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Anxiety Attacks Tips

Did you know that you may be suffering from Panic Disorder if you are having panic attacks?

Dr. Pooja Anand Sharma 90% (91 ratings)
Ph.D - Psychology, M.Sc. - Counselling and Psychotherapy, M.A - Psychology, Certificate in Psychometric Testing, Basic Course in Integrated Hypnotic Modality for Behavioral Resolution, Certificate in Cognitive Behavioral for Couple, B.Ed- Psychology Hon.
Psychologist, Delhi
Did you know that you may be suffering from Panic Disorder if you are having panic attacks?

A person visits the doctor if he/she is suffering from any illness. However, in case of any mental illness or condition, one either is not aware or ignores it. Many patients also opt for self-treatment measures which are not advisable.

Panic disorder is one of the most common mental illnesses observed in most of the people. The patient suffers from panic attacks in such cases. These attacks are a sudden surge of fear and anxiety. Know about it and take necessary steps if and when it happens.

Symptoms of a Panic Disorder
It is difficult to recognize any mental illness, especially a panic disorder as most of the symptoms of a panic attack are similar to that of a heart attack. However, there are a few symptoms, which help people identify and differentiate between panic attack and heart attack. Some of these are listed below

  1. Pounding of the heart
  2. Discomfort or chest pain
  3. Hyperventilation or shortness of breath
  4. Shaking or trembling
  5. Feeling detached from the surrounding
  6. Excessive sweating
  7. Choking
  8. Nausea
  9. Tingling sensation
  10. Cold flashes
  11. Feeling of losing control or dying

Causes of having panic attacks
It is almost impossible to identify the exact reason behind the panic attack as various incidents cause the condition. A genetic tendency is one of the major reasons behind the panic attacks. Stress is another primary reason behind these attacks and is common for those people who have recently joined college, a new workplace or are newly married. A panic attack can also be due to other physical or medical conditions.

How to deal with Panic Attacks?
The best way to deal with panic attacks is to consult a professional, who will advise or help the patient handle the situations. If the doctor is not available, then it is suggested to follow a few measures that might help one deal with the condition.

A few measures to follow-

  1. It is recommended to avoid any addictive activity such as smoking or drinking as it aggravates panic disorder and increases the frequency in which a person might have panic attacks.
  2. It is advised to learn to control the breathing as this helps a lot during the panic attacks. When an attack sets in, the patient loses control over breathing and suffers from shortness of breath, which increases the effect of the attack. It is advised to take deep breaths as it helps improve the situation and relieve the mind from stress.
  3. It is suggested to exercise and practice relaxation techniques regularly as this helps control the situation. This also reduced the magnitude and frequency of the panic attack, as it calms the mind, thus relieving stress.

Panic disorder is a serious issue, which if not handled properly might lead to severe problems. Hence, it is advised to seek the advice of a professional at the early stage.

5254 people found this helpful

5 Tips To Instantly Reduce Your Anxiety

Ms. Anu Gehlot 90% (29 ratings)
M.Phil - Psychology, Masters In Psychology, BA-Psychology
Psychologist, Delhi
5 Tips To Instantly Reduce Your Anxiety

Living with anxiety on a daily basis can be really stressful. And while you are dealing with anxiety it is very important not to sway away with the symptoms and commit yourself to a treatment. For instant release of anxiety you really don't need to go for a vacation or to the spa or a weekend retreat. It is easy to beat anxiety within 5-15 minutes while you are at your home.

So don't think and instantly reduce your anxiety to give yourself a wonderful day.

Here are 5 tips to instantly reduce your anxiety :

1. Meditation

Meditation for a few minutes daily helps relieve anxiety. As per a research, doing meditation daily changes the neural pathways of the brain thereby making it more flexible towards stress. Meditation is the simplest way to beat anxiety. All you have to do is just sit straight with feet on the floor and closed eyes. Next just focus your energy on reciting a mantra.

