A panic attack is a feeling of sudden and intense fear. This fear can be accompanied by a number of symptoms, including a racing heart, shortness of breath, sweating, and shaking.
Panic attacks can happen at any time, and they often come on without warning.
While panic attacks can be extremely frightening, it’s important to remember that they are not harmful to your physical health. Panic attacks are a response to stress, and they can be managed with the help of a therapist, counselor, or medical professional.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a panic attack, there are steps you can take to help them through it.
In this article from New Exodus Health, we’ll take an in-depth look at panic attacks, their causes, symptoms, and the mental health conditions that are often associated with them. We’ll also provide information on how to help and treat someone suffering from panic attacks — including the use of ketamine therapy.
What Are Panic Attacks?
Panic attacks can occur for a number of different reasons. They are often triggered by stressful or traumatic events, and they may also be caused by certain health conditions.
Panic attacks typically last around 10 to 20 minutes, but the effects of the attack can linger for much longer. Many people who experience panic attacks become anxious about having another attack in the future, which only makes things worse.
Some common symptoms of a panic attack include:
- Racing heart
- Shortness of breath
- Pounding chest or feeling pressure in your chest
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Sweating and shaking
- Feeling unreal or detached from your surroundings
- Fear of losing control or going crazy
- Fear of dying
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms frequently, it’s essential to seek help from a medical professional. Even though they’re not harmful, panic attacks can be very frightening and take their toll on your mental well-being.
With the help of an experienced medical provider, you can learn how to manage your panic attacks and move on toward a stress-free life.
What Causes Panic Attacks?
While some people are more prone to panic attacks than others, there is no one cause; a number of different factors can contribute to their onset.
The most common triggers that often lead to panic attacks include:
- Stressful life events or trauma
- Health conditions, including high blood pressure, asthma, heart disease, thyroid problems, and more
- Certain medications
- Substance abuse
- Mental health issues, such as anxiety disorders or depression
It’s important to note that it’s not always clear why panic attacks happen — even to the one experiencing them. However, with the help of a medical professional or counselor, you can learn how to manage these symptoms and prevent attacks in the future.
Mental Health Conditions Associated With Panic Attacks
Several mental health conditions are often associated with panic attacks. These conditions include:
Anxiety Disorders: People with anxiety disorders are more likely to experience panic attacks than those without an anxiety disorder. Common anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, and agoraphobia.
Depression: People with depression are also more likely to experience panic attacks. Depression is a common mental health condition that can cause various symptoms, including feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and fatigue.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD is a condition that can develop after exposure to a traumatic event, such as a car accident or sexual assault. People with PTSD often have intrusive thoughts and flashbacks of the event, as well as feelings of anxiety and depression. Panic attacks are also common in people with PTSD.
Help for Someone Having a Panic Attack
If someone you know has a panic attack, there are things you can do to help them through it. Here are some tips for helping someone during this difficult time:
- Remain calm and supportive. Avoid reasoning with the person or telling them that they are “overreacting.” Instead, be understanding and reassuring.
- Encourage the person to take slow, deep breaths. This can help regulate their breathing and ease some of their symptoms, including chest pains and dizziness.
- Get them out of stressful environments if possible. Being in a noisy or crowded place during an attack can exacerbate symptoms and make it harder for them to recover.
- Take note of any other physical or emotional symptoms they may have (such as tremors). Ensure that you are comforting them during the panic attack, providing assistance, and documenting their symptoms in case medical services arrive at the scene.
- Most importantly, encourage the person to seek professional help if they have frequent or severe panic attacks. A medical provider can help them identify their triggers and develop coping strategies to prevent these attacks from happening again.
Also, as we mentioned above, please remember that panic attacks can be extremely frightening, but it’s important to remain mindful of the fact that they are not harmful. If you remain calm, it will be easier for the one having the attack to calm down as well.
Get Treatment for Panic Attacks at New Exodus Health
If you or someone you know is struggling with panic attacks, we can help. At New Exodus Health, we offer a variety of treatment options for panic disorders, including ketamine therapy.
Ketamine is a medication that has been shown to be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of panic attacks often associated with anxiety and panic disorders. If you’re interested in learning more about ketamine therapy, contact us today to schedule a consultation. We’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan that meets your unique needs.
Panic attacks can be very scary and overwhelming experiences. But with the proper support and treatment, it is possible to manage symptoms and live a healthy, happy, productive life.
New Exodus Health is here to help you on your journey to recovery. Click the link below to get in touch with us and learn more about our services.