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What To Do If Your Having An Anxiety Attack

Do I Have An Anxiety Disorder

What To Do When Your Having An Anxiety Attack

If you identify with any of the following seven signs and symptoms, and they just wont go away, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder:

  • Are you constantly tense, worried, or on edge?
  • Does your anxiety interfere with your work, school, or family responsibilities?
  • Are you plagued by fears that you know are irrational, but cant shake?
  • Do you believe that something bad will happen if certain things arent done a certain way?
  • Do you avoid everyday situations or activities because they cause you anxiety?
  • Do you experience sudden, unexpected attacks of heart-pounding panic?
  • Do you feel like danger and catastrophe are around every corner?
  • Listen To Good Mood Music

    Music can have a powerful effect on your mood and on anxiety. They key however is to not just choose songs you like. but also make sure that you are listening to music that represents the way you want to feel. Happy or relaxing music can directly impact your mood and the way you feel.

    While many people find it soothing to listen to angry music when theyâre angry or sad music when theyâre sad, the truth is that this type of music will only help you get in touch with those negative emotions. That won’t help you feel better. When you’re trying to stop anxiety, you should listen to music that will help you feel the way you want to feel.

    How Is Panic Disorder Diagnosed

    Medical or mental health providers can diagnose panic disorder. Your provider may diagnose panic disorder when you have repeated panic attacks and you:

    • Persistently worry about having more panic attacks or their consequences.
    • Obsess about losing control during a panic attack.
    • Change your behaviors to avoid situations that may trigger a panic attack.

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    Signs And Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorders

    In addition to the primary symptom of excessive and irrational fear and worry, other common emotional symptoms include:

    • Feelings of apprehension or dread.
    • Watching for signs of danger.
    • Anticipating the worst.
    • Irritability.
    • Feeling like your minds gone blank.

    But anxiety is more than just a feeling. As a product of the bodys fight-or-flight response, it also involves a wide range of physical symptoms, including:

    • Pounding heart.
    • Shaking or trembling.
    • Insomnia.

    Because of these physical symptoms, anxiety sufferers often mistake their disorder for a medical illness. They may visit many doctors and make numerous trips to the hospital before their anxiety disorder is finally recognized.

    Dos And Donts When Someone Is Having An Anxiety Attack

    7 Signs You

    Do not ask them to calm down but do listen to them with empathy.

    Since the start of pandemic, there has been an exponential rise in people experiencing mental health challenges across the world. According to a study, there were 375,000 Google searches for anxiety between March and May of last year alone. This is because for many, this is the first time theyre confronted with challenges like anxiety and depression, and dont know what to do when they or someone close to them is experiencing it.

    An anxiety attack can be a very scary experience and handling it correctly can go a long way in calming the person down. With the help of Panneer, Re:Set has put together a list of dos and donts to help calm someone having an anxiety attack.

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    Do Not Try To Make Sense Of The Moment

    Anxiety and panic attacks do not make sense. Trying to understand why they happen will frustrate you and your loved one. The person experiencing the attack may not understand why it is happening.

    Do not spend time trying to get to the bottom of the matter. Instead, work on helping them to overcome it. Once they are calm, you can look into the causes and triggers of the attack.

    Breathing Exercise For Panic Attacks

    If youre breathing quickly during a panic attack, doing a breathing exercise can ease your other symptoms. Try this:

    • breathe in as slowly, deeply and gently as you can, through your nose
    • breathe out slowly, deeply and gently through your mouth
    • some people find it helpful to count steadily from one to five on each in-breath and each out-breath
    • close your eyes and focus on your breathing

    You should start to feel better in a few minutes. You may feel tired afterwards.

    Visit the No Panic website for another breathing exercise to calm panic.

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    Dont Magnify The Symptoms

    You often think of an anxiety attack as something that can harm you. Therefore, before one, you tend to develop catastrophic thoughts or even thoughts of dying from the attack. However, the truth is that you cant die from an anxiety attack.

    Therefore, try not to magnify the symptoms. Just think of them as the same kinds of feelings youd experience, for example, in an exam or before speaking in public.

    Although you experience them as extremely intense, the truth is that the symptoms arent dangerous by themselves. Above all, remember that the attack will disappear sooner or later.

