Archive | May, 2017

What You Need to Know about Anxiety

When it’s already your turn to defend your thesis in front of a panel, you might have felt anxious. Your heart beat faster than it normally did, your stomach dropped, and your breath hitched. You just wanted to get over with everything as soon as possible.

ANXIETY: WHAT IS IT?

 Anxiety is a feeling of uneasiness or nervousness that one feels in either unfamiliar, edgy, or tense situation.

It is common to become anxious, just like in the abovementioned example. After all, it is your body’s way of telling you to be prepared for an anticipated event or scenario. Feeling anxious from time to time is normal, but too much of it might lead to something more.

ANXIETY DISORDERS: WHAT ARE THEY?

 Anxiety disorder is characterized as a mental illness that causes various levels of nervousness and fear depending on the triggers. These usually prevent a person from functioning normally, and might even affect one’s relationship with others.

There are multiple conditions classified under anxiety disorders, ranging from phobias and panic disorders. Some could even partner with other mental disorders like depression. One such example is anxiety depression syndrome.

 Anxiety depression syndrome occurs when anxiety symptoms appear alongside depression, making the patient passive yet anxious at the same time.

 ANXIETY ATTACK VS PANIC ATTACK

These two might be the same disorder and have similar symptoms, but they are distinctly different from each other.

An anxiety attack usually has triggers, while panic attack comes unexpectedly and generally, the symptoms would be severe.

ANXIETY ATTACKS: HOW DOES IT FEEL?

 Here are some of the symptoms of an anxiety attack:

  • Intense fear
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Urgency to escape
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pains and palpitations
  • Detachment from reality
  • Hot and cold flushes

The list could go on and on. However, the fact that somebody having an anxiety attack might not be able to calm himself/herself still remains. To understand an attack, you must know what causes it.

 ANXIETY ATTACK: WHAT TRIGGERS IT?

 Unlike panic attacks, anxiety attacks do have triggers. It’s just a matter of knowing what. It could be anything, like a situation the person truly dreaded or an object he or she truly feared.

When these triggers show up, one’s stress level will spike and his/her anxiety will go through the roof.

ANXIETY ATTACKS: HOW CAN I HELP?

Anxiety attacks are caused by triggers and can be alleviated when the cause goes away.

If somebody is having an attack, it’s good to know what are his/her triggers. Is it a certain place like a roller coaster or a situation like people fighting?

When you get to identify the causes, it would be easier to assist somebody experiencing anxiety attacks.

PANIC ATTACK: HOW DOES IT FEEL?

 Panic disorder causes panic attacks. A panic attack is out of the blue; it doesn’t have any trigger at all. What’s worse is that patients diagnosed with panic disorder usually feel severe symptoms.

Some of the symptoms include:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Extreme chest pain and beating of the heart
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Intense fear
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Because there are no triggers, people with panic disorder usually fears for the next attack. They tend to avoid these places, thinking that it may cause an attack again.

PANIC ATTACK: IS THERE A CURE?

 Panic attacks are downright terrifying. However, it is curable. Here are some ways on how to deal with it:

Medication

 Antidepressants are usually used to alleviate the symptoms of panic attacks. However, never try self-medication. Always consult a doctor first before taking one.

Psychotherapy

Information, support, and relaxation are key in psychotherapy. Here, you will know more about your disorder, how to deal with it, and how to decrease the chances of another panic attack.

Other therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy could also help a patient face anxieties through behavioral change. You could also learn some relaxation techniques to help reduce stress and anxiety.

Panic attacks could be dangerous when not properly medicated. If the symptoms are starting to show, don’t hesitate to seek help from a specialist.

ANXIETY: WHAT CAN WE DO?

 Mental disorders worsen when people hesitate to approach someone about it. They feared judgment, and most of the time, ignorance can fuel the fire. This is why when dealing with mental illnesses, one must be knowledgeable about it.

If you know somebody who might have an anxiety disorder, approach them and talk about it. It might be challenging, but they would be truly grateful if you would be patient enough to support them. Arm yourself with information about anxiety attacks to better understand a person’s situation.

