Panic attack treatment natural
Natural Remedies for Anxiety: 10 Ideas
Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stress. It’s a feeling of fear or worry that could be caused by a combination of factors that researchers believe range from genetics to environmental to brain chemistry.
Some common symptoms of anxiety include:
- increased heart rate
- rapid breathing
- trouble concentrating
However, it’s important to note that anxiety can present itself in different ways for different people. While one person may experience a butterfly feeling in their stomach, another might have panic attacks, nightmares, or painful thoughts.
With that being said, there’s a difference between everyday anxiety and anxiety disorders. Feeling anxious about something new or stressful is one thing, but when it gets to an uncontrollable or excessive point and starts to affect your quality of life, it could be a disorder.
Some anxiety disorders include:
- panic disorder
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- separation anxiety
- illness anxiety
- generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- social anxiety disorder
Anxiety can be treated in a variety of ways. One common treatment option is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps provide people with tools to cope with anxiety when it occurs.
There are also certain medications, like antidepressants and sedatives, that work to balance brain chemistry and prevent episodes of anxiety. They may even ward off the most severe symptoms.
If you’re looking to go a more natural route, though, there are little and big ways you can help combat anxiety.
You can make adjustments to habits, like exercise, sleep, and diet. You can also try something totally new, like aromatherapy or meditation. No matter what your lifestyle demands, there’s a natural way to help reduce anxiety for everyone.
1. Stay active
Regular exercise isn’t just about physical health — it can be a huge help to your mental health, as well.
A 2013 study found that people with anxiety disorders who reported a high level of physical activity were better protected against developing anxiety symptoms.
This could be for a variety of reasons. Exercise can divert your attention away from something that’s making you anxious.
Getting your heart rate up also changes the brain chemistry to create more space for anti-anxiety neurochemicals, like:
- gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)
- brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), regular exercise leads to an enhancement of concentration and willpower, which can help certain anxiety symptoms.
When it comes to what type of exercise, this is more of a personal preference. If you’re looking to really get your heart rate up, something like a HIIT class (high-intensity interval training) or running is your best bet.
But if you’re looking to start off with something with a little lower impact, workouts, like Pilates and yoga, could also be just as beneficial for your mental health.
2. Steer clear of alcohol
Drinking alcohol may take the edge off at first, since it’s a natural sedative. However, research suggests there’s a link between anxiety and alcohol consumption, with anxiety disorders and alcohol use disorder (AUD) occurring hand-in-hand.
A 2017 review that looked at 63 different studies showed that decreasing alcohol intake can improve both anxiety and depression.
Heavy drinking can interfere with the balance of neurotransmitters, which can be responsible for positive mental health. This interference creates an imbalance that may lead to certain symptoms of anxiety.
Anxiety may temporarily increase in early sobriety but can improve in the long run.
Alcohol has also been shown to disrupt your body’s natural ability to sleep by interfering with sleep homeostasis. And as we’ll later point out, a good night’s sleep is incredibly helpful when combating anxiety.
3. Consider quitting smoking cigarettes
Smokers often reach for a cigarette during stressful times. Yet, like drinking alcohol, taking a drag on a cigarette when you’re stressed is a quick fix that may worsen anxiety over time.
Research has shown that the earlier you start smoking in life, the higher your risk of developing an anxiety disorder later. Research also suggests nicotine and other chemicals in cigarette smoke alter pathways in the brain linked to anxiety.
If you’re looking to quit, there are lots of different ways you can get started. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends finding a safe substitute for cigarettes, like toothpicks.
You can also take up habits that may distract you in order to create an environment that works for your smoke-free life. Additionally, you can make a plan with a support system who can provide everything from encouragement to distractions.
4. Limit caffeine intake
If you have chronic anxiety, caffeine is not your friend. Caffeine may cause nervousness and jitters, neither of which is good if you’re anxious.
Research has shown caffeine may cause or worsen anxiety disorders. It may also cause panic attacks in people with panic disorder. In some people, eliminating caffeine may significantly improve anxiety symptoms.
Similar to alcohol, caffeine and anxiety are often linked, due to caffeine’s ability to alter brain chemistry.
For example, a 2008 study showed that caffeine increases alertness by blocking the brain chemical adenosine, which is what makes you feel tired, while at the same time triggering the release of adrenalin.