2. Deep Breathing

A 5 minute breathing regime is a sure shot way to relieve anxiety. Sit straight with closed eyes and place your hands on your abdomen. First start with slow inhalation of air through the nose. Feel the breath through your abdomen and head and then reverse the process by exhaling it out through the mouth. Psychologists state that deep breathing helps to bring down stress and anxiety by lowering the blood pressure.

3. Laugh Aloud

A good laugh is a nice way to shed off the stress and anxiety. When you laugh, chemical endorphins are released which elevate your mood. A good laugh also lowers the cortisol levels which are the stress hormones.

4. Talk to someone

Distracting yourself by talking to friends and family helps. The mind starts wandering when in anxiety and alone and the effective technique to talk to some trusted person helps. The support you get from family and friends just boosts you back and wards you off from the symptoms. In case of a panic attack, you can request the company of a friend and relative to watch over you.

5. Trick your Anxious Thoughts

Anxiety does not happen suddenly but is due to the mind's tendency to have negative thoughts spiraling day in and day out, and the worse is that you have no control over the thoughts. Learn to tame these thoughts and the triggers which cause these to keep anxiety at bay.

There are strategies which you can try to help you keep anxious thoughts away. They are as below :

a. Question yourself when you experience anxiety. A long checklist helps you make your thoughts more realistic.
b. Give affirmations to yourself that everything is okay, you will get over the situation. Usually affirmations are made to comfort one.
c. Know the physical symptoms , as many times, physical sensations like in case of a panic attack tend to trigger anxiety and stress. When you get used to the symptoms, the mind does not send signals for anxiety to the brain. Create exercise to habituate yourself to a panic attack.

There is no cure for anxiety but the fastest way to get your anxiety under control is to simply manage it.

3912 people found this helpful

Stress - It's Consequence And Management!

Dr. D. S. Poonia 93% (142 ratings)
MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Jaipur
Stress - It's Consequence And Management!

 

Stress defined as "an internal state which can be caused by physical, social and environmental situations which are an appraisal by the body as potentially harmful and threatening. Here physical, social and environment situations are known as stressors. 

Till 1930, stress was primarily used in the context of engineers and defined merely as a strain on a material object. There is still a  confusion between stress as a "cause" versus "trigger" or stress as a trigger or a response. It has seen that same stressor produce different reactions in the different individual.  This response depends on the coping behaviour of the individual which include defensive behaviour, information seeking behaviour, affiliative behaviour and problem-solving behaviour. The genetic and environmental factor also plays a vital role in determining the stress responses.

Other factors determining the effect of stressor are

1. Nature of stressor: acute or chronic one

2. The frequency of stressor: exposed to a single occasion or multiple times

Body response to the stress

Many systems, including neurotransmitters, (noradrenaline, dopamine and serotonin), hormones (CRH, ACTH,  Cortisol),  and the immune system involved in the manifestation of the stress response of the body. The overall impact of all these systems can be summarised as follows: 

1.  All these effects lead to the development of stress-related disorders, including major depression.

2. They decrease the cellular and innate immunity.

3. They increase the risk of cardiovascular disease like coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure.

4. Increases the risk of infections secondary to decrease in immunity.

5. Other illnesses which are influenced by the stress are Atopic dermatitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and many Cancer prognoses.

Stress and psychiatric illness

Schizophrenia and other psychotic illness

Stress plays a significant role in the course of schizophrenia. The person with schizophrenia who resides with families with high expressed emotion has doubled relapse rate in comparison with family having low expressed emotions.  Here expressed emotion refers to the attitude of the family member towards the person who has a mental disorder. 

Depression

Stress and depression have a complicated interaction. There is a complex interaction between stress, environment factor and gene which determine the outcome. 

Anxiety Disorder 

Childhood adverse event like abuse, Interpersonal conflicts or serious illness in a close relative may trigger the onset of Panic Disorder and other Anxiety Disorder.

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Acute Stress Disorder (ASD)

PTSD develops after either experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event or life-altering event.  Its symptoms are flashback, nightmares and severe anxiety and intrusing thought about the event-mostly uncontrollable one.

