Panic Attacks: What to Do During an Anxiety Crisis
Panic attacks are more common in people with anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, as panic can be understood as one leading anxiety to extreme limits. If we do a little reflection, the anxiety is also related to the anticipation of events that will happen, especially with the possibility of "bad results happen" with the fear of things going wrong. The frequency of panic attacks will depend on a number of variables, which we can reduce to situations of threat: threats external to the integrity of the individual and internal threats (organic, often unknown or not perceived by the patient.)
Panic occurs mainly in people aged 14 to 45 years and is more frequent in women than men, in a ratio of 2 to 1. It produces a high degree of incapacitation. 90% of panic patients believe they have a physical illness in the following distribution:
10% gastrointestinal complaints
- 15% vestibular disorders such as vertigo and labyrinth
- 16% cardiological complaints
- 35% hyperventilation complaints
- 30% psychic complaints
- What to do when you realize that you are having a panic attack?
It is very important not to try to fight panic, as this is not a conscious mechanism, it is due to automatic mechanisms in automatic or non-conscious regions. It is part of a complex system of defense of the organism.
But the person can take some actions:
To resort to techniques of relaxation, like meditation or prayers, for example
- To use any technique of distraction as a soft conversation , soft music, calming words, massage in regions of the body that produce relaxation
- Control of breathing.
- Control of breathing, especially, is very important: slowly inhale and exhale slowly, unhurriedly. It is then recommended to relax more tense muscle groups (relax the face, neck and neck, shoulders, arms, thorax and so on). A third step would be to accommodate yourself in a pleasant, well-ventilated place with a view as open as possible and avoid closed and muffled places, loosen clothing, feel as comfortable as possible.
Also, thoughts at the time of the attack are very important. The matrix of panic is fear, and an uncontrollable fear. Only those who have ever had a panic attack understand what I am writing. It is difficult to contain these thoughts, so we wrote all the previous measures to avoid the worst thoughts. Among the worst we have the fear of dying, the fear of losing control, the certainty that something really bad will happen, the certainty that I am really very sick and nobody discovers or takes me seriously, because the sensations are real.
The thoughts that must be prioritized at the moment are those that keep us from fear: the logical certainty that it is only a panic attack from which I have no control but that will pass; the faith that nothing will happen to me badly, the courage to face adverse situations ("I have gone through worse things and I survived, I will survive this too" - again the logic trying to impose itself on the illogical "tsunami" of fear); try not to be afraid of fear, but to learn from fear. Fear exists to defend us from something and not to enslave us. Fear is our ally and not our enemy.
I want to add that these are immediate and palliative measures, until the person can look for a competent specialist, because only with the use of specialized drugs can a panic syndrome be adequately treated .
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