You are going on with the normal life, working, studying, watching TV, and meeting friends and suddenly in between any of these events, you start to feel a rush of fear. This fear overcomes you and leaves you petrified to degree that you cannot move or think despite a strong urge to get out this feeling. This is exactly what many people who experience panic attacks go through. They are terrified of something or someone, they feel their heart throbbing, their pulse rating and a strong conviction that something really bad, like death, will happen to them.
So in a panic attack a person goes through extreme anxiety or fear without the presence of any evident danger.An example of panic attack would be a person, who leaves his home for work- sits in the car fearing that something bad will happen to him today- he gets tense as he starts his car- tries to distract himself- reaches the end of the street-feels that any car will hit him- starts breathing heavily- holds on to his car steering tight- everything in front of him blurs as the traffic is flowing on the road s- he fears that he will die- traffic sign opens- cars behind him start giving horns- he is terrified of death and cannot move his car an inch- he chooses to turn his car go back home.Many of us have our set of fears, its when these fears overtake our senses that a panic attack takes place.
When a person has a panic attack they start fearing that they will have it again and this terror adds to the intensity and frequency of attacks. Many people suffering from panic attack deliberately choose to avoid the situations, places or people that can trigger the attack. Thus while apparently they are trying to protect themselves, in reality they are limiting their life. Many people suffering from panic attacks also have related conditions like depression; when someone is depressed over a longer period of times they are more likely to have panic attacks.
At times panic attacks also instills agoraphobia, the fear of being away from home or the fear of being in places from where it would not be possible to escape in case of a panic attack. Other mental issues that are related to panic attacks can be sudden traumas in life, anxiety or phobias.Many a times people who experience panic attacks do not share their experience with others; they feel that they will not be able to explain their condition or they fear that many people would not understand, would make fun of them or would even believe them to be crazy. Mostly it is when their situation gets worst and others start noticing that people suffering from panic attacks choose to go to a medical or counseling professional.
The medicines prescribed by many physicians to overcome anxiety and depression related with a panic attack might work in the beginning, but eventually they add to the issues being faced by the person going through the panic attacks. It might relieve the symptoms of panic attacks but once the person stops taking these medicines they are back in the situation with their intense fears and terror.
However services of a physician and medicine can be critical if panic attack is sign of a more complex health issue.I am not suggesting that one should not seek help of a physician in panic attacks but this should not be the primary mode of treatment if panic attack is the underlying mental issue. The most appropriate way to deal with panic attacks is to deal with the underlying fear associated with the attacks. Thus the treatment should combine a range of psychological and physical therapies. If you are going through panic attacks it is better to go and see a psychologist, a counselor, who will listen to your problem, identify the triggers and would try to help you with appropriate psychotherapies like cognitive and behavioral therapies. These therapies can work wonders in helping the people suffering from panic attack. It is also suggested that you join a group of class, like yoga or meditation that will help you relax through body therapy.Moreover, if the panic is not related to any obvious danger or any other medical condition, it is better to face it. If you choose to stay and face your panic, instead of running away from it, you will realize that it cannot harm you. It is surely easier said than done; when you are in a panic attack, your mind will trigger you to save yourself by escaping from the situation.
This is similar to the fight-or-flight response when faced with a danger or challenge, the initial response your brain will send you, when you are not in the freeze mode, is to run away. To escape the situation is tempting and is definitely the immediate way out of the situation but it is not the solution. In panic attack, there is no real threat to your life and you need to realize this; this realization will come when you do not give in to your extreme desire to escape. When you escape the situation in which you had the panic attack, you are actually reinstating your brain that you were posed by a serious threat and leaving the situation was your way to safe yourself. Thus the next time you are back in that situation or setting, your brain will interpret it to be a threat and you will be more prone to recurrent panic attacks whenever you are in that setting again. So in order to break this vicious circle, you need to go through this panic attack by staying put in that setting and reassuring yourself that nothing bad will happen to you. You can try to observe your feelings or even try to busy yourself with whatever routine work you were doing before the attack. Do not try to analyze the situation; just be fair with yourself on what you need to do. This is going to be hard but this will surely make you stronger. If you choose to stay and face your panic, instead of running away from it, you will realize that it cannot harm you.