Article prepared by Vasilyeva
Panic Attack (PA) – is an inexplicable, painful manifestation of severe anxiety, accompanied by fear, in combination with a variety of vegetative (somatic) symptoms. (Wikipedia)
“My head is spinning, leading me, I can’t keep my feet. It’s getting scary. Sharply, strongly begins to feel sick, squeezes throat. Feeling like not breathing. I shout: “Bad! Hurry up! ”Shaking, nauseous awful. Inside me all sausage, throws it in the heat, then in the cold. Nausea unbearable.
From the forum about panic disorders
Symptoms of panic attacks, overtaking suddenly. They are characterized by various vegetative disturbances and panic fear.
Panic Attack: Vegetative Symptoms
- It is difficult to breathe, there is a feeling of suffocation, lack of air
- The heart begins to pound wildly, sometimes you feel its stopping, sometimes a strong blow, chest pain, pressure rises
- Throws in the sweat
- Dizzy, weak, pre-unconscious
- Waves of heat, cold, shivering
- Trembling hands
- Feeling sick
- Puts or numb some part of the body
In addition to changes in the body, fear is characteristic of a panic attack.
Panic Attack: Fear
Faced with unusual sensations, we can assume that what is happening is caused by a deadly disease. It seems that this is a heart attack, a stroke, a sign of asthma or the onset of insanity.
In this state, it is terrible to be alone, without help. It is terrible that the ambulance will be late and you will die.
Fear of losing consciousness in front of others is added to the fear of one’s health. It is terrible that others will notice your well-being and will be considered sick.
Since a panic attack is unpredictable, there is a fear of a relapse. Then, despite the fact that everything is good, you listen to changes in the body. As soon as you notice something unusual, everything starts in a new way.
The habit of panic is forming.
It seems that what is happening is unreal. There is a feeling of "strangeness" of the surrounding.
As if you see yourself from the outside, it seems that everything is not happening to you.
Sometimes it seems that you are hell. Flame burns inside. You feel helpless and confused. You think that such torture will last forever.
When you try to calm down, the body does not obey. As if it does not belong to you. I want to run, but there is nowhere to run. It is not clear where to hide what to do.
But it is especially difficult to look cool, experiencing a hurricane inside. Leaving a lot of mental strength to maintain external calm.
After you feel empty.
What diseases cause symptoms similar to panic attacks?
- In case of bronchial asthma
- With hormonal disorders associated with pathology of the thyroid gland, adrenal glands, hypothalamus
- With hypertension
- When paroxysmal (pathological) form of tachycardia
- With mitral valve prolapse, this is a safe for health small sagging of the flap of the heart valve.
- In ischemic heart disease. Manifested by pain in the heart
How to distinguish a panic attack from somatic illness?
To do this, consult your doctors: therapist, cardiologist and endocrinologist. Pathologies are detected by the clinical picture, the results of ultrasound, EEG, ECG, as well as using laboratory diagnostics. If you are sick, tests will show it.
After doctors exclude somatic diseases, you will need to contact a psychiatrist or a psychotherapist. They will make an accurate diagnosis, usually panic disorder, a form of neurosis.
At the same time, physical illness does not exclude neurotic disorders. It is necessary to treat a somatic disease with a doctor of a corresponding specialty, and a neurosis with a psychotherapist.
To pre-assess your condition, take the test.
What are dangerous panic attacks?
They cause complications.
They do not pose a risk to the body. But can ruin a life.
One of the complications is agoraphobia. Under her, a person refuses to travel by public transport, to be in rooms with a large number of people, or to go to work. Sometimes it becomes impossible to leave the house.
The second complication may be depression. Panic attack with its symptoms limits the possibilities, adversely affects the relationship, and also interferes with work. Not surprisingly, seizures can trigger depression.
If you abuse alcohol or drugs to combat the onslaught of horror, then drug or alcohol dependence may occur.
Learn more about the complications.
In addition, deteriorating relationships with loved ones. It can be very difficult for those close to understand what it is to experience terrible fright with physical discomfort. From this you may have a feeling of loneliness.
Fearing a relapse, you stop communicating with colleagues and buddies. The social circle begins to narrow.
Waiting for repetitions of panic reduces your effectiveness. As a result, your career growth may stop. But sometimes panic symptoms are so strong that they interfere with business. This can lead to loss of workplace.
Fearing for your health, you become attached to the opportunity to immediately receive medical care. Therefore, many refuse to travel out of town or abroad. The lack of proper rest negatively affects the state of health.
Sometimes symptoms of PA occur when dealing with people of the opposite sex or are associated with sex life, which leads to a lack of sexual relations.
Without treatment, these problems can grow.
How to get rid of the symptoms of panic attacks?
To do this, you need to perform several steps:
1. Ensure that there is no somatic illness.
Refer to the therapist, cardiologist and endocrinologist and pass the examination. The presence of a physical disease does not exclude neurosis. For example, you can have both hypertension and agoraphobia. Hypertension should be treated by a cardiologist, and agoraphobia by a psychiatrist, psychotherapist and psychologist.
2. Get a diagnosis from a psychiatrist or psychotherapist doctor.
Panic attacks are not a diagnosis, but only a symptom. Most often it occurs with agoraphobia and panic disorder. This article lists the signs of the latter. In order not to encounter restrictions arising from accessing doctors from state institutions (prohibition on carrying weapons, prohibition on driving a car), call private clinics or private specialists.