 

Panic Disorder - Self-Help Tips!

MBBS, DNB (PSYCHIATRY), PG Diploma In Clinical Cosmetology (PGDCC)
Psychiatrist, Delhi
Panic Disorder - Self-Help Tips!

Panic disorder is a serious condition that can strike without any reason or warning and the symptoms last for about 10 minutes, such as; a fear for imminent death or losing control, chills, numbness of toes or fingers, stomach ache or nausea, trembling, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing.

Over time, a person with panic disorder develops a constant fear of having another panic attack, which can affect daily functioning and general quality of life.

Is it a heart attack or a panic attack?

Most of the symptoms of a panic attack are physical, and many times these symptoms are so severe that people think they are having a heart attack. In fact, many people suffering from panic attacks make repeated trips to the doctor or the emergency room in an attempt to get treatment for what they believe is a life-threatening medical problem. While it’s important to rule out possible medical causes of symptoms such as chest pain, heart palpitations, or difficulty breathing, it’s often panic that is overlooked as a potential cause—not the other way around.

What are the causes behind Panic Disorder?

Although the exact causes of panic attacks and panic disorder are unclear, the tendency to have panic attacks runs in families. There also appears to be a connection with major life transitions such as graduating from college and entering the workplace, getting married, and having a baby. Severe stress, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, or job loss can also trigger a panic attack.

Panic attacks can also be caused by medical conditions and other physical causes. Panic Disorder usually begins during late adolescence and early adulthood and is twice as common with women as compared to men.

How can Panic Disorder be treated?

  1. Psychotherapy- It is a type of counseling wherein trained professionals assist people by discussing strategies for comprehending and stabilizing this disorder.

  2. Cognitive Behavioral Theory- Cognitive behavioral theory aims at identifying possible triggers of panic attacks and helps one recognize and change their thought patterns and behaviors that stimulate such behavior.

  3. Medication- Anti-depressant medicines are used to cure panic disorders, such as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI), medications for reducing anxiety and certain cardiovascular medications such as beta-blockers to cope with situational anxiety.

Self-help Tips-

When it comes to panic attacks, professional treatment and therapy can make a big difference. But there are many things you can do to help yourself, too:

  1. Learn about panic, read up on anxiety, panic disorder, and the fight-or-flight response experienced during a panic attack.  

  2. Avoid smoking and caffeine.

  3. Learn how to control your breathing.

  4. Practice relaxation techniques regularly like Yoga and meditation.

1 person found this helpful

12 Symptoms Of Panic Disorder!

Dr. Tanu Singh 87% (14 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Neuropsychiatry
Psychiatrist, Varanasi
12 Symptoms Of Panic Disorder!

Panic disorder is a condition that strikes without reason or caution and can be serious. Indications of panic disorder usually include sudden attacks of panic and anxiety, in addition to physical side effects, such as sweating and a pounding heart. During a fit of panic, the reaction is based on the circumstances, which may not be threatening in general, but triggers a feeling of panic. After some time, a person with a panic disorder builds up a consistent fear of having another fit of anxiety, which can influence the every day functioning and lifestyle in general. Panic disorder usually occurs alongside other conditions like depression, liquor abuse, or drug abuse.

You might experience the ill effects of a panic disorder if you:

  1. Encounter frequent, unforeseen fits of anxiety that are not attached to a particular circumstance or event
  2. Stress over having another fit of anxiety
  3. Are trying to avoid the places of your precious panic attacks

The most common symptoms of a panic disorder are as follows:

  1. Trouble relaxing and feeling uneasy most of the time
  2. Beating heart or abdominal pain with a feeling of nervousness
  3. Serious irrational and emotional fear
  4. Feeling as if you are out of breath
  5. Feeling as if you are being choked or smothered
  6. Dizzy spells
  7. Trembling or shaking
  8. Sweating constantly
  9. Feeling nauseous or having a stomach ache
  10. Shivering or numbness in the fingers and toes
  11. Sudden chills or hot flashes
  12. A fear that you are losing control or are about to die

