Panic attack or is it your mind playing games?
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Nargis Sharif MBACP
24th January, 20170 Comments
A panic attacks happens when your mind plays games with you. You don’t understand what is happening and lose control, therefore whatever your worry or weakness is, your mind uses that and plays with you. Once you lose control, it then takes over and uses your weakness to attack you leaving you feeling somewhat vulnerable, the best way to deal with this is to build your mental strength and face it.
A panic attack is a feeling of sudden anxiety which is intense and one which you don’t understand. Panic attacks always pass and the symptoms are not a sign of anything life threatening. It’s a feeling which passes after sometime. Panic attacks can leave you feeling afraid, lost, and drained. Long term attacks can also contribute to lack of confidence and low self-esteem.
Panic attacks are caused by symptoms of anxiety. They can happen any time of the day, if it’s your first attack or if you are fairly new to having panic attacks they will come on suddenly, but if you have regular attacks, you will often know when you will be having one.
Panic attacks at night will wake you up suddenly; attacks at night will often happen at the same time each night, if you’re having panic attacks in the day they can often occur any time.
This is a list of some of the feelings you could experience during a panic attack:
- Waking up in the middle of the night with your heart racing fast.
- Sudden changes of temperature - sweating even though you have taken a shower, and then feeling very cold.
- Feeling like you’re having or heart attack or even that your dying.
- You could also have difficulty breathing, nausea, dizziness etc.
- Feeling trapped or suffering from claustrophobia.
- Dry mouth even after drinking excessive amounts of water.
- Pacing around the room or even walking out.
- Afraid of sleeping (insomnia) or being alone, needing someone around you.
- Loss of appetite or feeling like you can’t swallow.
- This often leaves individuals feeling afraid, helpless, lacking confidence, isolated and many other feelings.
What can be done when suffering a panic attack:
- You can stop! Slow down and take control of your breathing.
- You can do deep breathing - gently breathe in through your nose and out from your mouth and continue to do this for some time.
- You can talk yourself down and think about positive things and tell yourself it’s a temporary feeling and will pass.
- Talk to someone about the feelings you’re having, or if you feel a panic attack is coming on, tell someone, almost like preparing yourself (facing your fear).
- Regular exercise, long walks or getting some fresh air daily often helps.
Get as much info about a panic attack as you can, knowing everything can help overcome as it teaches you that it’s a temporary feeling. Having all the information about panic attacks and knowing that it comes from an anxiety. Also, being in touch with your feelings and having an awareness to what actually brings panic attack on can avoid the attack.
About the author
Gulnargis Sharif MBACP
Understanding panic attacks can help individuals deal with the attack, knowing what to do and who to approach can be very useful.
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