With all this being said, a moderate intake of caffeine is safe for most people.
However, if you’re looking to cut back or completely cut out caffeine, you’ll want to start by slowly reducing the amount of caffeine you drink daily.
Start replacing these drinks with water to quench the thirst. This will not only satisfy your body’s need to drink a liquid, but it will also help flush caffeine from your body and keep you hydrated.
Gradually reducing your caffeine over the course of a few weeks can help adjust the habit without the body going through withdrawal.
5. Prioritize getting a good night’s rest
Sleep has been proven time and time again to be an important part of good mental health.
Even though a 2012 survey found that nearly a third of adults get less than 6 hours of sleep a night, the CDC recommends that adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day.
You can make sleep a priority by:
- only sleeping at night when you’re tired
- not reading or watching television in bed
- not using your phone, tablet, or computer in bed
- not tossing and turning in your bed or going to another room if you can’t sleep
- avoiding caffeine, large meals, and nicotine before bedtime
- keeping your room dark and cool
- writing down your worries before going to bed
- going to sleep at the same time each night
6. Meditate and practice mindfulness
A main goal of meditation is full awareness of the present moment, which includes noticing all thoughts in a nonjudgmental way. This can lead to a sense of calm and contentment by increasing your ability to mindfully tolerate all thoughts and feelings.
Meditation is known to relieve stress and anxiety and is a primary facet of CBT.
Research from John Hopkins suggests 30 minutes of daily meditation may alleviate some anxiety symptoms and act as an antidepressant.
How to meditate
There are 9 popular types of meditation:
- mindfulness meditation
- spiritual meditation
- focused meditation
- movement meditation
- mantra meditation
- transcendental meditation
- progressive relaxation
- loving-kindness meditation
- visualization meditation
Mindfulness meditation is generally the most popular form. To mindfully meditate, you can close your eyes, breathe deeply, and pay attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind. You don’t judge or become involved with them. Instead, you simply observe them and take note of any patterns.
7. Eat a balanced diet
Low blood sugar levels, dehydration, or chemicals in processed foods, such as artificial flavorings, artificial coloring, and preservatives, may cause mood changes in some people. A high-sugar diet may also impact temperament.
If your anxiety worsens after eating, check your eating habits. Stay hydrated, eliminate processed foods, and eat a balanced diet rich in complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins.
8. Practice deep breathing
Shallow, fast breathing is common with anxiety. It may lead to a fast heart rate, dizziness or lightheadedness, or even a panic attack.
Deep breathing exercises — the deliberate process of taking slow, even, deep breaths — can help restore normal breathing patterns and reduce anxiety.
9. Try aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that has been used by humans for thousands of years. The practice uses natural plant extracts and essential oils to promote the health and well-being of the mind, body, and spirit. Its goal is to enhance both physical and emotional health.
The essential oils created by the natural plant extracts may be inhaled directly or added to a warm bath or diffuser. Aromatherapy is suggested to:
- help you relax
- help you sleep
- boost mood
- reduce heart rate and blood pressure
Some essential oils believed to relieve anxiety are:
- clary sage
- ylang ylang
10. Drink chamomile tea
A cup of chamomile tea is a common home remedy to calm frayed nerves and promote sleep.
A 2014 study showed chamomile may also be a powerful ally against GAD. The study found people who took German chamomile capsules (220 milligrams up to five times daily) had a greater reduction in test scores that measure anxiety symptoms than those who were given a placebo.
Another 2005 study found that chamomile extract helped sleep-disturbed rats fall asleep. Researchers believe that the tea may function like benzodiazepine, binding to benzodiazepine receptors and having benzodiazepine-like hypnotic activity.
Interested in other resources for mental health?
We’re here to help. Explore our evidence-driven reviews of top providers, products, and more to support your physical and emotional well-being.
If you’re feeling anxious, the above ideas may help calm you down.
Remember, home remedies may help ease anxiety, but they don’t replace professional help. Increased anxiety may require therapy or prescription medication. Talk with your doctor about your concerns.
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How to Treat Your Symptoms and When to See a Doctor
In this Article
Some anxiety is a normal part of life. You might feel a certain amount of unease or uncertainty when it comes to stressful situations such as taking a test, giving a presentation, or meeting new people. In many cases, a small amount of anxiety every so often can be a good thing. It helps to keep you aware of potential dangers and motivates you to be prepared.
