How To Get Through An Anxiety Attack…

How To Get Through An Anxiety Attack

Anxiety attacks are sudden, intense surges of fear, distress, or panic. They are overwhelming and can have physical as well as emotional symptoms. Anxiety attacks may occur when a person feels or fears that something bad is set to happen.

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Have you experienced a feeling of overwhelming apprehension, distress, worry, or even fear? That could be an anxiety attack. For most people, an anxiety attack builds up slowly. It starts as mild feelings of worry or distress and may worsen as a stressful event approaches.

Anxiety attacks vary greatly, and the symptoms differ among individuals. This is because the symptoms of anxiety do not happen to everyone and may change over time. Anxiety attacks differ from panic attacks, though they share some common symptoms. Panic attacks usually appear suddenly and involve intense and often overwhelming feelings of fear and distress. Panic attacks, unlike anxiety attacks, are accompanied by frightening physical symptoms, such as a fast heartbeat, shortness of breath, and in some cases, feelings of nausea.

How do you know that you have an anxiety attack?

The exact cause of anxiety attacks is not known. However, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, researchers believe that anxiety attacks are brought about by a combination of genetic as well as environmental factors. They also believe that brain chemistry could also be a possible cause. Diagnosing an anxiety attack requires a combination of tests, including physical examinations, mental health evaluations, and filling out psychological questionnaires. Physical examination may be conducted, as well as physiological tests to rule out any underlying medical conditions that could be bringing about the symptoms you are experiencing.

A doctor may use several anxiety tests and scales to assess the level of anxiety you are experiencing.

What causes an anxiety attack?

The exact causes of anxiety attacks are not very clear. However, some risk factors indicate the likelihood of developing an anxiety attack. These include:

  • depression
  • a history of substance abuse
  • some addictions
  • another anxiety disorder

There are factors that can increase the risk of developing an anxiety attack, including;

Stress

We all do encounter stress at some point in our lives. Excessive and unresolved stress increases your chances of developing an anxiety attack.

Genetics

There is a greater risk of developing anxiety attacks if someone in your family has had an anxiety attack. The risk is especially high if the family member is a parent.

Personality type

Some personality types are more prone to anxiety attacks than others.

Trauma

Severe trauma from some life events increases the risk of developing anxiety attacks.

Gender

Research shows that females are twice as likely as males to experience general anxiety and thus anxiety attacks.

How to get yourself through an anxiety attack

There are natural remedies to get yourself through an anxiety attack. These include caring for your body, engaging in healthy activities, and avoiding unhealthy activities. Some of the healthy living activities that can get you through an anxiety attack include;

  • eating a healthy diet
  • avoiding alcohol
  • getting enough sleep
  • meditating
  • staying active and exercising
  • quitting smoking

Should I go to the doctor for anxiety attacks?

Anxiety attacks can be treated with medication, psychotherapy, lifestyle changes, or a combination of remedies. One can live with mild anxiety by adjusting their lifestyle, but if severe anxiety attacks are experienced, then it is important to understand that they can be treated. Anxiety usually does not go away, but one can learn to manage the attacks and live a happy, healthy life.

For severe anxiety attacks that require medical attention, your doctor or health care provider may recommend medication that will help treat your anxiety attacks. Anxiety medications, known as benzodiazepines, can provide fast relief for panic symptoms. Benzodiazepines are generally prescribed during the initial treatment phase as a short-term remedy for anxiety attacks. Antidepressants are also commonly prescribed medication used in more long-term prevention of anxiety attacks. They usually take several weeks to be effective. Therefore it is important to take them consistently to improve your symptoms.

Wrapping up

There is no known quick-fix for anxiety attacks, and it may often feel like an uphill task managing them. Gaining awareness of what causes the symptoms, and getting help from a doctor, can help you manage the symptoms. Anxiety medications can, however, be habit forming and can cause unwanted side effects. Be sure to research your remedy options carefully.

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Jennifer Billings

Jennifer Billings is the Medical Editor at Medicwell. She is an Integrated medical doctor who has been published on Medicwell…

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