What are panic attacks?
Many people may classify panic attacks as a sudden, tightening of the chest, difficult breathing and even sweating. These are just some of the basic symptoms that are caused by a panic attack.
Panic attacks can range anywhere from small to severe. Small meaning- just a little tightening of the chest and sweaty palms. Severe anxiety is classified as a complete panic mode, where nothing seems right, your mind is running 1000 miles per hour and you can’t stop it. Panic attacks range from a few minutes a day to ones that can last an entire day. Imagine that? An entire day feeling like your brain is going to explode from all these horrific events that will probably not occur anytime during your lifetime.
The symptoms may be seen as insignificant by those around us that don’t experience constant panic attacks.
These attacks can occur throughout the day whether you expect them or not. That’s the scary part? The indecisiveness of these attacks. It doesn’t pick the best time to occur, it doesn’t choose a pleasurable time, it just happens. One moment you’re laughing and having a good time when all of a sudden, the smallest gesture, movement, item triggers your anxiety and sends you into a downward spiral.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)
a panic attack can last from a few minutes to hours. Many people ask the question of “how do I know if it’s a panic attack”? ADAA classifies a panic attack as feeling at least four of the following symptoms: palpitations, sweating, trembling, chest pain/discomfort, nausea, feeling dizzy, fear of losing control or chills. These are just a few of the symptoms that may be experienced.
The main problem with panic attacks is the fact that many of the symptoms imitate signs of symptoms of other diseases such as heart disease, thyroid and breathing disorders. The frustrating part is getting the right diagnosis. Doctors may overlook anxiety disorder and not find anything wrong. This is the problem that is faced with people with anxiety. They don’t get the correct diagnosis or they are too embarrassed to speak out. I am one who lived in denial for many, many years before finally accepting that I suffer from anxiety. Sometimes embarrassment plays a major part when hiding your diagnosis. Till this day, only two people know about my diagnosis.
Coming from my own personal experience,
I can definitely let people know that it is very difficult to deal with it alone. It is difficult when you’re experiencing a panic attack and have to hide it from those around you. You feel trapped, hopeless and believe that it won’t get better. But these voices should be turned off. With support from others, panic attack symptoms can be controlled. I was one who believed that symptoms were impossible to control and that nothing would improve it. I am here to say that symptoms, indeed, can be controlled with a lot of mind exercises and a group of supporters.
Remind yourself to always breathe, when life gets tough, when in times of stress and panic its always important to just breathe. Try wearing a “Just Breathe” Bangle to help you get through, available at Awkwardly Social!