Health & Medical Medicine

Panic Attack Symptoms - Learn To Recognize And Short Circuit An Oncoming Panic Attack

Everyone knows the feeling of Panic. Anyone who has experience a sudden extreme loss, or a suprising threat knows what panic is... increase in heart rate, sweating, uncontrollable, extreme fear. These are all symptoms of panic.

But what about a panic attack? Well, this is a very common problem for many people around the world, and unfortunatly are usually "brushed off" by the rest of society. The stigma attached to people who suffer panic attacks is that they are "weak minded", or "overly nervous". Nothing could be further from the truth. It takes a genuine fear to bring on a panic attack, and it is important to understand the warning signs so the sufferer can help regulate and control them better.

When a panic attack hits, it usually feels like the world, even the body, is caving in suddenly on a person. This is the way the human body responds to extreme danger. The issue here is, the perceived danger isn't as serious as the person suffering the attack feels it is, but they don't usually recognize this on a concious level. First, breathing increases, then adernaline is released. The person goes into "fight or flight" mode, and the body gears up to take on a dangerous situation.

The next symptoms of a panic attack are easily noticed. First, a person begins to perspire. This is because the body is heating up due to increased heart rate and faster, shallower breathing. This causes more fear, as a person feels like they cannot breath enough, and they start getting very scared about not getting enough air. Then, symptoms can go on to get much worse, and to the victim, it can start to feel like a heart attack! However, if these first symptoms are noticed and steps taken to slow the onset of the attack, it is possible to stop the attack just as it is getting started.

This is the persons body starting to trigger the "fight or flight" mode as a response to the percevied immediate danger. In the cave man days, it was necessary for our body to "turn on" when danger was around, it was our way of fighting better, or running faster. However, this type of physical response to stress is harmful in the long run to our bodies. Our cardiovascular system is pushed to the limit. Our mind is too focused to think properly. We can become dizzy, exhausted, and even faint if we stay in this mode for too long. The sweat takes water and necessary chemicals out of our body, and we can dehydrate. Continuing exposure to the adrenaline can create numb fingers, toes, hands and feet. If it gets this bad, it is necessary to lie down, and try to relax.

The good news is, if a panic attack is identified by the first signs of sweating and shortness of breath, it can be negated to the degree of "short circuiting" out the fight or flight mechanism, and no panic attack will develop. This will help a person maintain a healthy body, and keep the psychological damage of an extreme panic attack to a minimum. The trick is as soon as you can identify the shortness of breath and the sweating symptoms, you need to sit down, and take deep, slow breathes through the nose if you can. Focus on a relaxing thought.

This will all take some practice, but with time, you can use this calm, deep breathing technique to cut a panic attack short.

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