Panic attack is a sudden and intense fear that causes physical reactions. In most cases of panic attacks there may be no cause or danger. It is a psychological reaction to a perceived threat. In severe cases, it can be as painful and frightening as a heart attack that you may think you are dying. Though traumatic, a panic attack is not really dangerous, but if you have recurrent episodes and are in constant fear of repeat attacks, your quality of life may be severely affected. Then you will need treatment for it.
You can stop panic attacks with proper treatment, but first let’s check out the symptoms.
A panic attack is usually sudden and can happen at any time, but you may be aware of the triggers that will bring about an attack. The symptoms of a panic attack include:
- Extreme fear, sometime mortal fear
- A sense of impending disaster and doom
- A feeling of detachment
- Thundering heartbeat
- Trembling/ shaking
- Sweating/ hot flashes
- Breathlessness/ tightness in the throat
- Cramps in the abdomen
- Cheat pain
- Numbness/ tingling sensation
As frightening as a panic attack is, the fear of future attacks is even worse, bordering on dread. The first panic attack may be sudden, but subsequent ones may be triggered by certain situations. If you suffer from recurrent attacks, then you may fear the situation and avoid many activities that you fear may lead to one.
Causes of a panic attack
Studies point to the fight-or-flight response we have during any dangerous situation. Your body responds similarly during a panic attack, but without any actual reason. Genetics, stress, a sensitive temperament and certain functional changes in your brain may make you prone to panic attacks.
If left untreated panic attacks may lead to complications and severely limit your life.
Treatment for Panic attack
Panic attack is treated with psychotherapy or talk therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy that recreates the symptoms of a panic attack in a safe environment to blunt its effect is also very helpful. Anti-depressants and sedatives may also be used to control your panic attacks.
You can manage your panic attacks by following certain simple practices.
To control panic attacks:
- Avoid caffeine
- Stop smoking/ drinking/ drug use
- Get regular sleep
- Manage stress
- Practice yoga/ deep breathing/ relaxation techniques
Consult a doctor if your panic attack becomes severe. For complete help in overcoming your panic attacks, consult our experts for comprehensive treatment.