3. To determine the tactics of treatment.
The main method of treating neurotic disorders, in particular panic, is psychotherapy. It can be held at the psychotherapist or a competent psychologist. When it is impossible to start a course of psychotherapy without drugs or drugs are needed to improve the quality of life, you can contact a psychiatrist or psychotherapist for a prescription. Medication is an auxiliary method of treating neurotic disorders. Important components of treatment are the normalization of the daily regimen, the general strengthening of the body, moderate exercise, the elimination of bad habits.
4. Complete a course of psychotherapy.
The psychotherapist (doctor or psychologist) must have experience in working with neurotic disorders, including panic, conduct the practice under the supervision of a supervisor and have experience in personal psychotherapy. To start working with me, call 8-906-718-84-94 from 10-00 to 21-00 Moscow time.
How to help yourself during a panic attack?
Use various self-help techniques:
People suffering from the painful manifestations of horror are sensitive to various bodily manifestations. This ability serves bad service. You should focus your attention not on bodily sensations, but to translate it outside. There are many different tricks to take your mind off.
- Elastic band on the wrist.Put the gum on your hand for money, at the moment of anxiety increase with force pull the gum and release it so that it painfully clicks on the wrist.
- Lavrushka.When the nervousness begins to grow, smell something fragrant, say a bay leaf.
- Take care of your daily activities.Start a conversation or call a friend. Turn on the TV or radio. Start the game on your smartphone. Get back to work. Continue reading the book.
- Load for the mind.Speak in reverse order some words. For example, the pharmacy – aketp, the sun – eknlos. Or multiply two to three-digit numbers in your mind. Or make short words from a longer word. For example, do not lean against the elephant, nose, sleep, torso.
- Cases requiring concentration.You can start counting the items you see, such as the number of red cars or the number of buttons on the clothes of a person standing next to you. Or take the children’s coloring and focus on how to paint it as carefully as possible.
- Beat the dishes. Collect the dishes that you are ready to throw out. At the time of rising alarm, beat this dish. This will allow you to distract and let off steam.
- Keep a logbook. With it, you not only distract from monitoring your condition, but also get valuable information for analyzing the causes of panic attacks. Prepare a table with the following columns: date, time, place, environment, event before a panic attack, thoughts before a panic attack, main symptoms. Write down in detail the circumstances of the appearance of the alarm and your thoughts.
2. Relaxation methods.
Panic condition does not occur from scratch. It is preceded by a period of increased anxiety. To reduce its level will suit relaxation.
- Visualization.This is a practice of relaxation, during which you imagine a variety of pictures. As a rule – memories of past pleasant events or invented images. For example, at the moment of anxiety increase, imagine that you were in a safe place. Imagine what it looks like, what it is like to be in it, what sounds you can hear there, who is there with you.
- Autotraining.During auto-training, instructions are pronounced, leading to calm, relaxation of tense muscles and reduction of pain.
- Meditation.During meditation, you focus your attention completely on something. In a panic, meditating on emptiness in thoughts, meditating on a candle flame in a dark room or meditating on flowing water can help. You should not meditate on the internal sensations, breathing and the work of the heart. This may increase your anxiety.
- Yoga and Pilates. These practices include a period of relaxation. With regular practice, they allow you to adjust the level of anxiety.
- Breathing exercises. There are several breathing options that can help you relax: first learn how to breathe a diaphragm, and then try to master your breathing to relax.
- Progressive muscle relaxation.This is a very effective method, during which you alternately strain and relax certain muscle groups. This method leaves no chance of bodily tension, reduces fear.
3. Breathe in a paper bag.
This method is used in hyperventilation, when inhaling and exiting become frequent and superficial. With hyperventilation it seems that you are choking, you do not have enough air and starts to feel dizzy. In order to cope with hyperventilation, you need to breathe in a paper bag. This will normalize the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the lungs. If you do not have a paper bag on hand, you can breathe in your palm, folded in a boat. Your task is to reduce the supply of oxygen and increase the amount of inhaled carbon dioxide.
During PA, the body produces a large amount of adrenaline. This hormone is intended by nature in order to effectively survive a crisis situation. In order for you to defend or run away from the danger of adrenaline causes a heartbeat, increased pressure, increases the frequency of breathing. But, during a panic, no active action is required. To help your body effectively and quickly process adrenaline, you need to move. For example, walk, run a little or do the cleaning.
5. Get angry.
Symptoms of panic fuel fear. It is he who contributes to the development of adrenaline. Scientists have found that you can not simultaneously be frightened and angry. If you can get angry, then the panic state will end quickly. When the panic is gaining momentum, remember a person who is very angry and restore the cause of his anger. See your anger. But even better if you get mad at your symptoms.
6. Understand the meaning of the symptoms.
Also not compatible with panic curiosity. Become a scientist who studies what is happening with interest. Ask yourself the questions: “What thoughts frightened me? What event was the trigger? I wonder why I needed a panic attack right now? How does he help me? How would I feel if I didn’t panic? ”
The above self-help techniques reduce the symptoms, but do not get rid of neurosis. To overcome it, start psychotherapy with a psychologist or psychotherapist. If you want to make an appointment with me, call 8-906-718-84-94 from 10-00 to 21-00 Moscow time.