Thursday, 19 April 2018

Panic Attacks and What Causes Them.

Good evening!

Hope the week has been good, at least it's Friyay tomorrow! My week has had its ups and downs but I've got my little trip to look forward to for a long weekend away. For this post I have decided to help you understand what panic attacks are, what causes them and what to do if you find yourself having one.

I used to suffer with panic attacks a lot more when I was younger, I used to get them when I had heart palpitations - mostly down to the fact when I was that age I didn't really understand what heart palpitations were I panicked every time I experienced them.


What is a panic attack?


A panic attack is a rush of intense anxiety and a variety of physical symptoms, you could feel fear, dread, loss of control and entrapment. They can happen suddenly and can be very frightening and most of the time occur for no clear reason.

When having a panic attack you may experience racing or what feels like an irregular heartbeat, you could start sweating, trembling, hyperventilating which is when you have a shortness of breath, you can also feel as if you're choking, nausea, dizziness, having a tingling sensation in your fingers or have ringing in your ears.

A lot of the time people think they're having a heart attack because of the irregular heart beats or the fast pace of your heart, this can panic people even more and few often think they're going to die.

However panic attacks don't last for a long time, at most they can last up to 20 minutes. This is  because at this point your body is releasing a lot of adrenaline and your body can't keep releasing it so when it stops doing that the panic attack ends. For me I found it quite interesting to know what your body is doing during a panic attack, because understanding this helps me calm myself down during panic attacks.

For me as well, I found that I would experience a panic attack and then for the rest of the day my anxiety would be pretty bad. I have always wondered if this was something else others experienced as well.

There's no specific time that a panic attack can happen, some people may have one panic attack in their lifetime and then never experience another one, or it might be a regular thing. It is common for things to trigger panic attacks, may that be particular places, situations or activities you are doing at the time. As for a more common example you could experience one before a doctors appointment or any appointment that you may find stressful.

    What to do if you're having a panic attack?


    Whilst having a panic attack there are a few things you can do to help you get through it.

    Concentrate on your breathing - doing this can help you calm down, if you try and breathe slowly, take slow deep breaths and maybe try counting as well it could help you calm down.

    Focus on your senses - It can help to focus on something like tasting, touching or cuddling something. I find that focusing on my surroundings can help me to calm down.

    Having someone there with you - If you find yourself having a panic attack and you're with a good friend or with family then it's always good to have them there to help calm you down. I find it's helpful when someone is there helping you to breathe or talking to me about something, almost like they're distracting you from the panic attack.

     - A little story about this for myself is when I went to the doctors to have a blood test and my mum came along with me and started speaking to me about the weather - it made me laugh so much, it's such a British thing to do. 

    Recently I have learnt from my research into this topic over the last few months that stamping on the spot can help, it's supposed to help control your breathing. This isn't one I've tried, so maybe if I do experience another I'll give it a go!

    As I said above after I experience a panic attack I often feel pretty bad for the rest of the day so it's important to help yourself afterwards as well.

    Self-care is very important, you may find that your body needs to rest after a panic attack so it might be a good idea to rest somewhere, maybe lie down and close your eyes and try to relax. Your body could also want something to eat or drink - these are all every day things we do but could be something your body really needs after a panic attack.
      As mentioned before when having a panic attack I find it's good to have someone there with you, if you are on your own or you out in public with no one around you that you feel safe or comfortable with then it's always a good idea to tell someone when you can what you've just gone through. They can help with making you feel better afterwards and also it's good to tell them because if you experience another they know what to look out for and maybe can help you out next time.


      If you want anymore information on panic attacks you can visit the NHS website or visit mental health charity websites such as MIND as they can go into more detail about them.

      Hope this short post about panic attacks have given you more of a understanding or helped in any way if you suffer with these. Thank you so much for reading, I know this is posted a lot earlier than usual as I explained at the beginning I am away until Tuesday next week! Hope you all have a lovely weekend, at least the weather is great ay!

      I will be back again with another post next Sunday as usual!

      As always, chat soon.