
Causes Of Panic Attacks
Four Main Causes Of Panic Attack
- Family history – Family history may be a cause such a genetics
- Abnormalities in the brain – This problem may occur because of malfunction or problems in part of the brain
- Substance abuse – Abuse of drug and alcohol contributes to the formation of this disorder
- Major life stress – Stressful events and prolonged anxiety can lead to panic
How To Deal With Panic Attack?
Dealing with panic attack requires a better and in-depth understanding of it. Gaining knowledge about the Panic attack would give oneself the strength to deal with it.
Learning to practice anxiety management techniques is important as it helps to gain control over the panic disorder.
- Slow and deep breathing – Anxiety causes one to breathe quickly, which tend to make both the mental and physical symptoms of a panic attack even worse. Being sure to take slow and deep breaths when one starts to feel panicky will help to soothe both the mind and body.
- Stop overthinking – When thoughts start going out of control, simply telling themselves to stop thinking would help. Organized thoughts would get themselves calm.
- Think positively – Avoiding negative thoughts and reminding themselves that they are in control is essential. Recalling in mind the times they’ve been able to manage situations successfully will be of great help.
- Be Assertive – When there is a difference of opinion or view to a decision or situation standing up to what they feel is right is one most important essential thing they need to practice.
- Relax and stay calm – Panic attack causes the experience of panic symptoms like tension and stiffness in the muscle so relaxing every muscle from head to toe is needed.
Anxiety Attack Vs Panic Attack
There are both similarities and differences between anxiety and panic attacks.
|Anxiety Attack||Panic Attack|
|It often comes in reaction to a stressor or a stimulus.||Panic attack, on the other hand, doesn’t come in reaction to a stressor or a stimulus.|
|For Example: Looking down from the top of a roller coaster or hearing footsteps in the dark.||It’s unprovoked and unpredictable.|
|A person suffering from an anxiety attack, may feel fearful, heart racing or feel shortness of breath, but it’s very short-lived, as the stressor or the stimulus goes away, so does the anxiety attack.
|The individual is seized with terror, fear, or apprehension during a panic attack. They feel that they’re going to die, or lose control of themselves or have a heart attack. They have a list of physical panic symptoms which include chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea. And in addition to this, they also tend to have what is called “Anticipatory panic attack” that occurs when the individual starts to worry about having the next one.
|Anxiety attack often occurs to be mild||A Panic attack is severe|
|Onset is gradual||Onset is sudden|
Panic Attack Medications
Medicines used most often to treat panic attacks include:
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), such as Nardil, Parasite or Marplan.
- Anti-depressants with mixed neurotransmitter effects, such as Effexor.
- Anti-depressants, such as Zoloft, Prozac, or Paxil.
- Anti-depressants, such as Norpramin, Tofranil, and Anafranil.
- Benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Ativan or Valium.
Self-Help Techniques To Overcome Panic Attack
- Learn about the experience of panic and anxiety
- Avoid smoking, alcohol, and caffeine
- Learn how to control your breathing
- Practice relaxation techniques
- Connect face-to-face with family and friends
- Exercise regularly
- Get enough restful sleep
- Realistic thinking
- Seek social support
Home Treatments For Panic Attack
- L-lysine is an amino acid which should be included in the everyday diet as it is one of the building blocks of neurotransmitters.
- Studies have shown that reduced symptoms of anxiety and reduced levels of stress hormones were found on those who took L-lysine supplements.
- L-lysine is commonly found in meat, fish, and beans, and is also sold as an oral supplement.
- Magnesium and tryptophan enriched food such as whole grain is known to calm and improve the mood.
- When feeling anxious drink 3 cups of Chamomile tea per day. Apigenin and Luteolin are two main chemical components of Chamomile that promote relaxation.
- It was found that patients with a generalized anxiety disorder who took chamomile supplements for eight weeks had a significant decrease in anxiety.
- Medically, it has been proven that people who received a massage with lavender oil were less prone to the experience of panic attacks and anxiety attacks. As the soothing aroma calms the mind and distresses a person effortlessly.
- Standing in the sunlight for 15 minutes a day is the best-known way to naturally increase the vitamin-D level in our body which can decrease symptoms of anxiety, panic disorder, and depression.
- Consume 1 to 3 grams of omega-3s per day. Omega-3 fatty acid decreases symptoms of Panic disorders.
- Canned fatty fish, such as tuna and salmon, walnuts, and flax seeds are all great sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Cut out on caffeine consumption as it boosts energy, and can cause anxiousness.
- It has been medically proved that staying hungry can cause increased anxiety.
- Consuming blueberries and peaches have a calming effect because of the nutrient content in it which relieves stress.
How Can Panic Disorder Be Prevented?
It may not be possible to prevent panic disorder. However, a few initial steps can be taken to reduce the symptoms by avoiding alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, caffeine intake and use of illicit drugs.
It is also helpful to notice if they are experiencing symptoms of anxiety following a distressing life event.
If they are bothered by something they experienced earlier, it is best to discuss it out with their primary care provider and that will definitely prevent the experience of a panic attack.
Panic Attack Help Centers In America
- Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center
40 Timberline Dr
Lemont, IL 60439
Ph: (866) 719-1958866) 719-1958 (866) 719-1958 (866) 719-1958
- Recovery Brands
517 4th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
- Washington Center for Cognitive Therapy
5225 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 501
Washington, DC 20015
- Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University
648 Beacon St., 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02215
Call (617) 353-9610
- Panic Disorder Treatment at the Anxiety Treatment Clinic
Galleria Professional Office Building
915 Middle River Dr # 320
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
- The Meadows
1655 N Tegner St.
- Referral Solutions Group
900 Broadway, Suite 704
New York, NY 10003
- A Building – Crile Building
2049 East 100th Street
Cleveland, OH 44195