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GETTING A GRIP ON PANIC ATTACKS Carmen Bryce, February 19, 2018

A panic attack can be described as a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause. These episodes can occur at any time, even during sleep. They are generally brief, lasting less than 10 minutes, but some of the symptoms may persist for a longer time.

A panic attack may be a one-time occurrence, but many people experience repeat episodes. Recurrent panic attacks can be triggered by a specific situation, such as crossing a bridge or speaking in public—especially if that situation has caused a panic attack before, but can also occur completely at random.

Usually, the panic-inducing situation is one in which you feel endangered and unable to escape. If this is a situation you find yourself in, it may be advisable to seek out a services, who can offer you support and help you to overcome your panic attacks.  

Some of the symptoms of panic attacks include racing heart, feeling weak, faint or dizzy, tingling or numbness in the hands and fingers, a sense of terror, or impending doom or death, feeling sweaty or having chills, chest pains, breathing difficulties and feeling a loss of control. Many people who have had panic attacks will say that before realizing it was a panic attack, they thought they were having a heart-attack.

Furthermore, people who suffer from panic disorders are likely to develop other, or more severe psychological issues, which according to Dr Mark Smyth, is due to an absence of primary care to help intervene.

There is currently no specific genetic cause of panic attacks, and are generally the result of stress, anxiety, phobias, and emotional worries.

One of the most popular treatments for panic attacks is therapy. CBT, exposure therapy and hypnotherapy are some examples of treatments for panic attacks.

Lifestyle changes such as cutting back on caffeine, exercising, and deep breathing exercises may also help. Therapists have also suggested that you can overcome panic attacks by training yourself to respond to panic in accepting and calm ways including learning to control your breathing, practice relaxation techniques, connecting face-to-face with family and friends, regular exercise, and enough restful sleep.  

