Panic Disorder: What To Do If You Suffer From Frequent Panic Attacks?

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The fear caused by panic attacks can be very strong. When it happens you may feel like you are losing control, like you are having a heart attack, or even like you are going to die. When panic attacks happen unexpectedly and very frequently, or you often fear having another attack, you may be suffering from panic disorder. It is worth mentioning that panic attacks are not life-threatening, but they can significantly impair your quality of life.

Symptoms of a panic attack

Some of the symptoms that you may experience in a panic attack may be:

Panic attacks appear unexpectedly. There is no specific place or circumstance that causes them, it can be when you are driving, in a business meeting, walking in a public place or even while you sleep. The symptoms of panic attacks can escalate within a few minutes. As they pass, they leave you feeling tired and fatigued. One of the worst aspects of panic attacks is that the fear of a recurrence can lead you to avoid everyday situations that are important to your relationships, work, health, etc.

Risk factor’s

Factors that increase the risk of suffering from attacks or panic disorder are:

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Complications

Panic attacks can greatly affect your quality of life if they are not treated by a professional, since they lead you to live in fear of your surroundings. Panic attacks can cause the following complications:

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What to do once the panic attack has triggered?

It is true that panic attacks can bring serious complications to your life, but it is also important that you know the tools and options you have to treat it.

Use deep breathing

Hyperventilating is one of the symptoms that occur due to panic attacks, which in turn generates an increase in fear, therefore, deep breathing is recommended to reduce symptoms when an attack occurs. How to use breathing in these cases?

Mindfulness: practice full awareness

Panic attacks happen when you are overcome by a feeling of detachment or separation from reality. What the practice of mindfulness does is connect you to the reality that surrounds you, thus helping to attack the root problem, whether when the panic attack is approaching or at the moment it occurs. How to practice mindfulness?

  • Focus on the sensations:

Focus on physical sensations that are common to you, such as feeling the ground you are standing on or the texture of the clothes you are wearing. These specific sensations bring you back to reality and help you focus on something else.

  • Find a focus object:

Choose an object in sight and look carefully at each of its details so that you focus on something neutral that will take you out of the state of panic. Example: focus on a painting or an object that is in the place where you are. Describe for you the colors, texture, size, etc. Focus your energy on that object and you will see how the symptoms decrease.

  • Imagine your happy place:
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What is the most relaxing place you can imagine? A sunny beach? A cabin in the mountains? Imagine yourself in that place, and try to focus on the details as much as possible. Imagine walking through the sand, or smelling the smell of wet grass.

This place should be quiet, calm and relaxing, therefore, the streets of New York or Hong Kong will not do the job on this occasion, no matter how much you love cities.

  • Repeat a mantra internally:

A mantra can help you anchor yourself in the present, thereby reducing the symptoms of a panic attack. The mantra can be something like: “This too shall pass” or you can choose a mantra that is personal to you. Repeat it in your mind until you feel the panic attack subside.

When to ask for professional help?

From the first episode! A panic attack is a very tormenting experience and although it is temporary, if not treated in time, it can turn into a panic disorder with agoraphobia. Reaching that point can make common life situations like being in crowds or in public spaces difficult. Therefore, if you suffer a panic attack, it is very important that you seek professional help as soon as possible to prevent it from affecting your quality of life and your relationships.

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