What Are Panic Attacks
Panic attacks are a very common type of disorder in our society. It isn't a surprise at all that the people who experience them are looking for a way to stop panic attacks. Panic attacks are described as a short relatively short episode of very intense fear that has a very quick onset. The DSM-IV defines a panic attack as "A discrete period of intense fear or discomfort in which, at least 4 of 13, symptoms develop abruptly and reach a peak within 10 minutes".
The American Psychological Association has said that each panic attack will last only around thirty minutes. The amount of time a panic attack lasts can vary greatly however. Some panic attacks can last as short as fifteen seconds or as long as several hours. Panic attacks that last for extended periods of time usually come as a cyclic series of episodes rather than one long single episode. Those who are afflicted with panic attacks can also experience anticipatory anxiety and other limited symptom attacks in between each full blown panic or anxiety attack. This often happens in situations in which the person has experienced an attack before.
Every person will experience panic attacks in very different ways. Some people may call an ambulance because they are worried that they may be having a heart attack or some kind of nervous breakdown. This often happens to people who have either never experienced a panic attack before or those who don't have them very often-perhaps they haven't even been diagnosed. Many people who experience panic attacks report that a panic attack is the most intensely frightening, uncomfortable, and upsetting experience one could possibly experience in their life.
Panic attacks have been described by many different people many different ways. Some of the most common reports is that people will feel like they are dying or "going crazy". Others have said they have a feeling similar to having a heart attack or getting "flashing vision". The other things that people commonly report include, feeling faint, nauseated, the body going numb, hyperventilation(or atleast heavy breathing), or just feeling like they have lost control of themselves.
There are some other symptoms which may be more serious. Some people get tunnel vision during a panic attack which is due to blood leaving the head. This may cause them to go into a "fight or flight response" in which they will try and run. The person's body will release large amounts of adrenaline in order to help them combat the perceived threat. The shortness of breath and chest pains which may be associated with panic attacks can be one of the predominant symptoms that a person my suffer. These symptoms are also very similar to those of heart attack, so it isn't a surprise that so many panic attacks are initially misdiagnosed by the sufferer as a heart attack. This is also why they might thing that going to the emergency room might be a good idea.
Panic attacks differ from other forms of anxiety disorders because of their intensity and the fact that they come on very quick. They also have an episodic nature. Many people who suffer from panic attacks however also suffer from other anxiety disorders and psychological conditions. It is important to note that people who suffer from panic attacks do not necessarily have a mental disorder of any kind.
How To Stop Panic Attacks
First of all-before you follow any of my advice you should consult with a medical professional.
Like all other conditions, the main thing people look for when trying to a panic attack is a natural way of dealing with the problem. There are many forms of psychological treatment that have been used in the past as well as currently that can cause many different harsh side effects. Pharmacological treatments are some of the main ones that people want to avoid.
One of the major things that has been shown to help with panic attacks as well as relieve anxiety is doing aerobic exercises regularly. Many studies have shown that physical exertion, especially when done in a controlled way-aerobic exercise- can help people release their built up emotions. The theory is that they will have an easier time dealing with regular stress because of the exercise.
Another thing that has been shown to help people out tremendously with stopping panic attacks as well as anxiety problems is simply to improve their sleep hygiene. One of the things that can help with this is significantly cutting their intake of caffeine. This is one of many different forms of stress management which have been taught over the years. They are really excellent tools to help people cope with abnormal amounts of stress and anxiety.
There are many other stress management techniques which can be used as well. Some of these which are known to help with anxiety and stress include yoga, meditation, guided imagery, and breathing exercises. This is best done with the help of a professional psychiatrist or other therapist rather than practiced on your own. This is because they have a better idea of what will help you specifically and will speed of the process.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is another thing that has been shown to help. Therapy of this kind has been shown many times to help people overcome unusual levels of anxiety and stress. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works by retraining the brain, through many different methods, into processing information in a different way. It is very important that this is done with the help of a professional therapist.
When done properly, this type of training will completely redirect the thoughts which are usually associated with panic attacks and bring their level of anxiety back down to normal. This is because the brain is so important to a persons state of being. When you retraining a person to develop patterns which are significantly different from the patterns which they are used to it will help their brains move away from pre-existing disorders.