Remember, anxiety disorders can be cured. Don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional.

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Cure For Panic Attacks

Panic Attacks

CURE FOR PANIC ATTACKS

There are various procedures used as a cure for panic attacks. However, the reasons that trigger most panic attacks are unclear. This is the reason why cure and treatment vary for every person. Curing panic attacks as early as you can, is really important as panic attacks can ultimately affect you. When left untreated, this can lead to panic disorders and other serious problems.

The cure for panic attacks includes therapy procedures and medication treatments. Additionally, self-help strategy is also an effective way in treating panic attacks.

THERAPY

As viewed by experts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most effective treatment strategy against panic attacks and other panic disorders. This therapy is a combination of both psychotherapy and behavioral therapy. This means that it focuses on changing the patterns of thinking and behavior of an individual.

CBT is also a short-term procedure. This normally takes around 5 – 10 months. A person attends 1 CBT session per week. During this session, the therapist will help you fully understand what your problems are and develop a strategy how to handle it.

For instance, a person is always thinking that he’s about to crash his car. This triggers his panic attack every time he’s driving on the road. When you undergo a CBT, it will change the way how you think and respond to this kind of situation. You will be able to learn and understand that nothing tragic is going to happen. As a result, the experience of panic becomes less disturbing.

  • Exposure Therapy

Another therapy that is a cure for panic attacks is the so-called Exposure Therapy. In this therapy, an individual is being exposed to the panic causing stimuli in a safer and controlled setting. This allows you to learn more effective and comfortable ways of coping. For instance, you are experiencing a particular kind of phobia, the therapist will help you face the feared scenario until you learned how to control it and panic begins to go away.

Moreover, during this therapy, you may be asked to do some exercises like shaking your head and holding your breath. This causes sensations that are likely similar to the symptoms of panic. When you are exposed to these, you become less frightened of these sensations and feel a better sense of control over your fear.

MEDICATION TREATMENT

Medication doesn’t really treat and resolve panic attacks. However, it is a great help in temporarily controlling and reducing some of the symptoms of panic attacks. Moreover, it is more effective when combined with other cure for panic attacks like therapies and lifestyle changes.

  • Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines are anti-anxiety drugs. This works as quickly as around 30 minutes to an hour. This medication rapidly reliefs panic symptoms. Meanwhile,  this drug should be used with caution since it is highly addictive and can have serious side effects.

  • Antidepressants

Unlike benzodiazepines, antidepressants usually take several weeks before it actually begins to work. It is advisable that you should take it continuously and not just during your panic attacks.

SELF-HELP STRATEGIES 

Seeking for professional help for your panic attack is absolutely a great idea. However, aside from undergoing therapies and taking medication treatments for your panic attacks, you can also do something to help manage this condition. These are some of the self-help strategies that you can consider as a cure for panic attacks.

 Get Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep can result to worsen panic attacks. It is advised that you should have a sufficient and good quality of sleep. Always give yourself at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep per day.

  • Relaxation Techniques

Relaxing activities like yoga fortify your body’s relaxation response. This relaxation response is the opposite of the stress response that triggers panic attacks and anxiety. Moreover, these activities also upsurge the feeling of enjoyment and calmness. This is the reason why you should do these activities every day.

  • Learn more about panic attacks

Furthering your knowledge and idea of panic attacks and other related condition is an important step in curing your panic attacks. Through this, you’ll be able to understand what exactly is happening to you. Ultimately, knowing why this is happening to you will be a great start in overcoming your panic attacks.

  • Lessen smoking, caffeine, and alcohol

These practices provoke panic attacks. When you have panic attacks, these kinds of practices are extremely harmful. Because of this, it’s advised that you should avoid cigarettes, coffee, and alcohol.

  • Spend more time with your family and friends

Most of the times, panic attacks happen when you are feeling alone. This is the reason why you should regularly spend time with the people who care about you.

