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People that are known to have panic attacks usually know when the symptoms are coming but they often do not realize that the panic attacks are coming, and they come out of nowhere.
People often think that they are having a heart attack or some other serious problem when they have a panic attack because they get pressure in their chest and their entire body feels to give into the attack. According to the DSM5 or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Medical Disorders, a panic attack can happen with the following symptoms:
- Heart rate increases.
- Sweating or being shaky.
- There is pressure in the chest which leads to shortness of breath.
- Feel nauseated.
- Get hot or cold or light-headed.
- Feel out of your body.
- Fear dying.
- Fear being out of control.
Why Does a Panic Attack Happen?
Panic attacks will happen to people when they are in situations where they feel that they need to run away or fight. This is called the fight or flight syndrome. This is when your body is alert to things around it and where the body feels in danger.
The problem with this is that people can be overly cautious and have this happen to them when nothing dangerous is going on around them. Even the smallest things can trigger this response.
The body will activate this response and it does it in order to try to protect itself from the danger it is facing. The body will react to this and it causes them to panic and have a strong reaction. People that have had past trauma often experience more panic attacks.
How to Deal with a Panic Attack
If you have a panic attack, you have to learn to control this. This can cause you to be fearful and feel that you are in a dangerous or helpless situation.
Here are some ways to deal with the attack:
Get Away from It
If something is causing you to begin to panic, get out of the situation. Go to a different place or find someone that you can go by. Sometimes going out in nature will help to calm you.
Taking deep breaths will help you to concentrate on your breathing instead of your panicking. This will help you to stay calm and help you to not allow the fight or flight response to take charge of your body.
Focus on how you breathe and what is going on in your mind. This can help to regulate your body systems and get the stress out.
Focusing on your breath will hep you to slow down and to calm down.
Grounding is an important thing when you are stressed. You can learn to ground yourself by placing your hands on something solid. Put your hands on something hard so that your brain will focus on what you are holding on to instead of what you are feeling.
Look around your area and see that you are in the place that you are and that you are safe. Doing this can help you to look at things and distract you such as looking at the colors or the textures around you.
Your brain will see that your area is safe and that you do not have to be stressed or worried.
Take time to visualize that you are okay and that your body is safe. You can do this by thinking about something calm and peaceful.
Avoid thinking about bad things that have happened to you. Close your eyes and think of the beach or something that brings you peace or happiness.
Take time to chant or repeat a mantra. Tell yourself that you are in control of your being and that you are not having an attack.
Repeat this to yourself over and over again until you are calm.
Go to someone that you can talk to and trust. This can help you to figure out why you are having panic attacks and what you can do to avoid them.
Panic attacks are extremely uncomfortable and scary and when you are having them, you can reduce them and how they make you feel by calming yourself and focusing on something better.