|Everyone feels anxious at some time in their life, indeed, a degree of anxiety is necessary for us to perform well in situations that require high concentration and skill. However, some people suffer from such severe anxiety symptoms that it may become a disability that interferes with their day to day life. In some cases, they may develop episodes of sudden and intense anxiety, known as panic attacks.If a person suffering from intense anxiety or panic attacks, does not seek treatment (as many do not), they may mistake their symptoms for a physical illness such as a heart attack or a stroke, as many of the symptoms are physical. They may try to treat the symptoms on their own by the use of alcohol or drugs, or just suffer in silence. Over time, the experience of panic attacks leads people to avoid situations where they fear that they may experience further attacks. For example, someone who has a panic attack in a shopping centre may then avoid ever going to a shopping centre again, for fear of a reoccurrence and this anxiety will often spread to exclude other crowded and noisy places.
What are the Symptoms of a Panic Attack?
A panic attack is a sudden burst of acute anxiety that may last from 2 -30 minutes, but at the time it feels as though it is lasting for ever. Afterwards, the sufferer may feel weak and exhausted. Attacks can occur several times per week or even several times a day. Everyone experiences them differently but these are some of the most common physical symptoms:
In addition, people may experience emotional symptoms or distressing thoughts:
The likelihood of any of these things happening is remote but the fears during the attack are very strong.
How do I Reduce my Panic Attacks?
Seeking professional help is always advised but there are things that you can do by yourself, to both reduce the anxiety and regain a feeling of control.
How do I Control my Panic Attacks?
(A) Dealing with hyperventilation:
There are 2 methods which can help you to slow down your breathing, which may stop a panic attack from arising.
(B) Distraction techniques:
After you have successfully coped with the panic attack, REWARD YOURSELF!