Panic Attack Information for You and I

Panic Attack Information Strategies and Tips to Adjust

 

Last week I had my first Panic Attack in years. I don’t remember when the last one was. My panic attacks are brought on by Stress Tension Sinus Cluster Migraine Headaches and I have been mostly free of those for about 15 years. I had neglected to keep my medication and the natural herb I use, add in some extra stress and the headaches started up again. panic attack information Be prepared to be here!

I felt the beginnings of the headache and started my particular routine; dark room, no noise, sitting on floor with knees drawn up to my chest, using a breathing technique, applying pressure to a point just below my left ear.. More and more pain so I knew I was in for a bad one. It faded…and came back even worse. I got myself back into even breathing and cleared my mind (even thoughts hurt) and it faded again. But not all the way and then was back even worse. After a bit I lost track of the cycles and when it was low-level, I was preparing myself for the next cycle.

I freaked out. What if it would not stop? What if it kept going? The headache fed the panic and the panic fed the headache. I got stuck in a cycle and could not break free. I know that panic attacks themselves cannot hurt me. I know that it will pass. I know that I am havinga panic attack and a migraine headache and that they are feeding each other. Made no difference what I knew, I could not break myself free. So, I took the one course of action that was left open to me.

What are Panic Attacks?

Panic attacks are intense fear that may include heart palpitations, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, numbness, or a feeling that something bad is going to happen.There may be a fear of losing control or chest pain. Sudden onslaugfht of symptoms occurs within minutes, typically lasting for about 30 minutes. Panic attacks are distinguished from other forms of anxiety by their intensity and their sudden, episodic nature. They are often experienced with other types of anxiety disorders,

In Europe about 3% of the population has a panic attack in a given year while in the United States they affect about 11%.They are more common in females than males. They often begin during puberty or early adulthood. Children and older people are less commonly affected.

People with panic attacks often report:

  • a fear of dying or heart attack,Prepare yourself with panic attack information
  • flashing vision,
  • faintness or nausea,
  • numbness throughout the body,
  • heavy breathing and hyperventilation,
  • or loss of body control.
  • tunnel vision

This results in increased anxiety and forms a feedback loop.These feelings may provoke a strong urge to escape or flee the place where the attack began (a consequence of the “fight-or-flight response”),

The predominant symptoms are shortness of breath and chest pain. Because chest pain and shortness of breath are hallmark symptoms of cardiovascular illnesses, a diagnosis of exclusion (ruling out other conditions) must be performed before diagnosing a panic attack. This can be done using an electrocardiogram and mental health assesment.

Increased aerobic exercise such as running have been shown to have a positive effect in combating panic anxiety.This effect may be related to the release of exercise-induced endorphins and the subsequent reduction of the stress hormone cortisol. There is a chance of panic symptoms becoming triggered or being made worse due to the increased respiration rate that occurs during exercise, leading to hyperventilation, causing a panic attack.

Muscle relaxation techniques are useful for some. These can be learned using recordings, videos, or books. While muscle relaxation has proved to be less effective than cognitive behavioral therapies in controlled trials, many people still find at least temporary relief from muscle relaxation.

Therapy

According to the American Psychological Association, “most specialists agree that a combination of cognitive and behavioral therapies are the best treatment for panic disorder. Medication might also be appropriate in some cases.” The first part of therapy is focused on information; many people are helped by simply understanding exactly what panic disorder is and how many others suffer from it. Cognitive restructuring helps people replace those thoughts with more realistic, positive ways of viewing the attacks.

Meditation may also be helpful in the treatment of panic disorders. Being motivated to practice new techniques can change the way your brain responds. The strategies you have will become stronger and the panic will lose some of its power over you; the classic Knowledge is Power.

Mindfulnes meditation (process of bringing your attention to experiences occurring in the present moment) has five key areas. I’ve described them in other articles, feel free panic attack information includes meditation techniques

to check them out. Meditation cannot prevent panic attacks but can provide some tools to use to help bring you back to balance and may help you to recoginize the signs of a pending attack.