Article Comments

  • "I had an anxiety attack but i was confused with whats happening to me. My legs and hands were cold and i was scared for no apparent reason. I thought i was going crazy. The physical symptoms disappeared in few days but i still get thoughts that i might get crazy. It has become a phobia now. Im scared that it might happen again."
  • - Hishtro (3rd of September 2019, 06:36:03 AM)
  • "Good"
  • - Therapy (14th of December 2018, 10:48:02 PM)
  • "interesting"
  • - Cathy24 (28th of December 2018, 08:25:02 PM)
  • "I have always seem to struggle with anxiety and stress. I work in a HR dept and I always want to try and get in the click with the girls but struggle. I always want to buy clothes to keep up the trend and look good. I always work proactive and do my job really well but feel people say good things about me cos they know I’d do the job. Feel used and sometimes I have to check about 5 times before I send anything to make sure and then i check a further 7 times to make sure after. I have a learning disability and am deaf but may also have some sort of autism. Afraid to have the test by my GP just in case it’s true"
  • - Bamber (3rd of February 2019, 05:58:33 PM)
  • "I've been living with anxiety for 12 years, I'm a hyper condriac and I want my life back"
  • - Cathy87 (24th of February 2019, 03:09:51 AM)
  • "ive been dealing with panic attacks only since feb this year they are horrible and i cant control them the fear the dread the sick feeling the heart racing shaking ect i just want to be normal again"
  • - rubysmum (6th of April 2019, 01:04:22 PM)
  • "I constantly have anxiety and it's really not a nice feeling. The panic attacks are worse. I don't know what to do anymore. My partner has managed to turn my whole family against me and he is turned into the devil's spawn. I don't ever hurt anyone all I try to do is help but I never intrude in anyone's personnel business"
  • - Breedee (27th of April 2019, 04:45:52 AM)
  • "I have dealt with anxiety and depression for nearly 20 years. I take meds for it but it doesn't seem to help anymore, the older I get the worse it gets, im scared I will eventually become a shut in because leaving the house is becoming harder by the day, just something as simple as getting groceries has become to be to much, I would rather not eat that day then go out and get groceries, there has been days that i have just lived off a tablespoon of peanut butter, I dont know where to turn to anymore"
  • - amomentoffreedom (18th of September 2019, 01:59:30 AM)
  • "I just had a panic attack. Felt sick, was trembling and felt very weak. It's awful and sometimes cannot see past, triggered by the fact that I'm on new meds and am getting angry over small things as well as issues from the past."
  • - Maryelen (29th of May 2019, 05:54:04 PM)
  • "Fear"
  • - OB7575 (1st of July 2019, 06:30:38 PM)
  • "Nothing worst than having panic attacks, one day you feel good and suddenly your life change, just by being in a small trip in a bus or even when boarding a flight your hands are cold, you are short of breath, sweading even if it's winter. Taking the lift in a building stop to being something fun and has became one of the most terrific experiences. Fear of every thing... The only place you feel safe is home. Panic attacks and anxiety are the worst thing ever."
  • - Leftyman (7th of July 2019, 03:32:24 PM)
  • "I have had various panic attacks that I find difficult to control. Before I never knew all of the symptoms but now I have read this, knowing I am not alone makes me feel so much better about them."
  • - Alyssa123 (29th of July 2019, 03:42:59 PM)
  • "I want my life back I have to much anxiety"
  • - acruz5077 (20th of September 2019, 02:38:41 AM)
  • "You’re not alone. I read all these comments and I’m crying because I wouldn’t wish these feelings on my worst enemy. I’m sorry you’re battling anxiety to live a normal life."
  • - Severeawareness15 (20th of September 2019, 10:07:45 PM)
  • "I seem to have started having panic attaches after I fell and fractured my wrist. And I had no confidence at all. But to day my heart started racing fast and my legs and hands went all weak. And I couldn't breathe very well. Can you tell me if it was another panic attack."
  • - Trac64 (2nd of October 2019, 08:21:50 PM)
  • "I wish i cud look forward to normal things like eg my nephews christening is a few weeks im all ready feeling my heart beating i cant face ppl. i dont no who to talk to its horrible"
  • - Skelly86 (18th of August 2019, 10:16:26 AM)
  • "Hi dealing with an attack right now wish it was the same every time but just get used to the symptoms and they go and change "
  • - Bigbloke (22nd of October 2019, 02:13:33 AM)
  • "I started having panic disorder after my child's dad strangled me about 8 years ago. I had no idea why my extremities were tingly, it had been building up for weeks until it finally sent me into a full blown attack. I sent myself to the ER thinking I'd had a stroke. Scans, x-rays, tests, and it all came back normal. Nothing was wrong with me. I sent myself again into the ER the same day because the wear off of it still had me thinking I was dying. Again, I was fine. I've had 2 more full blown attacks since my first, I say "full blown" because it was so bad it left me paralyzed for a few minutes. Anyway, I've been fighting off having attacks like that for 8 years now and at one point I used CBD to fight the physical symptoms. Now, I've been nearly having attacks daily for several weeks and on tope of that have developed new symptoms, like dizziness and my body is overly sensitive to stimuli, like if there is a cold breeze and I feel it on my arm I think I'm going to have another attack, and a few years ago I developed a fear of eating because I feel like I'll choke, but now I just don't have an appetite at all. I miss eating. Anyway, I'm going to pick up more CBD since I feel I can no longer handle the symptoms and hopefully it will work for the physical ones like last time. I know it sounds psychotic, but it's real and it's ruining my quality of life."