While a single panic attack may just last a couple of minutes, the impact of the experience can leave a long lasting impression and make you susceptible to more such attacks. In case you have this issue, the repetitive fits of panic take an emotional toll. The memory of the fear that you felt during these attacks can affect your self-confidence and cause interruption to your regular day-to-day existence. In the end, this prompts to the following panic disorder effects:

  1. Expectant uneasiness: Instead of feeling like yourself in the middle of panic attacks, you feel tensed and on edge. This uneasiness originates from a dread of having future attacks of anxiety. This fear is seen more often than not, and can be extremely disabling at times.
  2. Phobic avoidance: You start to stay away from specific circumstances or situations. This might happen since you are maintaining a strategic distance because of your previous panic attack. On the other hand, you may stay away from areas where escape would be troublesome or help would be inaccessible in case you had a fit of panic.
  3. Medicines: Medicines can be used to control or decrease a majority of the side effects of panic disorder. Even if medicines do not form a part of the main treatment, when combined with other treatments, medicines are very effective. Eg. therapy and lifestyle changes.
2775 people found this helpful

Panic Attacks: Its Causative, Signs And Symptoms

Dr. Jimmy Mody 88% (44 ratings)
Transpersonal Regression Therapy, Integrated HYpnotherapy & Clinical Hypnotherapy, BA - Economics
Psychologist, Mumbai
Panic Attacks: Its Causative, Signs And Symptoms

Panic attacks can debilitate a person greatly. The panic or anxiety attacks can be extremely powerful and intense, whereby a person starts hallucinating. The level of hallucination can vary depending on the severity of the attack. Such people often hallucinate about something bad or catastrophic striking them.  They lose self-composure. In extreme cases, they cut themselves off from the outside world and recoil into their safe zone (Agoraphobia).

Panic attacks, should, by no means, be confused with depression. These attacks can be essentially divided into three phases; the start phase, it then reaches the pinnacle or the zenith, before sliding down (fades away). The duration of a panic attack can vary from long to very long periods. The whole experience can leave a person depressed, traumatized and drained out (physically and emotionally). A timely medical assistance can prove to be extremely fruitful.

Panic attacks- its causative, signs and symptoms

 A panic attack, can, indeed, come out of the blue (unexpectedly). Extreme emotional turmoil or anxiety can trigger such an attack. An over-excited nervous system might turn out to be the wrecker in chief, throwing life in jeopardy. A person might be unprepared to deal with such a situation. Though extremely difficult, the best thing would be to try and relax. The attack is just an extreme state of mind, an abstract feeling that can never come true. It will pass off soon. Panicking will only pile onto your agony. Identifying the associated symptoms can prove to be effective. 

Some of the important symptoms associated with pain attacks include:

  • A feeling of breathlessness, suffocation and dizziness.
  • The palms appear to be sweaty.
  • A person may complain of uneasiness or chest pain
  • Increased palpitations are quite common during panic attacks.
  • A person might experience severe chills or heat flushes. 
  • Twitching and trembling of the muscles are often observed during the attacks.
  • An intense fear of death or going insane grips the person completely.
  • Hands, legs, arms begin to tingle.
  • During anxiety attacks, a person loses the reasoning ability.

Few short-term behavioural therapies can be of great help. Meditation, yoga and certain breathing practices can effectively ward off physical and mental fatigue. CBT or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a popular technique used to deal with panic attacks. This technique primarily emphasizes on the present conditions and factors resulting in panic and ways to minimize or completely eliminate the attacks.

Heart Attack Or Panic Attack - Know The Difference!

Dr. Gopi A 88% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DNB Cardiology, DM - Cardiology
Cardiologist, Bangalore
Heart Attack Or Panic Attack - Know The Difference!

You feel your heart begin to beat wildly in your chest as you break into a cold sweat and have trouble catching your breath; is this a heart attack or panic attack? Your first thought is that it's a heart attack since you have an impending feeling of doom which you may even have felt before your attack began. This makes your heart beat even faster and you become so overwhelmed that the feeling gets even worse until you begin to feel light-headed or maybe even pass out. This is a panic attack.

