How to recognize a panic attack and what is the treatment?

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Panic Attack & Treatment

Panic Attack & Treatment

Panic attacks consist of sudden moments of distress characterized by symptoms such as chest pain, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, cold sweats, fainting, and nausea. For a period of time, the patient has the sensation of “losing control, drowning or dying, which generates despair and extreme restlessness”.

In most cases, these sensations are not prolonged and usually last minutes or even seconds. In addition, this type of crisis can occur only once in a person’s life as a specific episode or become recurrent. When you suffer at least four panic attacks in a month you need to consult a specialist, since it is possible to be faced with a panic disorder. The psychologist emphasizes the importance of a treatment that helps to overcome this condition since otherwise, it can interfere with the personal, family and social life of the person.

Likewise, it is necessary to rule out other pathologies that may present similar symptoms, such as “thyroid problems, some type of heart disease, unstable angina, a coronary problem, asthma, a pulmonary thromboembolism or a vascular accident”, details the specialist. Although the specific origin of these events is unknown, there are certain investigations that have found hereditary nuances and relationship with prolonged episodes of stress.

It is important to know how to act in front of a person who is suffering from a panic attack. If the affected person is in a place with a lot of people, the first thing to do is remove him from there and take him to a clear space.

In addition, other tips to consider during this type of episodes: breathe deeply, look for places away from the crowd and crowds, concentrate on the idea that nothing will really happen, it is only fear, an unpleasant but not harmful or dangerous sensation. Recognize what is happening to the body at that time and not concentrate on fear. Wait and let fear pass, not fight against it. When you are ready to continue your activities, start slowly, in a state of relaxation. It is not necessary to run or strain.

There are pharmacological therapies that usually use antidepressants that regulate serotonin in the brain, which decreases the frequency of seizures. This must be complemented by psychological therapies that help the patient to recognize the root of the problem and psychotherapy, which provides positive coping tools and thoughts restructuring.

These episodes can also be controlled with anxiolytics, which could generate a level of dependence, so it is advisable to use them for a short period of time, under the supervision of a doctor and simultaneously with other prescribed medications.

We can all suffer a panic crisis

Fear is a basic emotion, and panic attacks are democratic and follow their own logic. We need this emotion for our survival, but if it exceeds a certain threshold, it becomes a problem because it alters the spontaneous physiological symptoms of the body, creating anxiety.

Having an anxiety crisis is a democratic problem because it can affect both men and women, young or old, rich or poor, nervous or non-nervous people, successful or not, etc. In addition, it follows its own non-ordinary logic. For example, the majority of times that he attacks panic, he does it just in the moments when we are most relaxed or in moments that we do not usually expect.

People who suffer from this problem tend to solve problems with attempts to solve it instead of solving the problem they maintain it and get worse.

From medicine, antidepressants and anxiolytics are the tools to fight the problem, but none of them ends up eliminating it altogether, which causes anxiety disorders to become chronic. The pills calm the problem but they do not disappear, the person is as immobilized but inside they still feel the problem.

By F.Marchant, MD.