Are you Having an Anxiety Attack?
An anxiety attack scenario may sound somthing life this: Imagine you’re sitting at home, or at a desk at work when your chest tightens up causing severe pain, you have trouble catching your breath, and your palms start to sweat. Your mind immediately shifts to the worst. You think “could I be having a heart attack?”
These episodes are periods of extreme worry and panic that manifest themselves physically. They can come on slowly or be triggered by a specific event. Common symptoms include: shortness of breath, pain or tightness in the chest, shaking, dizziness, a pounding in the chest, nausea and vomiting, and hot or cold flashes. Many people who are experiencing sudden panic believe they are having a physical problem or are simply going crazy.
The bad part about these episodes is that if you’ve had one; you may be likely to have others. People who experience episodes on a regular basis have what is called panic attacks. They experience excessive amounts of anxiousness at inappropriate times. If you have developed fear of a specific object, place, or situation; you probably have a phobia, or an irrational fear.
Symptoms are triggered by stress, excessive worrying, or those that just occur randomly. These people probably have generalized anxiety disorder which is when you are overly worrisome. If you are having any of the aforementioned symptoms, you should see a psychologist so you can be properly diagnosed.
The good news about anxiety disorders is that they are most often treatable. For immediate treatment of panic attacks, you need to relax. You may want to learn various breathing techniques or calming exercises. If these do not work, you may just have to “ride out” the attack.
In the long term, however, you should see a therapist. They can not only teach you ways to relax while you’re experiencing an attack, they can also help provide treatment so you understand why they occur and how to alleviate the fear they invoke. This usually involves specific therapy designed to help you cope with your fears. They may also recommend making dietary and other lifestyle changes.
If therapy is not working to prevent your anxiety, you may benefit from prescription medications. Now, anxiety disorders are most often treated with a class of antidepressants, called SSRI’s. The positives about these medicines are that they work very well if you suffer from a chronic disorder, and they can also relieve depression caused by constant worrying.
When you start taking one of these medications, remember that it could take several weeks to notice the full effect. You may even notice an increase in symptoms shortly after taking the medications, so be sure you’re monitored because this can increase the incidence of suicide. These medications can also have moderate to severe side effects.
The important thing you must remember if you’re experiencing panic attacks is that this is a common, treatable disorder and that you are not crazy.
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