According to the mental health foundation 13.2% of people have experienced a panic attack at some point in their lives. This article will look at what a panic attack is, how to help someone who is panicking and how to cope with panic attacks in everyday life.
A panic attack can be a symptom of anxiety and feels like a sudden very intense fear taking over your body which can last from 5 minutes to half an hour. It is your body’s fight or flight response to anxiety and feelings of fear. They can be triggered by stressful events in someone’s life but can also happen with no explanation.
Spotting a panic attack can be crucial to helping someone out of it. The symptoms to look out for are
- Feeling breathless
- Feeling sick
- Feeling faint or dizzy
- Shivering or shaking
- Racing heart or irregular heartbeat
Help for Panic Attacks
Getting help for panic attacks is the best first step as they can be very frightening and you may worry that the symptoms are a sign of something more serious. Go and see your GP if you think you are suffering from panic attacks.
Your GP may offer you some self help tips to help with a panic attack such as breathing exercises to help with rapid breathing and feelings of anxiety. Some common self helps tips whilst having a panic attack are focusing on your breathing, stamping on the spot and focusing on your senses. Psychological therapies can also be an option. This can include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which can work through thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
After having a panic attack it is important to take care of yourself and tell someone that you trust so they can spot when you are having another or take care of you afterwards.