For many people, however, anxiety occurs more frequently. They experience it almost every day. Anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or phobias can interfere with normal daily activities, affecting their work, home, and personal lives. They differ from regular anxiety in that people feel an excessive amount of fear or anxiousness.
Dealing with anxiety can be stressful, but it is treatable. Many people with anxiety find relief with treatment. While some people benefit from taking medication, others find success with natural remedies.
Natural Remedies for Anxiety
Natural remedies for anxiety are those that don’t involve conventional medications (medicine you get from a doctor or health professional). They include things such as herbs, aromatherapy, and performing certain actions that promote relaxation. Some people with anxiety use natural remedies alongside conventional treatments to find relief.
Examples of natural remedies for anxiety include:
Exercise isn’t just good for your physical health; it’s also beneficial for your mental health. While the connection isn’t well understood, studies do show that exercise can help to alleviate symptoms of anxiety.
Getting active helps to take your mind off of the issues bothering you. It also triggers your body to release endorphins, which are natural feel-good hormones.
Several different herbs and herbal supplements may help alleviate anxiety symptoms, helping you to relax and feel calmer. Some of the more well-known varieties include:
- Lemon balm
Studies show that chamomile can help with symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. While many of the studies on herbal supplements for anxiety are limited, the results are promising.
You can find many of these (and other) supplements in capsule (pill) form. Many people also drink herbal teas to help them relax.
Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils to improve health and overall well-being. Many scents can help to boost your mood, help you relax, and reduce anxiety.
There are a few ways you can use essential oils. You can use a diffuser, place a few drops on a lava bead bracelet, or mix your favorite scent in a carrier oil to place on your wrist or neck.
Scents to use for anxiety include:
- Ylang ylang
- Clary sage
Hemp-derived CBD oil has risen in popularity in recent years. Unlike marijuana-derived CBD, CBD from hemp plants has little (less than 0.3%) to no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabinoid that causes a high.
Several studies have shown that CBD can help with many ailments, such as pain, inflammation, insomnia, and anxiety. While research is still in the early stages, studies show that it may have a lot of potential as an alternative anxiety treatment.
You can find CBD products in many mainstream stores. There are many options, including:
- CBD oil tinctures (liquid drops)
- CBD gummies
- CBD chocolate and candies
- CBD topicals (creams or lotions)
Meditation involves the practice of mindfulness. You focus on removing chaotic thoughts from your mind and replacing them with calm. Research indicates that meditation can help to relieve anxiety symptoms, helping you to feel more at ease.
Deep Breathing Exercises
Rapid, shallow breathing is a common symptom of anxiety. Breathing in this manner can increase your heart rate, make you feel dizzy, and may even increase the risk of a panic attack. Deep breathing involves taking deliberately deep and measured breaths to restore normal breathing patterns, which can help to reduce anxiety.
Research shows that weighted blankets can be beneficial for alleviating symptoms of anxiety. The pressure helps to put your body into “rest mode,” reducing those symptoms and preparing your body to rest. These blankets come in many different sizes and weights, enabling you to find what works best for you.
Quit Cigarettes and Alcohol
Both alcohol and cigarettes may appear to calm your nerves at first. After taking a drink, however, your anxiety may worsen. A cycle can develop, leading to alcohol dependence.
Several studies also show that smoking can worsen symptoms of anxiety. Therefore, it’s a good idea to try to avoid drinking or smoking to reduce feelings of anxiety.
When to See a Doctor
While natural treatments can help with anxiety symptoms, some signs may indicate that you need to call your doctor:
- Your anxiety is chronic (long-lasting), and it interferes with your ability to function daily
- Your symptoms have persisted for six months or more
- You’re experiencing physical symptoms such as rapid heart rate, difficulty sleeping, stomach issues, or chronic fatigue
- You’re avoiding people or places
- You’re having thoughts of self-harm or suicide
Your doctor may prescribe anti-anxiety medications or refer you to a specialist. In some cases, the natural remedies described above may be used along with more conventional treatments to help you manage your symptoms.
© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
American Addiction Center: “The Connection between Anxiety and Alcohol.”
American Psychiatric Association: “What Are Anxiety Disorders?”
Brain and Behavior: “How cigarette smoking may increase the risk of anxiety symptoms and anxiety disorders: a critical review of biological pathways.”
