The panic attacks or panic attacks are psychological symptoms that are categorized within the so-called anxiety disorders. These are reactions of fear or intense discomfort that occur unexpectedly (although in some cases can be expected) and unpredictable in certain situations or stimuli.
Panic attacks are very easily identifiable since the symptoms through which they manifest are mostly physiological and visible to others. We can all easily remember the typical image of the movies when someone is having a crisis of anguish, breathing inside a brown bag. In these scenes, it seems that the person is going to drown, I, in fact, the tone of the most characteristic symptoms: hyperventilation and choking sensation.
In addition, it is common to experience cold sweats, palpitations, dizziness (may even reach fainting) and nausea. The person may even have the feeling of going crazy, afraid of dying and losing control .
Despite experiencing the feeling that something very serious is happening to us, nothing happens that we are imagining . In fact, the crisis usually happens after about 10 minutes.
Subsequently, we may become afraid of suffering a new panic attack in the face of the same situation or stimulus that caused it. Therefore, sometimes we tend to avoid such situations or stimuli.
Anxiety crises are not a disorder in themselves. But are a very typical symptom of some anxiety disorders, such as phobias.
However, if the avoidance we just talked about limits the life of the person in a significant way, and / or those crises are repeated over time, it would become a panic disorder.
However, it can happen that a person has an isolated episode of the crisis of anguish without this supposes nothing else. In addition, although it is true that they are normally triggered by stimuli or situations, it can also be the case that they are generated without any stimulus or apparent situation, although this case is less frequent.
The exact cause that results in a panic attack or panic attack is undetermined, although it seems that the genetic load is quite relevant. That is if we have a first degree relative with a tendency to these disorders, the likelihood that we will also suffer from them is considerably greater.
On the other hand, the fact of having recently suffered some stressful event also seems to be important.
These are some of the cases that predispose most to suffer a crisis of anguish:
– Separation or death of a loved one.
– People with a high level of anxiety trait
That is people who as a personality trait already have the ‘anxious’ being, which leads them to value as threatening situations that are not.
– Misinterpreting the interoceptive signals or physiological signals of our body
There are people who misinterpret the normal reactions of our body, such as heart palpitations or breathing. They cause anxiety because they interpret it as anguishing when it really is not.
-The fact of suffering from certain diseases such as hyperthyroidism or arrhythmias.
This point is in line with the previous one. In these types of diseases, it is common for us to have physiological reactions similar to those that usually occur in anxiety. Therefore, the likelihood of anxiety crises increases.
The treatments that have shown the most effectiveness from the field of Psychology are those of a cognitive-behavioral nature. One aspect that helps people who suffer from these difficulties is explaining what panic attacks are because they often do not understand why it happens and the simple fact of being able to answer the question “why this happens to me” provides Pretty relief.
Apart from this, cognitive strategies are based on the control of cognition and, therefore, the emotions that generate such reactions. To do this, they use techniques to dismantle those irrational ideas that we may have, and they help us to face the situations or stimuli that generate that panic.
However, there are other techniques that can be beneficial for this type of problem. Specifically, from Mindfulness or full attention is believed that not everything is due to thoughts, but that the emotions that are detached from these thoughts also have an important weight.
Mindfulness defends that we must stop fighting against our own emotions to accept them. And let them flow without judging them, which frees us from a great burden.
It is true that, if you have never practiced Mindfulness, it is difficult that you can do it spontaneously. And fluidly just when you are suffering from a panic attack.
As in everything, it is about practicing as much as possible until we acquire the habit. So that it will be much easier for us to apply it in such a situation.
Now you are asking yourself how you can practice if panic attacks are something that are not programmable. We refer to practicing Mindfulness as a meditation technique for approximately 15 minutes each day. It is about that little by little you take full consciousness of your emotions. And you can let them be, while you are focusing your attention on breathing.
When you focus your attention on your breathing, on the one hand, you start to breathe better and relax. And on the other hand, by defocusing your attention from the emotions, you make the anxiety decrease. In the end, both aspects (breathing and attention) are working synergistically until the anxiety is reduced considerably.
If you practice Mindfulness or any other type of meditation on a daily basis. You will only realize that you are regaining control over yourself. Since you manage to remain calm regardless of the emotion.
We do not mean that this is enough for the crisis to disappear. But it is an interesting adjunct to other techniques.
We encourage you to put it into practice and to verify for yourself how beneficial it is since the basis for managing stress and anxiety is often to change our habits, as proposed by the Create Health method. Must be aware that to combat stress is not enough just to learn to relax. But we need to nourish ourselves properly and get active doing things that contribute to our overall wellbeing.