By: Craig Elliott
Anyone who has ever had a panic attack knows how life stopping these events can feel. A panic attack can seriously hurt your quality of life by causing you become terrified of a repeat episode. This terror is just another negative side effect of panic attacks, and you should learn to think of it as such so that you can get on with your life without the constant fear of a panic attack hanging over your head. Worrying about having a panic attack all the time might even cause you to trigger panic attacks later. Panic attacks feel a lot like heart attacks. A panic attack might cause your heart to race, and it might cause you to become short of breath. You might find that you feel dizzy or light headed, and they are characterized with the feeling of life or death importance. It is not uncommon to believe that you are dying or about to die when you are having a panic attack. Fortunately for sufferers, they are usually not of a long duration, and will stop when they have run their course, usually a few minutes, or when the cause of the panic is removed. If you are terrified that you might have another panic attack, you may just end up cutting yourself off from everything in order to avoid having another. You might hide from the world, or otherwise separate yourself from the friends and family who might otherwise be able to help you. If this sounds familiar to you, then you need to consider seeking professional help to empower you to dispel the threat of panic attacks that hangs over your head. You may also be able to help yourself by avoiding the situations that cause you to have your panic attacks in the first place. One of the biggest causes of panic attacks is stress, and if you are constantly in stressful situation, then you will be at a much higher risk for panic attacks in the future. This stress is not necessarily the stress that comes over a few days over a particular event; panic attacks are triggered by constant stress over a period of months or sometimes even longer. This stress is often too much for people to bear, and even if we do not realize that, our bodies do, and they rebel. Panic attacks can also be caused by certain situations. If you get a panic attack every time you are running late, or stuck in traffic, or going over a bridge, then you need to make sure to avoid those situations to prevent these same events from triggering more panic attacks in the future. You can take a different route to work, leave early, and avoid roads that you know will be snarled with traffic or even head to a local place for dinner after work before facing the drive home. If you practice avoiding panic attacks and chart where you were, what you were doing, and how you felt immediately prior to each panic attack, then you can use this information to avoid the things that trigger you. You may be able to save yourself a lot of trouble with your mental and even your physical health later down the road. Panic attacks do not just feel remarkably like heart attacks; recent studies have linked experiencing panic attacks with an increased likelihood of actually having a heart attack later. Keep your odds low and keep your stress levels down to avoid panic attacks and to remain as healthy as possible. No one likes to suffer, and panic attacks certainly fall into the category of suffering. If you are at risk for panic attacks or you have had them in the past, then you should examine the past causes of your panic attacks so that you can help yourself to avoid similar situations in the future. You should also get in contact with your doctor to find out if you may need medication or therapy to help you take charge of your life and get away from the panic attacks. It can be difficult to determine exactly the best means of preventing panic attacks, but you may get better results when pairing the practice of avoiding triggers with medication to help you feel calmer. A therapist can also help you learn mental tricks to help you ride through the panic attacks without completely losing your cool the next time you feel one coming on.
Craig Elliott is a freelance writer who writes about mental health topics including
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