Cleveland Clinic: “Stressed Out? Aromatherapy Can Help You Feel Calmer.”
Harvard Health Publishing: “Cannabidiol (CBD) – What we know and what we don’t.”
Mayo Clinic: “Depression and anxiety: Exercising eases symptoms.”
Mayo Clinic: “Herbal treatment for anxiety: Is it effective?”
Michigan Medicine: “Stress Management: Breathing Exercises for Relaxation.”
National Institute of Mental Health: “Anxiety Disorders.”
Neurotherapeutics: “Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders.”
Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Meditation for Anxiety and Depression?”
Journal of Clinical Trials: “Long-Term Chamomile Therapy of Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Study Protocol for a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. ”
Penn Medicine: “More than Just a Fad: 4 Ways Weighted Blankets Can Actually Help You.”
Treatment of panic attacks with folk remedies: herbs and tinctures for panic
Panic attack is a severe emotional state, which is expressed in the form of an attack. It develops very quickly and lasts, as a rule, around 20 minutes, although there are cases when the attack proceeded up to 2 hours. Panic attacks must be distinguished from true mental illness associated with severe fears or other neuroses. Such attacks can occur in quite healthy, both mentally and physically people. They appear as a result of constant tension, continuous stress, severe emotional states caused by an accident.
Symptoms most characteristic of panic attacks
- Sudden and unreasonable intense fear.
- Difficulty breathing, heaviness in the chest, shortness of breath.
- Increased heart rate, jumps in heart rate, sometimes accompanied by increased pressure.
- Circles before the eyes, feeling of faintness.
- Excessive sweating.
- Difficulties in movement. It is difficult for the patient to make the simplest movements, it is difficult to speak, it is sometimes impossible to take a step.
- Urge to vomit.
- Pain in stomach and sternum.
The main sign of a panic state is the appearance of a feeling of fear. Moreover, this fear increases very quickly, completely capturing a person. Because of the symptoms listed above, a person begins to think that he is having a heart attack or a heart attack. As a result, the panic only intensifies, the fear of death appears. The most important thing in providing assistance is the relief of these fears.
You need to start with a detailed examination to make sure that what is happening to you is a panic attack. Including to make sure that there is no somatic pathology.
The examination should begin with a thyroid test. It is also highly recommended to take a general blood test and get advice from a therapist and a neurologist.
You may be diagnosed with vegetative-vascular dystonia (VVD), but this does not mean that you have any problems in your body. Physically you are healthy, and problems are caused by psychological reasons.
People who lead a sedentary lifestyle and do not have sufficient physical activity are at risk. Studies have shown that successful people suffer from panic attacks just as often. As a rule, they have a permanent job, occupy high positions, and are forced to constantly be in a concentrated state, to restrain their emotions. The constant psycho-emotional stress caused by this accumulates, provokes sleep disturbances, as well as systemic problems of the blood circulation and heart.
Panic can be experienced by people living in conditions far from natural. That is, any resident of the metropolis is not protected from this diagnosis.
A panic attack occurs when there is complete well-being against a background of various causes. It can be a big physical load, uncharacteristic for a normal way of life, a difficult operation, a lot of emotional stress, stress. Again, heavy drinking can also cause this phenomenon. It is difficult for a person to understand the cause of panic when all this happens for the first time.
The state of panic can be accompanied by all sorts of physical manifestations, usually very strong. Moreover, the emotional component is almost not manifested. Most often at this moment a person is very scared, worried about his health or prone to depressive disorders. All symptoms are very strong.
Panic attack, of course, manifests itself in people suffering from mental disorders. It can be depression, phobias, bipolar disorder. The strength of seizures may vary depending on the personality characteristics of a person, his temperament. If the patient is initially prone to fears, anxiety, excessive drama, it is much harder for him to endure stress and panic attacks. On the contrary, people who are resistant to life's difficulties, who have a strong will and discipline, successfully cope with panic manifestations. Such people do not focus on the symptoms that have arisen, as they can logically explain them.
There are several suggestions for coping with increasing fear and panic attacks. Patients who have panic attacks quite often can do the following:
- Try to convince yourself that what is happening will not last long and does not pose a threat to your health and life.
- Leave notes or messages in different places on gadgets with a soothing text. Write that everything will pass, there will be no fear, everything will be fine.
