Panic attacks are utterly terrifying and at the time you are convinced you are going to die and when they have happened again and again you feel as though your world is falling to pieces.
Most of you that have suffered from anxiety and panic attacks will of ended up at the doctor’s or in the hospital where they generally say you’ve had a panic attack you will be fine…..But you know you are anything but fine.
The symptoms of Panic Attacks
The common symptoms of a panic attack are:-
- Pounding Heart
- Dry Mouth
- And Shallow Breathing
The key element of a panic attack is the shortness of breath. This element is not imagined and is utterly terrifying…..
As we fight for breath all of the oxygen we are breathing in is not being used correctly.
When we breathe normally we consume the correct amount of oxygen and when mixed with carbon dioxide it gets transferred around our body and then carbon dioxide is breathed out.
When we are in a state of panic we breathe oxygen out pretty much straight away and due to this shallow breathing precious carbon dioxide is exhaled which hasn’t had the chance to do its job yet.
As a result of this the carbon dioxide levels in our blood falls which in turn makes the oxygen stick to our red blood cells and we feel oxygen starved even though you are breathing plenty of oxygen in. You will very often see people gulping for air during a panic attack.
As we panic, we exhale even more carbon dioxide and even less oxygen is available. This creates a vicious cycle which is feeding the panic attack.
The chest pains you experience during a panic attack are also real but they are not a sign of danger. The pains are a result of the strain on the chest muscles and the trembling and shaking you experience are a result of the hyperventilating.
Normally panic attacks only last 2-3 minutes but when we fight them they can go on much longer.
It’s our thoughts and that lead us into panic…..
That voice in our head that says
“ I have chest pains, I’m having a heart attack”
‘I’m going to die please help me”
“This is worse than last time something is wrong”
Please remember this……. Panic attacks are frightening but they cannot hurt you and they will not kill you.
Unfortunately, a lot of the advice out there about panic attacks is floored. When you are in a state of panic trying to follow simple instructions to do anything is pretty much impossible.
The secret is to be aware that a panic attack is building and take action before it takes hold……
If possible take yourself somewhere quiet and focus on your breathing….Breathe in for the count of four…..hold your breathe for the count of seven and then exhale for the count of eight, keep doing this until you racing mind starts to calm down.
If you continue to suffer from panic attacks make sure you get professional help, dealing with the triggers of the panic attacks is the key to recovery.
Here is my video about panic attacks