 

Breathing exercises

David D. Burns recommends breathing exercises for those suffering from anxiety. One such breathing exercise is a 5-2-5 count. Using the stomach (or diaphragm)—and not the chest—inhale (feel the stomach come out, as opposed to the chest expanding) for 5 seconds. As the maximal point at inhalation is reached, hold the breath for 2 seconds. Then slowly exhale, over 5 seconds. Repeat this cycle twice and then breathe ‘normally’ for 5 cycles (1 cycle = 1 inhale + 1 exhale). The point is to focus on the breathing and relax the heart rate. Regular diaphragmatic breathing may be achieved by extending the outbreath by counting or humming.

Medication

Medication options for panic attacks typically include benzodiazepines and antidepressants.

While the use of drugs in treating panic attacks can be very successful, it is generally recommended that people also be in some form of therapy, such as cognitive-panic attack infromation: understand your medications

behavioral therapy. Drug treatments are usually used throughout the duration of panic attack symptoms, and discontinued after the patient has been free of symptoms for at least six months. It is usually safest to withdraw from these drugs gradually while undergoing therapy.

In Closing

Panic attacks can strike at any time, for any and for no reason. Generally speaking, the attacks last for about 30 minutes, but can last for longer periods; I can speak directly for that. The symptoms mimic a wide range, including heart attack, but itself poses little threat to your health. Panic attacks are usually found when other forms of Anxiety disorders are present. The attacks are frightening if you are having one or just observing one.

Even knowing and understanding what was happening to me made no difference. None of my coping strategies had any affect and I new I only had a few minutes before I would curl up in a fetal position and just hurt. I went to the local ER and got the help I needed for the headache.

If you suffer panic attacks, get your medical doctor involved in fing if you have any underlying medical conditions. Get mental evaluations, but find the root cause of the attacks. Unless you can get the correct treatment, the panic attacks will alwasys be hanging around.

Do you have any panic attack information you would like to share? Any personal experiences? If you have any questions or suggestions on other alternative options, please do not hesitate to leave me a comment below. I will reply as soon as I can!

Walking the Path of Peace,

Sanders

relaxationandmeditationmusic.com

 

 

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One thought on “Panic Attack Information for You and I

  1. Lee Ann

    June 19, 2018 at 11:05am

    What a great resource this will be for me.
    I have 2 children who suffer from severe anxiety.
    This information will be shared with them.
    I will also know how to advise them better when they have an attack.
    Thank you for what you are doing in order to help others who suffer from this horrible illness.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      June 20, 2018 at 12:47am

      Hi Lee Ann, Thank you. Just knowing that in a small way I can help you with resources and strategies is wonderful. With two little ones having Anxiety problems, it is just as important that you take care of yourself. Use all the resources; doctors, mental health providers, medications, and alternative methods. (I’m sure I don’t need to tell “Mom” that.)
      Walking in the Path of Peace,
      Sanders

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Melissa

    June 20, 2018 at 2:53am

    Hi Sanders,
    I had my first panic attack when I was in my late teens. I thought that my life was over. I literally laid on the ground because I thought I was about to die. I didn’t know what was happening. I didn’t know why suddenly I had lost most of my vision. It wasn’t until a few years later that I understood what happened to me that day. As I got older I started to recognise panic attacks for what they were.
    The things that help me the most are breathing exercises. Now that I know I’m not in fact dying, I know that I can control them (somewhat) with my mind and with my breathing.
    I also have a book called “Living with It” which is a nice little read, and every now and then I take it off the shelf and review it again. My panic attacks are now few and far between, thankfully. If it happens, I am extra kind to myself.
    Thanks for your post.

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    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      June 20, 2018 at 4:10am

      Hi Melissa, Thank you for sharing. Sometimes it is hard to speak about the attacks. I think the not knowing is the really scary part. When we gain knowledge we take away some of “It’s” power. The breathing exercises do help, and gives the mind something else to focus on. Thanks for the book title, I will check it out!
      Walk the Path of Peace,
      Sanders

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  3. Pauline Mugure

    June 20, 2018 at 6:03am

    Great read, I work with children and have some in my program that suffer from anxiety. Thank you for the practical lessons that you have highlighted in your article.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      June 20, 2018 at 11:46pm

      Hi Pauline, Working with children can be a rewarding but challenging experience. I thank you for the labor of love you are investing. When little ones have anxiety issues, life becomes difficult. Keep researching and getting information and share with the little ones what they understand. Best wishes,
      Walk in the Path of Peace,
      Sanders