- Try to fake a smile, even if you don't feel like it at all. Mimic muscles transmit a signal of a good emotion to the brain.
- Align respiratory rate and inspiratory depth. You can start counting while breathing, inhaling and exhaling for two counts with a break for two counts.
- If possible, focus on some extraneous things and distract from your fear. You can carefully look out the window, count the passers-by. You can remember parts of the world and continents. You can repeat the phone numbers and addresses of your friends and relatives. Read poetry, sing songs. If there are people nearby, you need to talk to them, discuss something neutral with them. Try to continue with your normal activities. If the attack began in the evening or at night, you can turn on the lights everywhere and wash yourself, turn on music that is pleasant for you.
- If you are prescribed medication, take the medication recommended by your doctor to help manage the attack. You can take a contrast shower, alternating warm and cold water. Make a massage of the ears, fingers on the hands.
- Take valerian or motherwort tincture. You can drink tea with the addition of mint and lemon balm. Arrange yourself in a comfortable position, such as sitting in a chair. The temperature in the room should be comfortable - keep warm if it's cold, ventilate if it's hot.
If a panic attack begins in patients with concomitant heart or lung diseases, or in the elderly, it is imperative to consult a doctor. Since it is extremely difficult to independently understand whether an attack is a psychological problem or an exacerbation of a chronic disease.
Fortunately, panic attacks are treatable. This is not a fatal disease, they will not cause loss of consciousness and insanity. In this case, it is extremely important not to delay treatment. The longer you put it off, the harder it will be to deal with.
How to treat panic attacks
Use drugs only on the advice of a doctor to stop panic attacks. Both tranquilizers, for example, Diazepam and Alprozalam, and antidepressants can be used. Medications from the group of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors help well.
Psychotherapeutic influence is successfully used in practice, proven cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy is especially good. The experience of using this technique is very wide. As a rule, the course includes from 5 to 8 sessions. With the help of a psychotherapist, the patient can understand how the disorder arose, be able to relate to situations that cause panic in a different way, and also learn how to help themselves. One of the techniques used is called “provocation”. The patient, under the supervision of a doctor, specifically intensifies the attack, focusing on sensations, and as a result receives lasting relief in the event of attacks in the future.
Breathing exercises can help overcome anxiety. Research has shown that this method is very effective. One of the main signs of a panic state is intermittent and rapid breathing, so breathing exercises can have a significant impact on the development of an attack. If you constantly engage in breathing exercises, you can develop a reflex that will help you breathe in such a way as to stop this attack during the next panic attack. One option for dealing with an attack with breathing is to use a paper bag. It is applied to the mouth, breathing into it, thereby reducing the amount of oxygen entering the lungs. But this method should be used with caution, as some patients feel that there is not enough air anyway. In this case, the panic attack can only be intensified.
Meditation is usually associated with certain religious practices, but this is not the case. Meditation does not always indicate the practice of any religion. It is a type of self-hypnosis and helps to get rid of unpleasant thoughts and feelings. With the help of meditation, you can relax, calm down, put emotions in order. It is only necessary to master and clearly observe certain rules, then the desired effect will be achieved. The main thing that can be achieved with the help of meditation is a gradual decrease in the level of fear. But keep in mind that this is not a one-time event. To maintain the progress achieved and a stable psycho-emotional state, constant classes are needed without gaps and breaks. With the help of meditation, you can get rid of fears, reduce the intensity of panic attacks, temper character.
Physical exercise within reasonable limits not only helps the overall development of a person, but also helps to improve health, including psychological. For patients suffering from panic attacks, it is important to consider the following: training should be regular, and excessive exercise should be avoided during training.
Many patients benefit from talking to relatives and friends. They find their salvation in the opportunity to share their anxieties and experiences with them. Telling their seizures in as much detail as possible helps them release negative emotions
If there is a bathroom in the area where you have a panic attack (for example, you are at home), you can take a contrast shower. It is necessary every 20 seconds to change the temperature of the jet from cold to hot and vice versa. Water jets should be directed to all parts of the body in sequence.
How to treat panic attacks in other ways?
There are so-called "folk" remedies that can be used to treat panic attacks. They are quite affordable, natural and do not cause side effects and addiction. In the most ancient times, mankind noticed that mint and lemon balm herbs can have a strong calming effect. In modern times, the properties of these herbs continue to be used to treat people suffering from panic attacks.
