A panic attack or panic disorder is one of the most feared types of anxiety. Those who have suffered a panic attack in their life cannot forget the terror they have experienced.  Indeed, it is a distressing situation to inexplicable extremes, but the truth is that the panic attack passes in a few minutes.

Although a panic attack is a temporary episode, we are facing one of the most dangerous  anxiety disorders since the very fear of suffering another attack can generate it, as well as keeping us in a state of generalized anxiety. As always in the most complicated cases, before fighting, we need to know the enemy’s secrets. We know inside out about panic attacks.

What is a panic attack?

It can start suddenly, for no apparent reason. Suddenly you start to breathe faster, you feel agitated, nervous, the tachycardia scares you and the tingling makes you stop feeling your legs and arms. Confusion settles in your head, it seems that you are going to lose control, it is as if you are escaping from reality, you are surely going to go crazy, no, almost certainly, you are going to die.

More or less these are the symptoms of a panic attack, to which sweating, tremors, dizziness, nausea or a feeling of suffocation can be added. Just imagining it causes fear.  However, a panic attack has an end point about 15 or 20 minutes after it started. A few minutes that may seem eternal but that end. Always.

The main problem with panic disorder is that it produces what is called anticipatory anxiety. That is to say, once you have suffered a panic attack, the very fear of suffering another generates more anxiety, more nervousness, more worry and more behavioral disorders to the point of not leaving the house so as not to expose yourself to stressful situations.

Prevent panic attacks

Unfortunately we do not have any trick to stop a panic attack. Taking a deep breath or breathing into a plastic bag can help us regain control at the first symptoms, but if the panic attack has already started we can only wait for it to pass. Because it happens, it happens.

What we can do is somehow prevent those panic attacks. Nothing better than cognitive therapy to overcome the fear of having another panic attack and to learn to handle ourselves in situations that cause us the most anxiety. In addition, for the most serious cases, pharmacological treatment based on antidepressants and anxiolytics is also recommended with due precautions.

In any case, since the feeling of anguish and loss of control of a panic attack is very difficult to forget, it would not be bad if we did not forget that it is only an episode of a few minutes and the manifestation of a general state of anxiety. That is where we have to intervene, learning how to manage anxiety as soon as possible. That’s when panic attacks are just a bad memory from the past.

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