Make no mistake about it even for a second – anxiety attacks are genuinely awful. Anyone that tells you otherwise has obviously never experienced one in their life. Contrary to what many people believe, a panic attack isn’t simply an instance where a person suddenly becomes unnecessarily and overly worried. Instead, it’s an uncontrollable and immediate wave of intense panic, which brings along a vast array of near-debilitating mental and physical symptoms.
When an anxiety attack hits, it’s very common for people to experience an irregular heartbeat, nausea, elevated pulse, disorientation, shaking, dizziness, dry mouth, sweating, and so on. Worse still, it could actually make you feel completely detached from reality, sometimes liable to lose consciousness or perhaps suffer a fatal heart attack. And while the majority of panic attacks usually fade within 5 to 15 minutes, it’s also possible for severe attacks to continue for over an hour.
How to deal with a panic attack
When it comes to what exactly to do, the large majority of experts agree that it’s in fact fear of anxiety attacks themselves that could be the most debilitating and damaging of all. The reason is that the more anxious and worried you are about panic attacks, the more likely it’s that you will have one. Which in turn means that if you’re prone to such attacks and spend a lot of your time thinking about them, it’s very likely you will be experiencing more of them.
Of course, the whole theory about “mind over matter” tends to be usually much easier said than done. It is one thing to know you should not be spending much time getting anxious about panic attacks, but really doing so might be a different story entirely. Nevertheless, if you could change your way of thinking regarding anxiety attacks and what they really are and how they affect you, you might be able to find it much easier to cope with them in general.
Deciding at what point and where to find counselling in Canterbury might be important in severe instances, but self-management is always a realistic option for most.
For example, professionals specialising in panic attacks base most of their advice and treatment methods around one point – anxiety attacks cannot hurt you. More precisely, such attacks are always temporary in nature and the majority of symptoms you experience during an attack are not indicative of anything damaging happening to you. It could feel like you practically need to call an ambulance at the time, but there is actually nothing harmful going on behind the scenes.
One of the mistakes people affected by anxiety attacks tend to make is to feel the first symptoms of an attacks approaching and immediately attempting to fight it. When they feel the initial symptoms their fear levels rise quickly and they find themselves in a vicious circle, wherein their panic and attempts to fight actually make the situation worse.
As far as the professionals are concerned, the best solution is actually not looking for distractions, but riding out the attack. No matter what you happen to be doing at that moment, the most useful advice is to simply continue doing it and accept what is happening to you. In other words, instead of trying to prevent the panic attack when it approaches, it tends to be more effective to allow it to happen and cope with the symptoms.
Of course, if you are doing something potentially dangerous at that time – for example driving – it is a good idea to pull into a safe spot and allow your anxiety sufficient time to pass. While there is nothing fundamentally harmful about the symptoms of an anxiety attack, this doesn’t mean that your reactions and judgment will not be affected during a bout of extreme panic.
If you can pinpoint exactly what it is that usually triggers panic attacks for you individually, you will have a great chance of being able to limit them significantly by directly dealing with the particular issue. If on the other hand, you are not able to determine the cause of the panic attacks and they seem to simply come out of nowhere, it’s usually recommended to focus in coping with them, as opposed to trying to prevent them.
In all instances though, it could be extremely helpful to consider approaching a professional counsellor at the earliest possible time. There is every possibility that the solution to your issues is considerably more accessible and simple than you thought.