What exactly is a panic attack?
A panic attack is a sudden surge of terror that is disturbing and immobilizing. You can’t breathe, your heart is pounding fast, and you feel like you’re dying or going insane. Panic episodes frequently occur unexpectedly, without warning, and with a clear cause. They can happen even while you’re relaxed or sleeping. A panic attack may occur only once; however, many people in the UK have recurring attacks. Recurrent panic attacks are frequently triggered by a specific event, such as crossing a bridge or speaking in public, mainly if that situation has previously produced a panic attack. Typically, the panic-causing circumstance is one in which you feel threatened and unable to run away, prompting a fight-or-flight reaction in your body.
You might have one or more Panic episodes while being happy and healthy in the UK. Alternatively, your panic episodes might be a symptom of another illness, such as panic disorder, social phobia, or depression. Panic episodes can be treatable if it is regardless of a causative reason. You may utilize tactics to lessen or eliminate panic symptoms, restore confidence, and reclaim control of your life.
What symptoms and signs are associated with panic attacks?
A panic attack’s signs and symptoms appear suddenly and generally peak within 10 minutes. They seldom last up to an hour, and most are over in 20 to 30 minutes. Panic attacks can occur at any moment and in any location. You might have one while shopping, going down the street, driving, or even sitting on your couch at home.
Symptoms/signs of a panic attack are:
- Oxygen deprivation or shortness of breath
- Rapid heart rate or a beating heart
- Pain or discomfort in the chest
- Shaking or trembling
- Suffocating sensation
- Feeling out of place or disconnected from your surroundings
- Dripping with sweat
- Nausea or stomach upset
- Dizzy, light-headed, or faint
- Feelings of numbness or tingling
- Flashes of heat or cold
- Fear of death, loss of control, or becoming insane
Panic Attacks And Panic Disorder
Whereas many individuals in the UK have one or two panic attacks with no additional episodes or complications, there’s no need to worry if this is you. But there are chances that some people can develop panic disorder. Panic disorder is characterized by recurring panic attacks, significant behavioral changes, or chronic concerns about having more seizures.
If you have any of the following symptoms, you may have the panic disorder:
- Have frequent, sudden panic episodes that aren’t related to any one scenario.
- Concerned about having another panic attack.
- You act differently due to your panic episodes, such as avoiding locations where you panicked.
While a panic attack may only last a few minutes, the results of the encounter might have long-term consequences. Recurrent panic episodes can be emotionally draining if you have a panic disorder. The recollection of the great anxiety and horror you felt during the assaults might have a detrimental influence on your self-confidence and create significant disruption in your daily life.
What are the root causes of panic attacks and panic disorder?
Even though the precise origins of panic attacks and panic disorder are unknown, having panic episodes seems to be a genetic trait in most cases. Major life events like getting married, having a child, graduating from college, and starting your career seem to be related. Panic attacks can also be brought on by highly stressful situations like losing a loved one, divorce, or losing your job. Medical disorders and other physical factors might also lead to panic episodes. It’s crucial to visit a doctor if you get panic symptoms to throw away the following situations:
- A minor cardiac issue known as mitral valve prolapse happens when one of the heart’s valves doesn’t seal properly.
- Overactive thyroid gland (Hyperthyroidism).
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) (low blood sugar).
- Using stimulants (amphetamines, cocaine, caffeine).
- Withdrawal from a drug.
Approaches For Preventing Panic Episodes
You can perform numerous things in the UK to aid yourself, despite how helpless or out of control your panic attacks make you feel. You may significantly reduce your anxiety by using the below self-help methods:
- Understanding anxiety and panic
Expanding your knowledge about panic might help you feel better. Learn about anxiety, panic disorder, and the fight-or-flight reaction a panic attack generates. You’ll discover that the sensations and emotions you experience during a panic attack are familiar and that you’re not insane.
- Avoid drinking alcohol, caffeine, and smoking.
Individuals who are vulnerable to panic attacks should avoid alcoholic substances as they can surge panic attacks. Even medications containing stimulants, such as diet tablets and non-drowsy cold remedies, should be used with caution.
- Do relaxation techniques
A habit of yoga, meditation, and relaxation techniques strengthens the relaxation response in the body, which is the antithesis of the stress reaction that causes anxiety and panic.
- Get a sufficient amount of sleep
Ensure that you get 6 – 8 hours of peaceful sleep every night because getting less or less restful sleep might exacerbate anxiety.
- Exercise regularly
Moving around for at least 15- 30 minutes most days since it is a natural anxiety reducer. It can be exclusively beneficial to engage in routine aerobic activity that demands arm and leg motion, such as walking, jogging, swimming, or dancing.
- Stay connected to your loved ones
Connect to those who care about you frequently since loneliness can exacerbate anxiety symptoms. If you feel alone and isolated, look into strategies to make new acquaintances and find valuable relationships.
Patients learn to understand the connections between their ideas, beliefs, and behaviors through cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT can aid in developing mastery over anxiety and panic symptoms by altering erroneous cognitive processes that sustain fear and by gradually exposing the client to symptoms or events that cause worry. The therapists in the UK help patients by understanding their erroneous perceptions of life stresses, such as other people’s conduct or life events, which is one of the best ways that therapy may assist patients with panic disorder.
- Learn to identify panic-inducing ideas and learn to replace them to lessen their sense of powerlessness.
- To aid when symptoms arise, learn stress management and relaxation strategies.
- Practice systematic desensitization and exposure treatment, where the patient is urged to relax before imagining their anxiety triggers, going from the least threatening to the most threatening.
Some of the symptoms of panic disorder can be partially controlled or diminished with drugs. It does not, however, address or fix the issue. Medication can be effective in extreme situations, but it should not be the primary therapy explored. Drugs will be most successful when used with other medicines to address the underlying causes of panic disorder, such as counseling and lifestyle modifications.
- It has been discovered that several drugs can effectively treat panic disorder. One class of drugs that takes several weeks of use before symptoms start to go away is the antidepressant family.
- Individuals may be given benzodiazepines, such as lorazepam (Ativan) and alprazolam (Xanax), to aid with more severe panic disorder symptoms. Except for sleepiness, these medications promptly reduce symptoms, but regular usage might result in drug dependency.
- These drugs are available both online and in stores of trusted pharmacies in the United Kingdom.
Patients should be aware of possible adverse effects, the source of the prescription, the kind of medication, and other drugs or substances that could interfere with the impact of the ones they are taking. The doctor should be consulted before quitting the recommended medicine or if the treatment does not seem to reduce symptoms.