Experiencing a panic attack is not simply about experiencing a moment of severe fright or nerves. They run much deeper than that. Read on.
Contrary to popular belief, experiencing a panic attack is not simply about experiencing a moment of severe fright or nerves when you are about to make that speech in front of five hundred people or the morning of that important meeting or exam you have been preparing for. Panic attacks run much deeper than that.
Whenever Seema would get a panic attack, her heart would start beating wildly and she was certain she would get a heart attack. The panic attack would then feed on this fear, causing it to increase in intensity. It's a vicious circle. Before long, Seema started fearing her episodes of panic attacks so intensely, that this very fear would eventually trigger another attack. She gradually stopped going out of the house alone because she was so afraid of experiencing a panic attack in public, and there would be no
one around to help her. This disorder was gradually taking over her
What causes these attacks?
'trigger' for such attacks remains a mystery. While it is true that
moments of intense stress can trigger a panic attack, often sufferers
experience an attack even when they are at home, calmly watching a movie or reading a book. Thus no specific cause for panic attacks can be pinpointed.
Some symptoms of panic attacks include:
Out of body feeling
Palpitations and racing heart
Feeling of impending doom or death
Dizziness and nausea
Chills or hot flashes
Shaking and shivering
Tingling or numb feelings in the hands
Losing bowel control
suffering from panic attacks may experience just a couple of these
symptoms. Those who experience more than 4 of these symptoms may be
suffering from a panic disorder. Similarly, if these attacks are
frequent, occur at least once a week, and the fear of experiencing
another attack eventually does lead to one, the person is suffering
from a panic disorder.
are suffering from a panic attack, it is important for you to realize
that nothing is really going to happen to you. It is only your nerves
acting up. You are not going to get a heart attack
no matter how fast you believe your heart is beating, and you are NOT
going to die. No matter how terrible you feel at the moment, the
feeling is certainly going to pass. Keep repeating this to yourself
during your attack, and the feeling will gradually pass.
panic attack, a person may also experience an extreme fear of losing
control over herself or of going crazy. Needless to say, you are NOT
losing your mind. If you were indeed going insane, you would not know
it. A person's slip into insanity is completely an unconscious act so
the very fact that you believe you may be turning insane is proof that
you are not!
Living with a
panic disorder is extremely difficult, as sufferers live in constant
fear of experiencing the next attack and they may become extremely
fearful of making even little trips outside the house. If you know
someone who suffers from such attacks, don't just laugh it off.
Encourage the person to visit a doctor. It may take just around 6 to 8
months to cure such disorders. Often, these get cured much faster, and
at times, treatment for more severe cases may last a lifetime. However,
while the patient may be required to take medication for a lifetime,
the disorder is controlled and the sufferer can lead a normal life. At
times, medication is not even required, and a little counseling and
psychotherapy can work wonders.