01 November, 2009

Panic Attacks

(I am not a trained professional, I am only a person who has gone through many panic attacks. Always see a doctor about any symptoms you may have.)

In light of my last post, I thought that I would write about panic attacks. Have you ever had a panic attack? Some of you will answer straight away "Yes", others may say "No", but there are a few out there that do not know what a panic attack is or what it is like to have one. So what is a panic attack? The website, says that there are three different types of panic attacks. Spontaneous panic attacks,  Specific panic attacks,  and Situational panic attacks.  Spontaneous panic attacks come without warning at anytime, Specific panic attacks  occur in relation to a fear eg. Spiders, and Situational panic attacks occur in situations eg. you may have one everytime you visit a shopping centre. But the symptoms can be the same. Symptoms can be some or all of these, like shortness of breath or smothering, heart racing, sweaty palms, shaking uncontrollably, body sweating, cloudy mind, dizziness, chest pains, nausea, fear of loosing control or dying or hot or cold flushes, just to name a few. 

The best way I can describe the panic attacks I get is if your body got a massive adrenalin rush, but instead of giving you heap of energy, it turned everything on in your body. I have had different levels of that feeling. Panic attacks can last a couple of minutes to 1/2 hour at all different severities. After a panic attack some feel very worn out and tired. But some have said they have felt relief, especially when they have been worried or stressed. 

Are there any warning signs that you are going to have one? Not all of the time. The best way to describe some panic attacks early signs is that your heart will start to race with no reason and then you will start breathing faster. But that is only one example. Each person over time will be able to realise these early signs, unless it just comes on suddenly. 

Is there a cure? Well there are surely ways to stop them over time. Medications from your doctor can help a lot. Visiting a counsellor or psychologist where they can teach you strategies on how to calm yourself down or even prevent you having a panic attack.

When you have a panic attack it can be a scary thing. There are few strategies that I have learned that may help. Maybe having some cards in your wallet or where you can grab them quickly with some reassurance words saying "that everything is going to be ok" can help.  Another one is while counting to five slowly while you breath in through your nose and then counting to five slowly again while exhaling, do this for about five times and just after the fifth exhale say to yourself for five times "everythings ok, I can calm down right now." Do this again but shorten it to four breaths and sayings and so on. What this does is gets your brains attention because the thing that your mind is very focused on is your breathing and when it notices a change with your breathing it will focus on that, and saying that everything is ok, your mind will take that in more. 

If you feel that you have had a panic attack, write down your symptoms and take them to your doctor. There maybe something that they would suggest that would work for you.  Remember, that I am not a doctor. Always seek medical advise.


Anonymous said...

i just came to my dashboard to post about my attacks and such and I curious if anyone had updated thiers when I saw you did just this. I started reading, but will write mine b4 reading yours complete :)

Beautiful Dreamer said...

I can relate to this! I have had many, and can say if it were not for my husband, and his ability to help me, I would not have gotten through it. But I still get them, and I guess it's something that will happen for the rest of my life.
Very nice blog and great post!

Beautiful Dreamer