Ways to use herbal infusions:
- You can buy ready-made lemon balm infusion or prepare it yourself. To do this, take 10 grams of the dried plant and pour 500 ml of boiling water. Then the liquid is infused for two hours, always with the lid closed. It is even better to use a thermos for insisting. The infused soothing drink is filtered and consumed two sips three times a day. If such a desire arises, the resulting infusion can be consumed as regular tea. You can even add sugar and honey for taste.
- A plant called "peppermint" is brewed in the following way: two tablespoons of mint (you can use both dry and fresh) are poured into a glass of boiling water. Then the mint drink is infused for two hours under the lid. Then the infusion is filtered. You need to take a glass of tea in one sitting. For the treatment of panic attacks, it is recommended to drink three glasses of mint tea daily.
- Linden can be used to restore proper sleep. This method is widely used in traditional medicine. To make a decoction, the inflorescences of this tree are taken, brewed and used as tea: two tablespoons of lime blossom are poured into a glass of boiling water, then the decoction is infused for two hours, always with the lid closed. After straining, the drink is ready to drink. It is very useful when used to add honey to linden tea.
- Herbal preparations can also be used to treat panic attacks. These decoctions are widely used in folk medicine as having a calming effect on the nervous system. The collection may include chamomile, valerian, lemon balm, St. John's wort, juniper, tea rose, hop cones. Each of the herbs is taken in an amount of 50 g, only hop cones can be taken in 20 g. The mixture is poured with boiling water and cooled at room temperature to a temperature suitable for consumption. Drink the infusion warm twice a day. Each time you need to prepare a new decoction, you can not use a heated decoction.
Another recipe can be used: mix a glass of dill seeds with two pinches of dried and crushed valerian root and pour 1000 ml of boiling water, insist, and then add two glasses of honey. It is taken in a tablespoon 3 times a day.
Another good folk remedy is prepared with red beet juice and honey. To do this, take 80 ml of juice and the same amount of honey. They should be mixed and used 2-3 times a day half an hour before meals.
Decoctions of various herbs can be used for herbal baths. A good effect in panic attacks is provided by baths with decoctions of rosemary, wormwood, linden. To do this, a kilogram of a mixture of herbs is poured with three liters of water. Then the broth is boiled for 5-7 minutes, then infused for 10 minutes and filtered. The resulting broth is added to the bath.
Also, to prepare baths, you can use decoctions of spruce or pine needles made in the bath: add three liters of this decoction to water and take a bath before going to bed. Coniferous decoction is sold in pharmacies.
From the listed methods, you need to choose the most suitable for you, and panic attacks will be defeated.
On our site you will find a lot of useful and interesting materials about panic attacks and methods of their elimination. Take care of yourself, take care of your health and be happy!
How to get rid of panic attacks: causes and treatment
Panic attack - is an often inexplicable and unreasonable panic attack, in some cases painful symptoms of the autonomic nervous system.
Panic attacks: symptoms and signs
A panic attack can be either spontaneous (sudden and causeless), or situational (in the presence of a real traumatic factor or a factor that is expected by the patient) or conditional-situational (when the traumatic factor is more than - or aggravated: alcohol intake, hormonal disorders, preliminary overstrain or stress, etc.).
The trigger mechanism for a panic attack can be the real cause of the environment (various kinds of phobias and fears that have a material reflection: bees, dogs, being at a height, closed space, etc. ) or internal feelings of a person (psycho-emotional or physical overstrain), and also, the reason may lie in the depths of a person's subconscious, his thoughts, imagination.
It has been proven that every twentieth inhabitant of the planet is subject to panic attacks to varying degrees, regardless of social status, income level or nationality. Panic attacks, their various manifestations and causes are reflected in many cinematographic and animated films. For example, the protagonist in the movie "Wanted", USA, 2008 shows us how the suppression of anger and other negative emotions causes an ordinary ordinary person to suffer from attacks of uncontrollable panic, similar panic attacks haunt a successful businessman in the movie "Cure", USA, 2008 , characters from different seasons of the series "Doctor House", USA and many others.
At the same time, the vast majority of people suffering from panic attacks in Russia ignore this condition, having experienced a single or regular attack, and either postpone diagnosis and treatment, or in principle do not turn to qualified specialists for help, underestimating the severity of the disease and its consequences.
