More Than Meets the Eye
Even though many people believe that panic attacks are clearly visible and identifiable, manifesting through outbursts of screams, breathing difficulties and other, uncontrollable behavior, this is not always the case. Many times people experience panic attacks through mood swing, aggressive or inappropriate behavior, asthma attacks or many other, different fits. Therefore, people who are prone to the above mentioned outbursts should all know that there is a large possibility that they are suffering from panic attacks and some other anxiety disorders. Subsequently, people who witness these behavioral problems in their loved ones should look further into it and try to find the best way to help their suffering friend or person they are close to.
Why Do Panic Attacks Take Place?
First of all, this phenomenon is closely connected to our brain's false assumption of an ongoing trouble. Namely, a panic attack is triggered by our brains center for emotions, since it thinks that we are in a life-threatening situation. Then, it releases adrenalin into our organism, it speeds up the blood flow and increases the heart rate, sending all our blood into our muscles, so as to help us deal with the wrongly interpreted “fight-or-flight” situation. However, in order for the blood to flow in this manner, we need oxygen which we get by breathing. Unfortunately, panic attacks make us breathe in more air than we need. This leads our organism to a situation where there are both oxygen and carbon dioxide in excess, creating a need to expel them both. For these reasons, our panic attacks are followed with breathing difficulties getting worse as long as we breathe more than we need to.
Additionally, during a panic attack, a person may faint, experience nausea, dizziness, feel life-threatened, and go through numerous uncomfortable fits.
How To Stop an Ongoing Panic Attack?
The first thing you can do, once you realize that you are experiencing a panic attack is hold your breath. This will prevent hyperventilation, which is known to only make things worse. Alternatively, you can try breathing from a paper bag. This way, you will return all the lost carbon dioxide into your body and re-establish the lost balance in your organism.
Next, taking into consideration that panic attacks strike you while you are actually calm, you may stop them by indulging into physical exercises. Start running, climb the stairs, or do some similar, physically demanding actions while breathing through your nose.
Finally, you can stop your panic attacks by starting to breathe slowly. However you need to do this gradually so as not to shock your organism further. First, try to relax, and then inhale for about 5 to 7 seconds. Once doing that, exhale for the same period. This will tell your brain that you are in no life-threatening situation, stopping the fight-or-flight mode you were put in.