 

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All About Panic Attack Symptoms

 

Panic attack symptoms

 

Panic attack symptoms start when an intense, sudden feeling of incredible worry, fear and anxiety is experienced as if some unexplainable horror is about to occur.
Panic attacks along with their symptoms may last from few minutes to several hours. The duration of the panic attack is usually determined by the degree of fear a person is feeling and how he reacts to what makes him panic. Greater reaction to fear means longer and much-pronounced panic attacks and symptoms.
Aside from being more pronounced and frightening, panic attacks can also be beyond one’s control. That means, a person cannot tell how far the degree of panic will progress during the attack but even then, all these could be successfully managed and treated.

Signs and Symptoms

 

Panic attack symptoms include the following:

• Feeling of incredible and overwhelming fear
• Feeling of losing control
• Feeling of passing out
• Feeling of impending danger is about to happen
• Overflowing feeling of fear
• Feeling of death is coming anytime soon
• Feeling the need to urgently flee from something
• Feeling of detachment from reality
• Dizziness
• Palpitations
• Faster heartbeat
• Shaking or trembling
• Difficulty in breathing
• Sweating
• Chest pain or pressure
• Hot flashes
• Pins and needles feeling
• Weak knees
• Tingling sensations
• Burning skin
• Turning pale

The above symptoms are usually accompanied by the following:

• Choking sensations
• Unsteadiness
• Light-headedness
• Emotional upset and distress
• Inability to calm down
• Tight stomach
• “Butterflies in the stomach” feeling
• Nausea
• Inability to focus
• Frequent urination
• Vomiting
• “Freaking out” feeling

Given the long list of signs and symptoms, panic attacks can affect one’s physical, emotional and psychological being. The next question is, are panic attack symptoms serious?
Even if the symptoms seem powerful, disturbing and odd, they aren’t harmful. Just like in anxiety attacks, panic attack symptoms usually abate with time.
What causes the panic attack and its symptoms to occur? The way people behave in a certain manner affects the physical, emotional and psychological state of panic. Whenever people feel more terrified, worried or anxious, the body dramatically releases stress-responsive hormones responsible for hyperstimulation, a state where the body equips the person to react with either “fight the fear” or “flee from fear” response.
With that being said, ongoing apprehensive worries are typically one of the causes of panic attacks. In addition, consistently elevated stress levels may also contribute to the cause of panic attacks.

How to prevent panic attacks and their symptoms from occurring?

Since overstress and overanxious thinking cause panic attacks, reducing the stress and anxiety levels in the body can help in eliminating the occurrence of symptoms.
For instance, once the scared feeling and anxious thinking start to appear, it’s recommended to change the thinking from worries to relaxing and calming thoughts. This will help in decreasing stress responses that affect one’s physical, psychological and emotional states.
When a person starts to calm himself down, the response of his body to stop the flow of stress-inducing hormones will also follow. Once the stress levels are completely used up, the panic attack and its symptoms will begin to subside.
Typically, it takes about 30 minutes or more for the major symptoms to go away, that’s why it’s essential to be patient in calming down one’s self from panic.

Are there any other ways to stop the panic attacks?

While panic attacks come with a variety of symptoms, there are a lot of ways to stop them from occurring. Cognitive and behavioral therapies along with medications could help in alleviating panic attacks. Apart from that, here are also some of the tips to do:
• Deep breathing. Slow and deep breathing from the stomach helps in relaxing the mind from too much panicking.
• Listen to music. Listening to soothing music allows the body and mind to relax from stress and panic.
• Go out for a walk. Leisure walking decreases stress levels in the body. In addition, exposure to direct sunlight produces enough Vitamin D levels in the body which can also reduce anxiety and panic attacks.
• Focus on something nearby. Changing the focus from panic can stop the attacks and symptoms from happening.
• Exercise. Doing simple stretching and cardio exercises allow the body to produce endorphins which are responsible for controlling one’s mood and cognitive functions.
• Healthy diet. Some foods contribute to the increase in anxiety levels such as chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, processed meats, and fatty foods. Refrain or cut down from eating them and replace them with healthy ones such as wheat, milk, oats, eggs, oranges and dark leafy vegetables.
Keep in mind that there is always an end to panic attacks. Calming down is the best way to counter the strong panic attack symptoms.

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