    What Causes An Anxiety Attack

    What To Do If Your Child is Having Panic Attacks

    Before I share my tips for what to during an anxiety attack, its helpful to know why they happen in the first place.

    It all starts with your brain zeroing in on a threat and activating the fight-or-flight response. This coincides with an adrenaline boost, which brings on the typical symptoms of a panic attack.

    This would be quite a good thing if you were facing actual danger but because the threat is a perceived danger and not real, these kinds of symptoms just cause more panic, especially if they have come on all of a sudden and dont feel as though they are a response to anything.

    The end result? The symptoms lead you to believe you are seriously ill or actually dying and youre having a full blown anxiety attack.

    It can often be the case that youll worry about whether youll have another anxiety attack and this can actually trigger another anxiety attack.

    Often, an anxiety attack will happen when youre under a good deal of stress, though not always. The very first time you experience an anxiety attack will often come completely out of the blue and future experiences will often follow the same pattern.

    Anxiety Centre describes them as an involuntary anxiety attack that is caused by chronic stress that puts the body in high-stress mode and can encourage an anxiety attack for no obvious reason.

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    How To Stop Feeling Anxious Right Now

    While itâs normal to get nervous about an important event or life change, about 40 million Americans live with an anxiety disorder, which is more than the occasional worry or fear. Anxiety disorders can range from a generalized anxiety disorder , which is intense worrying that you canât control, to panic disorder — sudden episodes of fear, along with heart palpitations, trembling, shaking, or sweating.

    For those with an anxiety disorder, itâs important to look into strategies that can help manage or reduce anxiety in the long term, like talk therapy or medication. But everyone can benefit from other ways to reduce stress and anxiety with lifestyle changes such as eating a well-balanced diet, limiting alcohol and caffeine, and taking time for yourself.

    Plus, there are steps you can take the moment when anxiety starts to take hold. Try these 10 expert-backed suggestions to relax your mind and help you regain control of your thoughts.

    Why Do Anxiety Attacks Cause These Physical Symptoms

    One of the most common reasons that anxiety attacks are such a frightening experience is because they cause physical symptoms that mimic more serious diseases. This causes many people to become incredibly fearful for their health, believing that there is no way something like anxiety can lead to such a physical response.

    But anxiety causes a host of different physical reactions that can explain most of the anxiety symptoms, and the most common cause is hyperventilation.

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    Dont Ask Them To Calm Down

    Asking a highly anxious person to calm down or relax, when they are clearly not in a state to calm down, is very counterproductive. You have to keep in mind that an anxious persons brain is not letting them calm down due to a perceived threat. Their brain goes into fight-or-flight mode because of it. So asking them to relax when they cant will just be more aggravating, Panneer explained. Instead, you can talk to them in a soothing tone and reassure them that you are there to help them.

    Try Muscle Relaxation Techniques

    What a panic attack feels and looks like

    Another symptom of panic attacks is muscle tension. Practicing muscle relaxation techniques may help limit an attack. This is because if the mind senses that the body is relaxing, other symptoms such as rapid breathing may also diminish.

    A technique called progressive muscle relaxation is a popular method for coping with anxiety and panic attacks.

    This involves tensing up and then relaxing various muscles in turn. To do this:

  • Hold the tension for 5 seconds.
  • Say relax as you release the muscle.
  • Let the muscle relax for 10 seconds before moving on to the next muscle.
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    Stay In The Moment To Relieve Anxiety Attacks

    Although your gut response might be to leave the stressful situation immediately, dont. Let your anxiety level come down, advises Carmin. Then you can decide if you want to leave or if there’s a way to get back to whatever you were doing when the anxiety attack started. Staying in the moment will help you overcome anxiety, but its hard to do this at first.

    Its one of the things I respect the most about people I work with, that they are taking the leap of faith and willing to do the things that terrify them,” Carmin says. “That takes a lot of courage.”

    How Can I Prevent Panic Attacks

    Your healthcare provider can help you identify triggers that bring on panic attacks. During psychotherapy, you learn strategies to manage triggering events and prevent an attack. You can also take these actions to lower your odds of having a panic attack:

    • Cut back on caffeine.
    • Talk to your doctor before taking herbal supplements or over-the-counter medications. Certain substances can increase anxiety.

