If you have ever experienced a panic attack, you know how terrifying it can be. Panic attacks usually occur out of the blue, without any apparent reason, leaving you feeling fearful about what happened (and how you thought your world was coming to an end). About six million American adults experience panic disorder. Typically, people tend to develop the disorder during late adolescence or in their early twenties. Women are twice as likely as men to have panic disorder.
Common symptoms associated with panic attacks:
- Shortness of breath or a feeling of being smothered
- Heart palpitations
- Dizziness, unsteadiness, or faintness
- Trembling or shaking
- Nausea or abdominal distress
- Feeling as if you’re “not all there”
- Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
- Hot and cold flashes
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Fear of going crazy or losing control
- Fear of dying
Experiencing the first panic attack can leave you feeling intensely uncomfortable and have a traumatic impact on you. You may be left with feelings of helplessness, fear of being looked at as crazy, and having anxiety of possible recurrence of the symptoms. Panic attacks vary in occurrence. Some people have one and never experience a second, while others experience them years apart. There are those who have continuing panic attacks throughout stressful situations.
Fortunately, there are lifestyle changes that can help you cope and diminish the intensity and frequency of the panic attacks. Some of the most helpful changes in lifestyle are:
- Regular practice of deep relaxation
- Regular exercise routine
- Elimination of stimulants
- Learning to acknowledge and express your feelings
- Adopting positive self-talk
- Learning about bodily symptoms, catastrophic thoughts, and finding alternative explanations
If you find yourself feeling helpless, lost, confused, and scared due to panic attacks, please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services in Orlando today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced mental health counselors.
Reference to Statistics:
Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia. Retrieved from http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/panic-disorder-agoraphobia