  • - Ash2020 (22nd of October 2019, 11:14:45 PM)
  • "I suffer from extreme anxiety and had a few panic attacks after having my 2nd child. I'm on medication but little things affect me hugely like driving and grocery shopping, nights out doesn't exist for me anymore, what does help over everything else is amazing funny friends who make me laugh so much. Laughter has done more for me than medication, I try to laugh everyday now by watching funny things. Thank you everyone for sharing your stories, they really do help"
  • - Deedee7 (17th of November 2019, 10:55:46 AM)
  • "I wish my attacks only lasted 10 minutes vs 2-3 hrs. Oh well."
  • - Garry5 (18th of November 2019, 04:23:52 AM)
  • "The older I get the more frequently I experience anxiety attacks. They come out of nowhere and have symptoms that feel like a heart attack. I have a heart rate condition called SVT which is an accelerated heart rate which is under control medically, but these attacks make it hard not to think they’re a heart attack or something similar. I can’t get it to stop and that’s so frustrating!!!! I’m tired of living with this!"
  • - GolfproJP (2nd of December 2019, 05:48:36 AM)
  • "The older I get the more frequently I experience anxiety attacks. They come out of nowhere and have symptoms that feel like a heart attack. I have a heart rate condition called SVT which is an accelerated heart rate which is under control medically, but these attacks make it hard not to think they’re a heart attack or something similar. I can’t get it to stop and that’s so frustrating!!!! I’m tired of living with this!"
  • - GolfproJP (2nd of December 2019, 05:48:36 AM)
  • "Ive had attacks since I was 10. My entire life has been dealing with these intrusive physical feelings. Im on Paxil and the attacks have largely stopped. When I do get the first sensations of an attack coming on I slow everything down. I focus on anything that's outside of my body. I breathe. I realize that this just a misfiring of nerves causing these sensations."
  • - hochman (3rd of December 2019, 04:43:38 AM)
  • "I had one of the worst panic attacks ever the other day. I really thought I was having a heart attack or stroke. It took me a long time to calm down too. At least a few hours. I’ve had 2-3 other bad ones but this one was by far the worst. I’m hoping that medicine and therapy will help soon."
  • - Andreanicole686 (8th of December 2019, 10:07:12 PM)
  • "Currently due in 2 weeks. I have severe panic disorder. Im petrified of labor and its causing me to not sleep which is making my anxiety so much worst. I have dr appt today for baby and just anxiety knowing white coat syndrome scares the mess outta me i always feel like im never gonna make it"
  • - stephopper (10th of December 2019, 12:55:01 PM)
  • "I’ve been struggling with panic attacks for a couple of months now and they are horrendous. I always thought panic attacks was simply just getting out of breath yet they generally feel like you are having a heart attack. I have convinced myself there is something wrong with me and it seems no matter how many times doctors tell me I’m ok it just doesn’t seem to make a difference."
  • - Raven26 (4th of January 2020, 05:51:07 PM)
  • "I want to be normal,im 22 and its hard,iv been dealing with it for years,its panic disorder or something,i had a therapist,lots of pills but nothing concrete.I just want it to stop,if someone has a advice pls share it"
  • - Libinac (6th of January 2020, 04:03:05 AM)
  • "Sometimes i just want to get in fight,or challenge myself to do something crazy because adrenalin keeps my thoughts away from anxiety thoughts,its not a solution and it can damage your life quality,dont drink it can be a solution when u limit urself couple of beers, but if u drink to much u make it wors"
  • - Libinac (6th of January 2020, 04:09:15 AM)
  • "I experience extreme panic attack, fight or flight response, shaking hands it’s horrible"
  • - Russ71 (16th of January 2020, 05:29:15 AM)
  • "I had an anxiety attack but had no clue I was having one, thought I was having a heart attack, my hands clenched up and I started going floppy and losing conciousness for a bit, my boyfriend rang an ambulance he was terrified, it was a severe anxiety attack"
  • - michelle76j (16th of January 2020, 04:04:56 PM)
  • "I wish I heard from people in recovery. Who is managing these feelings?"
  • - Libbysgirl (18th of February 2020, 11:20:52 PM)
  • "I had an inner ear infection in both ears and didn’t know it. I didn’t experience pain but had vertigo. That was enough to trigger the latest episode. I always think the worst case scenario. Then I get mad at myself for not being able to cope with it"
  • - Firsties teacher (22nd of February 2020, 10:21:24 PM)
  • "I have had anxiety since I was a young boy due to witnessing domestic violence on a routine basis from an alcoholic father. My mother was also absent emotionally. The neglect by both parents had a profound effect on me. I’m still struggling with anxiety to the extent it has severed my marriage. I still love my wife although we aren’t intimate anymore and don’t sleep in the same bed. I’ve tried cognitive behavior therapy and medication with little results. I’m currently try CBD oil and find it helps with the fight or flight but my mind goes crazy or completely shuts down. My hope is that I can learn from people like me. My heart goes out to each and everyone of you!"
  • - tmsander (11th of March 2020, 12:06:45 AM)
  • "I have been feeling like I am going to die every now and then. Any stressful situation or loud tone voice make me go into panic situation. Have been through panic attacks now for about 3 times at different situations.. now I know its on but still can't help myself relax. Such articles really helps when a person is not able to contact any physical health support."
  • - Zainreza (24th of March 2020, 05:29:02 PM)

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