Make no mistake about it – anxiety attacks are truly horrible. Anyone that tries to tell you otherwise has obviously never really experienced one. Contrary to what many people believe, an anxiety attack is not just a case where a person suddenly becomes unnecessarily and overly anxious. It’s a sudden and uncontrollable wave of intense panic, which brings along a huge array of debilitating physical symptoms.
When an anxiety attack strikes, it’s very common to experience symptoms like an elevated pulse, nausea, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, disorientation, breathlessness, dry mouth and sweating. Worse still, it could actually make you feel as if you’ve become detached from the real world, that you’re about to lose consciousness or maybe even have a heart attack and die. And while most anxiety attacks usually fade within 10 to 15 minutes, it’s also quite possible for a severe attack to go on for over an hour.
How to Deal with a Panic Attack
When it comes to what exactly to do, the large majority of professionals agree that it’s in fact fear of anxiety attacks themselves that could be the most debilitating and damaging of all. The reason is that the more anxious and worried one becomes about anxiety attacks, the higher the likelihood that they will experience one. Which in turn means that if one is prone to anxiety attacks and spends plenty of time thinking about them, chances are they will have more of them.
Naturally, the whole “mind over matter” method tends to be easier said than done. It is one thing to realise you should not be spending a lot of time worrying about anxiety attacks, but in fact doing so might be a different story completely. Nevertheless, if you can change the way you think regarding panic attacks and how they personally affect you, you might find it easier to cope with them in general.
Counselling is nowadays a realistic choice for any person. From addiction counsellors in Canterbury to the best anxiety counsellors in Kent, deciding where to find counselling might be crucial in severe cases, but self-management is nevertheless a realistic choice for many people.
For instance, professionals base the large majority of their advice and treatment methods on one point – anxiety attacks can’t hurt you. More precisely, anxiety attacks are temporary in nature and the symptoms you go through are in no way a sign of anything harmful happening to you. Even if it feels like you might need an ambulance at the time, there’s in reality nothing negative going on behind the scenes.
One of the most serious mistakes people affected by anxiety attacks usually make is that of sensing the initial symptoms of an anxiety attack approaching and instantly trying to stop them. They feel the symptoms, their panic levels quickly grow and they find themselves in a loop, wherein their fear of the anxiety attack is actually making it worse.
As far as the professionals are concerned, the answer doesn’t lie in looking for ways to distract yourself, but instead trying to ride out the attack. Whatever you are doing at the moment, the best piece of advice is to simply carry on doing it and accept the attack for what it is. Put simply, rather than trying your best to prevent the anxiety attack from happening, it is usually much more effective to focus on dealing with the symptoms.
Naturally, if you are doing anything even remotely dangerous at the time – driving a vehicle for example – it might be a good idea to pull into a safe spot and allow yourself some time for the anxiety to pass. The reason is that while there’s nothing inherently harmful about the symptoms of an anxiety attack, this doesn’t mean your judgment will not be affected negatively during an episode of extreme panic.
If you’re able to determine the exact cause of your panic attacks, you will have an excellent opportunity to prevent them or limit them by directly dealing with the particular issue. If, on the other hand, you are not able to explain what causes your panic attacks and they seem to appear out of nowhere, it’s usually advisable to keep your focus on dealing with them, as opposed to fighting them.
In all such cases however, it could be highly beneficial to think about speaking with a capable counsellor at the earliest possible time. There is every likelihood that the answer to your issues is significantly simpler than you have thought.