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  4. Jo Morris

    June 20, 2018 at 6:05am

    Hi Sanders and thanks for writing this article.
    I have 4 children, 3 of whom are on the Autism spectrum, the eldest is 19 and suffers greatly with Panic Attacks – this information id really valuable and also very simple which is brilliant because when these things happen – everything you think you know flies out of the window!
    I wanted to say that the scariest thing for me, as a mum, watching someone having a panic attack – is the doubt you always have in the back of your mind about whether it actually is a panic attack or not!
    I remember a couple of years ago, my family and I had been to London on a day trip and we’d had a particularly stressful half an hour trying to get out of the underground by escalator .(This wasn’t helped with it being rush hour and a very hot day!) My eldest suddenly double over and started complaining that his chest hurt and he couldn’t breath, I was 99% sure he was having a panic attack but as I’m sure you know, that is the last thing he wanted me to say at the time; and in my head was “What if it is a heart attack?! How will I ever forgive myself?”
    Fortunately he calmed down with some relaxation techniques and the promise of going straight home but there is always that tiny doubt in the back of my mind – I wonder if you have any advice on how to tell if it is something more serious?

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      June 21, 2018 at 12:09am

      Hello Jo, Thank you for sharing. Sometimes that is the most difficult part; and sometimes for caregivers, it is the most needed thing to do. It seems you have some good coping strategies in place and a plan of action. Knowledge/education is the key to understanding and recognizing the panic attacks for what they are. I know firsthand just how overpowering these attacks are and I know how scared I would be if my son or daughter experienced an attack. My advice? Keep a current medical evaluation. Doctor check-up each 6 months. Remember he has had prior attacks and the symptoms/pattern of the attack. Help calm him by being calm and in control. On the outside, be the Support he needs and on the inside, listen to “Mom” instincts. I understand how small that 99% is and how huge the 1% is. I have learned one thing that has always proven true…Mom knows best. I wish I could be of more help and offer more specific advice.
      Walk in the Path of Peace,
      Sanders

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  5. Michael Bjorn

    June 20, 2018 at 6:07am

    Hi Sanders.

    This sounds like an awful experience. I have been fortunate enough to not have to bear that cross in my life. I do know of other people in my circle of friends who do, though, so I am very happy to be able to get some information about this phenomena. Hopefully I’ll be able to understand it better.
    I am also a student nurse, so I’m certain this is something I will come across in my future professional life.

    A lot of your advice, such as breathing, concentration, body awareness etc. are things that I practice in my own life. Obviously not as a direct response to panic attacks, but because they are immensely useful tools for any human being (in my own humble opinion). Perhaps, if I am lucky, this will help me to not have to be hit by the awful experience it must be to experience panic attacks.
    I know that your article, definitely have given me more appreciation for the mentioned tools, and more motivation for continuously working on my mental health, as it is not something that I want to take for granted.

    Thank you so much for sharing this valuable information, and for being open and honest about it.

    Best wishes,
    Michael

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    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      June 20, 2018 at 12:32pm

      Michael, It was terrifying, and I knew what was happening. It puts a different perspective on
      life and I am glad you have not had to deal with it yourself. Each bit of knowledge we have, leads to a better understanding of what we can do to help others. As a Nurse, I would wager you will be dealing with panic attacks on a regular basis. I think that the mindful meditation techniques are valuable for everyone, and can be useful for us all.
      Walking the Path of Peace,
      Sanders

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  6. Kari Havu

    June 20, 2018 at 6:39am

    I’ve had panic attacks when I was younger and overstrained of different things. I get help with increasing my aerobic exercises and making breathing exercises. Later on, I haven’t had any panic attacks.
    Knowing what panic attacks really is, make it easier to deal with and seek treatments if necessary..

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      June 20, 2018 at 12:21pm

      Kari, Glad to hear that you have had success with the aerobic exercises and the breathing. It seems you have found one of the keys, Knowledge, to living with panic attacks. I wish you success in maintaning your panic free life!
      Walk in the Path of Peace,
      Sanders

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  7. chris

    June 20, 2018 at 2:54pm

    Hi Sanders

    My Wife has suffered from panic attacks in the past, reading you post can help us with future attacks.

    This is a great and well informed post, so keep up the good work.

    Thanks Chris

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Sanders Whitley

      June 21, 2018 at 12:11am

      Thank you Chris, Glad to be able to share some useful tips and information.
      Walk in the Path of Peace,
      Sanders

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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