When you suffer from anxiety, the slightest thing can trigger a panic attack and some can be so intense that you can't imagine it being anything other than looming death. It's very common for those having an anxiety attack to mistake it for a heart attack and this fear is enough to just take over and really wreak havoc on your heart rate, but no matter how fast your heart beats or how panicked you feel; you are not having a heart attack and this episode will not kill you.

One thing that will prove helpful in dealing with this is learning the differences between the two:

Signs of a Heart Attack:

  1. Pressure in the Chest (described as feeling like there is an elephant sitting on your chest).

  2. Chest pain - note that this is not always present.

  3. Sweating.

  4. Shortness of breath.

  5. Pain in the right arm.

  6. Pain in the back or shoulder blades for women.

  7. Nausea or vomiting.

Panic attack symptoms include:

  1. Increased heart rate.

  2. Sharp or stabbing chest pain that lasts only 5 to 10 seconds.

  3. Pain that is localized to one small area.

  4. Pain that usually occurs at rest.

  5. Pain that accompanies anxiety.

  6. Pain that is relieved or worsened when you change positions.

  7. Pain that can be reproduced or worsened by pressing over the area of pain.

The bottom line: Be vigilant and get checked out promptly.

1963 people found this helpful

Panic Attack - Can It Be Stopped?

Dr. Sanjeev Tripathi 88% (126 ratings)
Masters in Clinical Psychology, Bachelor in Psychology
Psychologist, Indore
Panic Attack - Can It Be Stopped?

A panic attack can start suddenly and may be caused due a variety of reasons. A patient of depression and anxiety usually goes through such attacks. The symptoms of these attacks include sudden and persistent fear, the feeling of losing control, the feeling of having a heart attackpalpitations problem, sweating, dizzy spells and more. It has been medically proven that most adults go through at least one or more panic attacks in their lifetime.

Here are a few ways in which one can stop a panic attack:

  1. Recognise the Signs: Take note of the symptoms. From a feeling of choking to detachment, losing control, surreal experiences, dizzy spells, nausea, pain in the abdomen and chills, to tremors, and a fear of facing death, there are many symptoms that can put your body in a fight or flight response where things may suddenly seem terrifying, and without any reason at that.
  2. Breath Control: Learn to control your breathing as soon as you begin to experience the symptoms. This will help in distraction even as it soothes and calms you down, thus forcing you to think rationally about the fear and helplessness that you are suddenly experiencing. Sit down with your knees bent and let your shoulders relax.
  3. Relaxation Techniques: Learn and practice a few relaxation techniques during times like these. This may include simple things like rubbing your neck and more focused activities like talking to yourself and meditating.
  4. Continuation: Remember to hold your breath, let it out, and then carry on with the activity that you had set out to do. If you stop what you were doing, then the message going to your brain is loud and clear and you will panic even further. But if you relax and zone out before letting yourself go about the chore, however robotically, then it will have a positive effect on the messages that are sent to your brain.
  5. Medication: In the event that you are not able to fully control and relax yourself and your thoughts, then you may want to see a psychiatrist who can prescribe specific medication that will help in relaxing you. Sedatives and antidepressants may also be prescribed for patients who are going through severe episodes of panic with debilitating symptoms.
  6. Differentiate between Stress and Panic: Many times, we may feel like we are panicking, yet this may simply be a way of going through stress. It is important to focus on recognising events and reactions as stress or panic.

Not allowing yourself run away from a situation is a sure shot way of dealing with panic as this condition the brain to be more accepting and resilient. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2822 people found this helpful

Panic Disorder - How Can It Affect You?

Dr. Gourav Gupta 91% (10 ratings)
MD - Psychiatry, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Delhi
Panic Disorder - How Can It Affect You?

Panic disorder or panic attacks are common among people. We have come across this term many times before in our lives. So this article will deal with panic attacks and more about them.

