If you have experienced a panic attack before, you’ll know that they can be very scary and distressing. We all have times where we feel anxious or panic, it’s a completely natural response to scenarios that are stressful or dangerous. However, it becomes problematic when these feelings arise on a regular basis for no apparent reason or trigger.
If you are experiencing this, you likely are suffering from Panic disorder. Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder and it can often negatively affect your daily life. Those living with the disorder experience anxiety – a feeling of unease, and more severely, panic. A panic attack happens when your body experiences a sudden rush of intense mental and physical symptoms.
These symptoms can include:
- Racing heart
- Feeling lightheaded
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling as though you are choking
- Numbness or tingling
- Dry mouth
- Ringing in your ears
- The feeling of impending doom
- Intense fear of death
- Feeling detached from your body
- Churning stomach
Whilst having a panic attack, many people are extremely scared that they’re losing control, going to faint, are having a heart attack or even going to die. Attacks typically last between five and 20 minutes, however it could be longer. Whilst they are very scary, it’s important to remember that they’re not dangerous and won’t cause you any physical harm, even if it feels as though it will.
Those who experience a panic attack sometimes begin avoiding certain situations in fear that they will trigger another attack. As a result, this can create a vicious cycle, adding to the panic and causing more attacks.
So what can you do to ease the symptoms during a panic attack? A great way to ease a panic attack is to focus on your breathing. Try and take deep breaths in and out – check out our recent blog post HERE about breathing techniques for relaxation. Focus on your surroundings – distract yourself by thinking about the smells, textures, sounds around you. You can even pick out a particular object like a clock or plant and notice the shapes, colours, patterns on it. If you experience regular panic attacks, think about keeping a lavender scent on hand as this can help to soothe you and reduce stress.
If you are suffering with panic disorder and would like some support, get in touch with Dalton Wise.