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    Do Not Take Anything Personally

    When you are witnessing your loved one in distress for the first time, you may not do or say the right things. You might get a harsh or hurtful response from them even though you are trying to help. Understand that they may not be in the best emotional and mental state during an attack. Try not to take their response personally.

    How To Cope With An Anxiety Attack

    What to Do When You Have a Panic Attack

    Lets start with the immediate, quick hacks to help you freeze your anxiety attack once it kicks into your life. No matter how scared or helpless you feel at that moment, try to do the following things:

  • Do a Simple Stretch

  • When you have an attack, your breath is too short and shallow, meaning it worsens further symptoms. Once you feel the panic stand up and start doing some simple stretching. If you manage to squeeze in a yawn, that will help you tame the attack even faster. Stretching and yawning instantly helps you relieve muscle tension and interrupt the vicious cycle that is just about to roll in full strength.

  • Focus on your breathing.

  • No need to master the art of meditation for this. Simply inhale for three counts and exhale for five. Repeat the exercise for as long as you need to.

  • Drink a glass of ice-cold water.

  • To regulate your bodys temperature and reduce the escalating cycle of panic, slowly drink a glass of icy water. Take small sips and focus on every gulp you make. While drinking, imagine how your body and mind is cooling down.

  • Focus on using peripheral vision

  • To activate your parasympathetic nervous system, use this simple meditation technique: focus your gaze on an imaginary point in front of you relax your focus and use your peripheral vision, as if you are trying to take in everything around you with soft focus. It signals to your brain to relax. The more you practice this technique the faster it will help you to relax in any situation.

  • Start moving

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    What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of An Anxiety Attack

  • With panic or anxiety disorder, you may have anxiety attacks that happen often. These attacks often come without reason or warning. You may be troubled with a fear of having another anxiety attack. You may have a lot of anxiety attacks, followed by weeks or months without having any.
  • Some people become so fearful of having anxiety attacks that they are afraid to leave their house. This is called agoraphobia . People with agoraphobia may also fear being in crowds, or in any place where they cannot leave quickly.
  • Is This Your First Panic Attack

    If you suspect that you are experiencing a panic attack for the first time, it is always recommended to go to the emergency room. So if youre wondering, Should I go to the ER for a panic attack? the answer is yes.

    The primary reason for this has a lot to do with theunknown. You have never had a panic attack before, which means youve likely never been treated for one. Because of this, it can be very difficult for you to accurately diagnose yourself without the help of a medical professional.

    A medical professional can help get your relief while ruling out other serious health complications that might be mistaken for a panic attack.

    Keep Reading: Understand the difference between a panic attack and a heart attack

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    Remember That It Will Pass

    During a panic attack, it can help to remember that these feelings will pass and cause no physical harm, however scary it feels at the time.

    Try acknowledging that this is a brief period of concentrated anxiety, and that it will be over soon.

    Panic attacks tend to reach their most intense point within 10 minutes of their onset, and then the symptoms will begin to subside.

    What To Do When Someone Else Is Having A Panic Attack

    5 Ways to Stop a Panic Attack

    This section will provide some tips on how to help a person having a panic attack.

    First, try talking them through a few of the methods above. For instance, help them find a peaceful spot, encourage them to take slow, deep breaths, and ask them to focus on a nearby object.

    If you do not know the person, introduce yourself and ask them if they need help. Ask them if they have had a panic attack before, and if so, what helps them regain control.

    People can also try the following tips when someone else is having a panic attack:

    • Try to remain calm. This will help them relax a little more.
    • Suggest moving to a quiet spot nearby and help them find one. Sitting down in a comfortable place can be very effective, as it allows them to focus on their breathing.
    • Remind the person that panic attacks always end.
    • Stay positive and nonjudgmental. Avoid validating any negative statements.
    • Try having a gentle, friendly conversation to distract them and help them feel safe.
    • Avoid telling them to calm down or telling them that there is nothing to worry about, as this devalues their emotions.
    • Stay with them. If they feel that they need to be alone, make sure they remain visible.

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