What is panic disorder?
A panic attack is a sudden intense wave of extreme fear or anxiety which comes unexpectedly without any prior warning. There may not be any definite reason for the attack. It can also arrive when you are sleeping. The panic episodes usually stop after one but some people experience continuous episodes as well. Panic attacks are very dangerous to experience and it gives you a feeling of losing control or having a heart attack. A person who experiences panic attacks more often is said to have panic disorders.



Symptoms of panic disorder:
There are many important and identifiable symptoms related to Panic attacks and disorders. Let us have a look-

  • Feeling or a sense of great danger and panic will arrive all of a sudden. The person may feel that he or she is dying.
  • Critical fear of loss in control or even a feeling of death or heart attack.
  • Individuals facing a panic attack may tremble or become shaky and will sweat a lot. It will become hard for them to walk. Palpitations are very common symptoms of these.
  • It becomes hard to breathe and you will feel a sense of choking in the neck.
  • Chest pain, severe headache, feeling of nausea will follow the panic attacks or many people can even experience them beforehand.

Causes for panic disorder:

There is no particular or an absolutely certain cause for a panic disorder. But there are some common ones which we will talk about.

  • Panic disorder can be inherited genetically from the parents. If anyone of the parents has the tendency to panic disorders, then the child may also get the disorder.
  • Major stress in someone's life can result in a panic disorder. The mind needs to be fresh and active in a peaceful state as well. So when it gets too much stressed with something, panic attacks arrive.
  • Sometimes, panic attacks can even occur when there is a medical disorder in your brain.
  • Hypoglycemia or the condition of low blood sugar can also result in a panic attack in many individuals.
  • Many people experience panic attacks because of the overuse of stimulants like drugs, caffeine etc.

Some quick tips 
Panic attacks are sudden and unexpected. But there are a few things which you can do to prevent yourself from facing such a disorder.

  • Avoid smoking & drinking
  • Educate yourself on how to deal with stress 
  • Learn to control your breath will also feel you in such situations.
  • Try to learn relaxation techniques that will help you to relax at the time of a panic attack.

If no improvement with these tips meet a psychiatrist. He can provide treatment in form of either psychotherapy (counseling) or medicines (which are safe and effective). In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2747 people found this helpful

Phobia: How To Overcome?

Dr. Deepak Kelkar 84% (89 ratings)
MBBS, DPM, MD, DNB
Psychiatrist, Akola
Phobia: How To Overcome?

phobia is a type of anxiety disorder, defined by a persistent and excessive fear of an object or situation. The phobia typically results in a rapid onset of fear and is present for more than six months. The affected person goes to great lengths to avoid the situation or object, to a degree greater than the actual danger posed. If the feared object or situation cannot be avoided, the affected person experiences significant distress. With blood or injury phobia, fainting may occur. Agoraphobia is often associated with panic attacks. Usually a person has phobias to a number of objects or situations.

Phobias can be divided into specific phobias, social phobia, and agoraphobia. Types of specific phobias include those to certain animals, natural environment situations, blood or injury, and specific situations. The most common are fear of spiders, fear of snakes, and fear of heights. Occasionally they are triggered by a negative experience with the object or situation. Social phobia is when the situation is feared as the person is worried about others judging them. Agoraphobia is when fear of a situation occurs because it is felt that escape would not be possible.

It is recommended that specific phobias be treated with exposure therapy where the person is introduced to the situation or object in question until the fear resolves. Medications are not useful in this type of phobia. Social phobia and agoraphobia are often treated with some combination of counselling and medication. Medications used include antidepressants, benzodiazepines, or beta-blockers.

Specific phobias affect about 6–8% of people in the Western world and 2–4% of people in Asia, Africa, and Latin America in a given year. Social phobia affects about 7% of people in the United States and 0.5–2.5% of people in the rest of the world. Agoraphobia affects about 1.7% of people. Women are affected about twice as often as men. Typically onset is around the age of 10 to 17. Rates become lower as people get older. People with phobias are at a higher risk of suicide.

3 people found this helpful
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