It is worth mentioning that a panic attack in itself does not pose a danger to life, after an attack, lasting from 5 minutes to 2 hours on average, the human body is completely restored and returns to its original state. But often the negative consequences of regularly recurring panic attacks are expressed for a person who has a weakened stress resistance against the background of a lack of serotonin and norepinephrine, in a sharp breakdown of the psycho-emotional state with a further inability to maintain balance, the development of severe forms of nervous and mental disorders. Medical practice testifies to the progression of the disease, in which a person can completely abandon his usual way of life, up to the inability to leave the house in fear of a new attack.
It should also be noted that a person who is not in control of himself during a panic attack, which can happen unpredictably at any time and in any place, puts himself and others at risk and danger (being driving, performing job duties at work, etc. .). In general, the lack of treatment for patients with panic attacks leads to a significant deterioration in the quality of life of the patient, and also makes it extremely difficult for him to socially adapt.
During a panic attack, a cyclic self-renewable process is launched in the human body. The initial sensation of discomfort causes fear, with a further release of a large amount of the adrenaline hormone, which triggers the reserve forces of the body and prepares it for "danger". In this state, the heart rate increases and the intensity of breathing increases, hyperventilation of the lungs leads to a decrease in the content of carbon monoxide in the blood, causing a feeling of numbness and dizziness, which in turn causes panic and panic fear, which become the basis for the release of even more adrenaline.
Many people who are prone to vegetative crises (panic attacks) and do not have an established diagnosis take their condition for a heart attack or hypertensive crisis, trying unsuccessfully to correct the condition with well-known drugs (Corvalol, Validol, Valocordin, etc. ), folk remedies or causing ambulance.
The most common symptoms of a panic attack are quite diverse, in most cases there is a simultaneous manifestation of at least 4 of them. At the time of a panic attack, people may experience:
- pain or discomfort in the chest and heart, feeling of heaviness in the left half of the chest;
- shortness of breath, choking, shortness of breath or shortness of breath;
- palpitations; increased pulsation and "beating of the heart in the ears";
- severe sweating, including a feeling of "cold sweat" or chills;
- uncontrollable trembling in the limbs or throughout the body, as well as tremor and a feeling of "internal trembling", convulsive phenomena, weakness and "woolness" in the legs, complete or partial loss of motor functions;
- dizziness, numbness of the extremities, "pins and needles" feeling in the fingers and scalp;
- "flushes" of heat or cold all over the body;
- feeling of fainting, fading consciousness, derealization of what is happening or depersonalization;
- strong fear of death or fear of committing an uncontrollable action, the deepest emotional depression or melancholy and horror, hysterical behavior or aggression.
The manifestation of panic attacks in some cases may be the result of serious physiological disorders or diseases of the body: vegetative dystonia, mitral valve prolapse, hyperthyroidism, hypoglycemia, drug or toxic poisoning, depression and others. This indicates the need to contact qualified specialists after the manifestation of such attacks in order to examine and detect diseases early.
Panic attacks: treatment. How to beat a panic attack?
A panic attack can be stopped using simple techniques, being prepared in advance for the possibility of its occurrence, not succumbing to the cries of the subconscious about the approaching death and stopping the vicious circle of development and growth of panic. There are proven techniques for stopping attacks, in which it is necessary and recommended:
- If possible, take a horizontal position, relieving the load from the skeleton and muscles;
- Direct all forces and focus on the regulation of breathing, stabilizing it in a uniform and slow state. To do this, it is convenient to use a paper bag, thick fabric or folded palms. Kinesiologists and psychologists of our medical center will teach you special techniques and mechanisms of breathing regulation, fight against hyperventilation of the lungs, breathing exercises.
- Try to switch the focus of active attention from physical sensations to an external process or action. There are many methods for this: from the simplest (mental counting from zero to infinity, a detailed study of a nearby object with fixation of all small elements, focusing on the methodical clenching and unclenching of the fist) to specially developed techniques in our medical center, taking into account the individual characteristics of the psyche and emotional lability of the patient.
- Do auto-training. If at present you are not yet doing work to combat panic attacks under the guidance of experienced psychotherapists and psychologists, then use the elementary repetition of a soothing phrase or prayer to yourself for the entire period of the attack.