What is a panic attack?
A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear, which happens without an apparent cause. Other than medical conditions, severe stress is a main trigger of panic attacks.
A panic attack may trigger strong physical reactions that lead you to feel that you are out of control, having a heart attack, or a fatal condition. It can be either a one-time occurrence or reoccurring episodes.
Do I have a panic attack?
Panic attacks tend to happen unexpectedly and escalate abruptly. Usually, panic attacks reach their peak within 10 minutes and end within 20-30 minutes. Signs and symptoms of panic attacks include:
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid heart rate or heart palpitations
- Tightness in the throat
- Discomfort in the chest
- Feeling trembling or shaking
- Dizziness, light-headedness, or faintness
- Chills or hot flashes
- Abdominal pain
- Tingling sensations
- Feeling extreme fear of losing control, dying, or going crazy
- Feeling detached from the surroundings
What can I do to help with panic attacks?
If you are experiencing a panic attack, here are some self-help practices that you a do:
- Be aware that you are having a panic attack
- Take deep breaths in and out through your mouth
- Close your eyes and focus on your breathing
- Relax your muscles
- Find and name objects you can see around
- Think about a safe, happy place
- Exercise regularly
- Get enough sleep
- Stay connected with your loved ones
- Practise mindfulness and relaxation techniques
- Avoid smoking and alcohol
Panic attacks, while intensely uncomfortable, are not dangerous. However, it is difficult to manage on your own and can get worse without treatment. Regardless of the causes, panic attacks can be treated. The combination of hypnotherapy and stress relief techniques such as mindfulness can help very well with panic attacks. I’m here to help you. Get in touch.