How To Overcome Anxiety Attacks. In this article, you will get to know about what is an anxiety attack, symptoms of anxiety attacks, causes of anxiety attacks, diagnosis of anxiety attacks, how to cure anxiety attacks, and treatment of anxiety attacks. About 31.1% of U.S. Adults suffer from anxiety disorders. We will discuss anxiety attacks in detail below.
What Is An Anxiety Attack?
The anxiety attack results in a situation of ill-being, fear, anxiety, intense apprehension, fear, a feeling of imminent catastrophe, a racing heart, intense stress, and difficulty in breathing. When all these symptoms became sudden and intense, then it is referred to as an acute anxiety attack or panic attack.
Symptoms Of Anxiety Attacks:
The duration of an attack lasts from a few minutes to an hour with an average of 20 to 30 minutes. During this phase of the crisis, the individual feels the sensation of no longer controlling the situation and becomes afraid. When the episode is isolated, it is an acute anxiety attack. A recurring attack is called panic disorder.
The symptoms of an anxiety attack are multiple:
-Chest or abdominal pain or discomfort.
-Fear of losing sanity and self-control.
-Feeling of depersonalization.
-Chills and hot flushes.
-Sensation of giving way in the legs.
-Nausea and vomiting.
-Feeling of suffocation or strangulation.
-Feeling of irrational fear.
These symptoms increase the anxiety of the person, who can thus have different reactions:
-Immediate flight from the place.
-Ask for help.
-More or less marked inhibition, even an immobilization.
Causes Of Anxiety Attacks:
Most often, these intense panic attacks occur against a background of more or less permanent anxiety or depression, especially in individuals who are particularly vulnerable to the surrounding circumstances and to stress.
The acute anxiety attack can occur spontaneously, but also following a triggering factor :
-After a period of fatigue or emotional disturbance.
-After taking toxic or stimulant products or drugs
-After taking certain medications (which in particular treat allergies).
-After exposure to volatile solvents such as acetone or carbon dioxide.
-During withdrawal from certain substances such as alcohol, caffeine, benzodiazepines, or opiates.
Diagnosis Of Anxiety Attacks:
The physical symptoms can be in some cases spectacular and resemble those that occur during a heart attack. For example, one out of two patients suffering from panic disorder is very anxious, especially for their health. He will thus end up in a hospital emergency service and undergo many additional examinations (electrocardiogram, blood tests, search for toxic products) in order to eliminate the possibility of an illness disturbing his state of physical health.
But the diagnosis of panic disorder is almost never mentioned by doctors specializing in medical emergencies. The attending physician, if he knows his patient well enough, can understand his crises and attribute them to the stress and depression from which his patient suffers.
This delay in diagnosis, and therefore in treatment, usually leads to a transition to chronicity, that is to say to the increasingly frequent repetition of episodes. Because if isolated and punctual panic attacks are not serious, when they are repeated, they become very disabling. Panic disorder is an acute manifestation of anxiety that generates its own anxiety. The thought dysfunction will then be reinforced, which will further develop the problem. Sometimes, these phobias gradually spread to an ever-increasing number of circumstances, gradually locking the patient in a veritable “mental prison”. 20% of patients with panic disorders attempt suicide.
Exercises To Calm Down The Anxiety Attacks:
People who have panic attacks must learn to manage them on their own, without needing a doctor or going to the emergency room. For this, small, simple exercises can be learned, to limit the impact of the crisis. Change your breathing rhythm by practising this exercise: a breath that must be in the belly, with your mouth closed, as slow and superficial as possible. Just calm down, and move away from the factors that generated the anxiety, until the anxiety ends.
Treatments Of Anxiety Attacks:
Drug treatment is only necessary if the acute anxiety attack continues despite the first emergency doses and if the symptoms are very intense. Antidepressant and anxiolytic drugs are prescribed to limit the extent of anxiety phenomena and reduce the frequency of seizures.
It must be understood that this treatment alone is not enough to permanently solve the problem. It offers relief and provides a basis on which to reconstruct the patient’s thinking. This is where so-called “behavioural and cognitive ” therapies come into play.
It is a question of bringing the person to become aware of his crisis and especially of what generates them. Doctors will then gradually relearn the patient to face the situations he fears. He will thus understand little by little that he is not risking anything and he is not going to die or go mad.
The therapist helps him to “dismantle” the catastrophic scenario that imposes itself on his imagination and to positively control the sequence of thoughts that lead to irrational anxiety. For this, the therapist uses staging and practical exercises in situations, of gradual intensity. He also teaches the victim to note what she feels, and what goes through her head when she is immersed in these anxiety-provoking situations. This kind of therapy can take from a few months to a few years, depending on the profile of the patient and the severity of his disorders. Well conducted by an experienced professional, it can eliminate 70 to 90% of panic disorders.
featured image source: forbes.com