Panic disorder is a condition in which one has recurrent panic attacks. This anxiety disorder is characterized by feelings of overwhelming fear. Physical symptoms that accompany panic attacks include palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath, sweating, etc.
Several people experience panic attacks, but they do not have panic disorder. A panic attack can occur at any time, without any obvious reason. A panic attack can last for up to 20 minutes, but the lingering impact of its symptoms can last for more than hour.
Symptoms Of A Panic Attack
A panic attack comes with excessive fear and discomfort. Following are the symptoms that typically are associated with panic attacks:
- Shortness of breath
- Numbness or tingling in the limbs
- Fear of death
- Chest pain or tightness
Panic attacks can feel like strokes or heart attacks. People who experience one or more panic attacks start fearing it to the extent that they avoid getting into situations similar to those which provoked previous attacks. A panic attack is usually sudden and unpredictable.
How To Cope With A Panic Attack?
A panic attack can be very scary. One way to cope with it is by practicing deep breathing. In case you are in a situation which has a lot of visual stimuli around, you can close your eyes to keep the triggers from overwhelming you. Muscle relaxation techniques can also be of help here.
Furthermore, focus on a single object. Note its properties and describe those to yourself. You can also use imagination to your benefit and picture relaxing places in your mind. You can repeat a mantra in your head too to drown out the impact of the triggers around you. Don’t forget to learn to identify the difference between a panic attack and a heart attack.
Causes Of Panic Disorder
The causes behind panic disorder have not been dug out yet. However, research links panic disorders to genetics. Panic disorders can also be caused by stressful life transitions such as getting married or having a panic disorder. A pointer to note here is that women are more likely to develop this panic disorder than men.
Treatment Of Panic Disorder
Panic disorder can be treated with the use of medications. One can also seek therapy. In this regard, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be of help. What’s more, there are also certain basic supportive measures that a person can take for treatment.
These include, getting proper sleep, exercising regularly, not taking stimulating foods or beverages, and maintaining a proper routine. You can also practice mindfulness for support. Also, try to keep the volume of stress as low as you can.
Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by one’s struggle with frequent, unpredictable panic attacks. This condition can be treated with the help of medications and therapy. Certain measures such as sleep, and exercise can also help with panic disorder.