How To Get Through Panic Attacks Alone
Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Your heart is pounding. Your palms are sweaty. Your mind and body feel completely disconnected from the world. Whether it’s your first panic attack or your hundredth, panic attacks are never a pleasant experience. But they are more common than you may think, and if you experience panic attacks, know that you are not alone. Up to 35 percent of the population experience a panic attack at some point in their lives.
Not all panic attacks are the same, some are more severe than others, some last longer than others, and some are more frequent than others. Panic attacks can be triggered from a range of different things. And we don’t refer to them as ‘attacks’ for no reason. Panic attacks literally attack you, and most of the time it’s when you least expect it.
In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about panic attacks: what you need to know about them, what you can do to help yourself when experiencing one, and how you can help someone else going through a panic attack. But before we jump into it, do you know what a panic attack actually is?
A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear or dissociation that triggers a number of reactions and symptoms. It is usually a frightening experience that may lead the individual feeling out of control. Some symptoms can mimic a heart attack, or the feeling of dying.
Panic Attack Triggers
People who experience panic attacks regularly are more likely to distinguish what their triggers are. High levels of stress is one of the most common triggers that lead to panic attacks, but some of the other triggers include:
Lights that resemble hospital or classroom lights can trigger anxiety and dissociation, leading to a panic attack.
Also known as agoraphobia, it is the intense fear of becoming overwhelmed or unable to escape or get help.
There is a dramatic increase in panic during the summer, and this is because heat increases pulse rate, leading to dizziness and dehydration.
Individuals addicted to nicotine will experience withdrawals when they are not able to smoke, leading to anxiety and panic attacks.
Known as another common trigger, people predisposed to anxiety disorders can experience a range of symptoms leading to a full blown panic attack.
Symptoms Of a Panic Attack
Panic attacks can feel like heart attacks, or even seizures and strokes. It’s important to be able to distinguish what a panic attack feels like. During a panic attack, physical symptoms can build up within minutes, or even seconds. These include:
- Uncontrollable racing heartbeat or heart pounding. This can be so intense you may even be able to hear your own heartbeat.
- Feeling faint, dizzy, light-headed, or nauseous. This can make you feel very sick quickly and could lead to vomiting.
- Sweating, shaking or trembling. Hot and cold sweats can develop quickly due to heart palpitations. Shaking and trembling can develop from fear.
- Numbness or tingling. This typically occurs in the hands and feet due to blood pressure increases and decreases.
- Chest or abdomen pain. A heavy chest or pressure on the abdomen can be uncomfortable or painful, but is a common symptom of a panic attack.
- Struggling to breathe. During increased heart rate, it can be difficult to breathe, especially in a state of panic and increased stress.
- Disconnected or dissociated from your mind, body, and surroundings. Dissociation is another common symptom stemmed from anxiety and panic attacks.
- Fear of dying. Many of the symptoms that come with panic attacks are frightening and can lead to the fear of dying.
Panic Attack Versus Anxiety Attack
You may hear the terms “anxiety attack” and “panic attack” used interchangeably which is understandable as they share some common symptoms. Panic attacks and anxiety however, have different features, symptoms and disorders.
Panic attacks are very abrupt surges of intense fear and discomfort followed by other physical and mental symptoms. Whereas anxiety affects more of the emotional and protective responses to the human body.
Panic attack Anxiety
Sudden/abrupt Gradually builds
Lasts for minutes Can last for months
Sense of detachment Restlessness
Shaking and trembling Fatigue
How To Help Calm a Panic Attack
Unfortunately, there is no magic cure to end panic attacks, but there are things you can do to help yourself when experiencing a panic attack. Panic attacks cause shortness of breath, as the heart pounds and races, it feels harder and harder to breathe. Focusing on breathing is crucial and will help your body feel more calm despite your unpleasant symptoms. By bringing attention to your breathing, you may even be able to focus on it instead of being fixated on your panic-related symptoms. Deep breathing exercises can allow your mind to stay in the present.
Alongside deep breathing, grounding techniques can also be helpful to ease a panic attack. For example, you can find an object and smell or taste it to distract your mind. In a viral Tiktok, influencer @ericbzink holds up a lemon and says “freaking out? Bite right into a lemon. if you’re at home and experiencing a panic attack, grab a lemon”. Eating something sour is a form of a grounding technique that can actually help you calm down. The shock from the sour and bitter flavor can shift your attention away from the panic attack.
Always Be Prepared
It’s like preparing for a car accident, we don’t want to anticipate one, but it’s best to be prepared. Preparing for a panic attack can help you remain as calm as possible when experiencing one. Let’s get into a few steps that can help you prepare for an unwanted panic attack:
Know your triggers
Increasing self-awareness about your mental health is always helpful. If you have panic attacks regularly, you should be able to learn about your triggers. Ask yourself questions, is it the location you’re in, the people you’re around, the sounds you hear?
Leave the situation
Removing yourself from a situation when facing a panic attack can be helpful. If you are experiencing a panic attack at a party or gathering, for example, go to a room where you can work on your breathing. You can also splash cold water on your face and close your eyes to help the calming process.
Use your grounding techniques
Learn what helps you during a panic attack. Is it calling a best friend or a family member? Is it taking a cold shower? Maybe listening to music helps you calm down. Grounding techniques can help lessen the severity of a panic attack while shortening the length of it.
FOUND ME Emergency Bracelets For Reassurance
Experiencing a panic attack can leave you feeling worried and frightened. Difficulty breathing may lead you to unconsciousness. Individuals that struggle with severe anxiety tend to collapse during a moment of stress and panic. FOUND ME can help with the anxiety that comes with it.
A bracelet with a QR code containing all of your medical information can help someone trying to help you, or a paramedic, gain access to the important information about you. Including blood type, allergies and any medical condition that should be known to a provider.
FOUND ME can help ensure that whoever tries to help you can help you by saving time and gaining critical information about you. Also by scanning the QR code on your FOUND ME bracelet first responders can start a multilingual chat or video chat with your emergency contacts who can then be informed.
To learn more about FOUND ME and how it can help you, visit FOUNDME
“headline”: “How To Get Through Panic Attacks Alone”,
“description”: “What are Panic Attacks and how to deal when having a panic attack vs anxiety attack. panic attack symptoms, how to cure panic attacks forever with FoundMe”,
The post How To Get Through Panic Attacks Alone appeared first on FOUND ME.