Many of us have experienced THIS at least once in our lives. Sudden dizziness, palpitations, unreasonable fear and a feeling that just about - and that's it, certain death. Panic attacks are a real scourge of the inhabitants of big cities, and they happen especially often to young girls. Scientists have found that the average age of people suffering from this disease is 20-30 years. How to get rid of panic attacks?
Panic attacks: symptoms and treatment
We talked to a doctor and found out what a panic attack is from a medical point of view, and how to get rid of the recurrence of panic attacks in the future.
How do you know if you're having a panic attack?
Dmitry Solovyov,in doctor-therapist, editor of the-challenger.ru portal
Panic Attacks: Symptoms
As the name suggests, the main symptom of a panic attack is a sudden and seemingly unexplained bout of anxiety and fear. It is accompanied by unpleasant sensations: palpitations, a rush of cold sweat, trembling in the legs, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and so on. Symptoms can be very different, but the main thing is that they should pass without a trace after 5-20 minutes, along with a feeling of fear. The diagnosis of a panic attack cannot be made on the basis of symptoms alone: one must make sure that the symptoms are not caused by some other disease (for example, heart disease).
A panic attack by itself usually doesn't cause any harm. The symptoms are extremely unpleasant, but pass quite quickly. The main trouble is the fear that the panic will repeat itself: for example, for a person who has experienced a panic attack a couple of times in the subway, going down to the subway again can be a big problem. Such fear can be “self-fulfilling”: a person experiences stress, and under the influence of stress, a panic attack develops again. In severe cases, agoraphobia can form - a condition where almost any interaction with society causes bouts of fear and discomfort, and a person is forced to spend his life locked up.
In these cases, indeed, there is reason for fear, and a frequent heartbeat makes it possible to run faster. However, for a reason that is not entirely clear, this mechanism sometimes works without a bear, that is, for no apparent reason.
This makes panic attacks related to vegetovascular dystonia - a disorder of the autonomic nervous system, which is described only in domestic literature. Abroad, such a diagnosis is not widely used: it does not say anything about the cause of the disease, characterizing only its mechanism.
If you have a panic attack: what to do
The moment a panic attack occurs, there is no way to analyze the causes. But there are several ways to help you deal with a panic attack:
- Take a few breaths into any container. It can be a plastic cup or even a bag - just breathe calmly into it. This will help you stabilize your breathing and deal with panic faster.
- Shift your attention to something external. For example, count the columns at the subway station or the buttons on a passerby's jacket - any concentration on foreign objects will help you come to your senses and feel connected again with reality.
- Stay still, or better yet, sit down. During a panic attack, try to limit your movements, sit down if possible and kind of "freeze". This method, like the previous one, helps to focus on the world around you, and not on your discomfort.
- Talk to someone. Yes, it may seem strange at first glance, but a random passer-by you turn to for help can help you simply by his attention. Communication with another person will give a sense of security and distract from the attack.
Life without panic attacks and VVD. 5 Prevention Tips
Alas, but medicine does not know exactly why panic attacks occur, therefore, the methods of struggle are rather general recommendations, which, however, will help you avoid attacks in the future.
- Do not lead a sedentary lifestyle. There is a scientific assumption that the occurrence of attacks is due to a lack of endorphins that our body produces during physical exertion. Therefore, even light aerobic exercise and walking can make your life much easier.
- Try not to be nervous. Yes, we know this recommendation sounds ridiculous - well, how can you not be nervous when life is so difficult? But, alas, calmness and only calmness will save you from panic attacks and other ailments.
- Don't drink coffee or cut down on it. Caffeine in large quantities causes heart palpitations and can provoke a panic attack at the most unexpected moment.
- Be careful with alcohol. Alcoholic drinks, like any pathogens, can cause unexpected reactions of the body - including causing an attack.
- Be careful with medications. Analyze if the panic attack is related to taking a new drug? Sometimes medications trigger panic attacks, so check with your doctor.
When do you really need help
We have already found out that a one-time panic attack is not particularly dangerous, but sometimes the fear of its repetition leads you into a vicious circle. If the attacks have become frequent and you can no longer cope with it, then it is better to see a doctor before the consequences become too serious.
In cases where a permanent panic disorder is formed, special breathing techniques, psychotherapy and drugs for panic attacks are used. Of course, all this happens under the supervision of a specialist - you can’t joke with he alth.