Usually described as intense feelings of fear or anxiety, panic attacks are known to have physical as well as emotional consequences. “There can be a lot of reasons behind a panic attack, some explained and some unexplained both of which will always have a trigger,” says Ayushi Singh, a clinical psychologist in the city.
“While the person’s medical conditions, family history, stress, physical, sexual or emotional trauma may all be a part of probable reasons, it is important that you seek out a professional to help you cope with it,” she explains. Talking about the average duration of an attack, she says, “It varies from person to person; it usually begins during a 10-minute time frame with rapidly increasing symptoms and may last up to 20-30 minutes and rarely more than an hour.” They can be scary and may hit you at unexpected times, therefore, it is best that you be prepared to, both recognise and deal with a panic attack.
• Rapid heartbeat
• Increased sweating
• Short and fast breathing
• Dizzy spells and trembling or shaking
• Nausea or dry mouth
• Numbness or tingling sensation
Ways you can survive it
“If a person is unaware, it is quite possible to pass off a panic attack as a general reaction to anxiety, which makes it difficult for the person to gain control,” Ayushi explains. “By recognising it right, one can try and convince themselves that this intense feeling is transient. For a person experiencing the attack, this knowledge is a huge thing,” she adds.
Inhale, hold, exhale, repeat is one sure-shot mantra that might help you calm down. Focus on taking deep breaths through your mouth, let the air fill you up and slowly let go. Take deep breaths, count to four and the release.
Diversion is the key
In situations like these, it is important that you shift your focus from your trigger to something else. Look around and try and find a different object or person to focus on and try to normalise your breathing.
Picture your happy place
Close your eyes and picture something that makes you happy and hold on to it. You’ll feel the difference soon.
Consult an expert
Irrespective of their frequency, it is important that you approach an expert to help you out with the situation. With the right focus and proper guidance and support, managing them becomes easier and maybe you can even rid yourselves of this condition.