The person who suffers from episodes of anxiety – or panic – suddenly feels terrified for no obvious reason. During the panic attack, very intense physical symptoms such as tachycardia, shortness of breath, pulmonary hyperventilation, tremors or dizziness occur.
Panic attacks can occur at any time or place without warning, and have no clear trigger. The person suffering from a panic attack feels that he or she is in danger of imminent death and has a compelling need to escape from a feared place or situation.
How to control panic attacks?
Controlling panic requires time and patience to redefine attitudes in the face of extreme fear in order to face the event that provokes it. With the help of an expert in cognitive-behavioral psychology it is relatively simple, without necessarily many sessions.
Tips to prevent and avoid anxiety attacks
One of the strategies that has worked best is the application of “The ten rules for dealing with a panic attack”:
- Remember that what you are feeling is nothing more than exaggeration of normal reactions to stress.
- It is neither harmful nor dangerous, just unpleasant. Nothing worse can happen.
- Don’t add alarming thoughts about what is happening and what could happen.
- Look at what is happening to your body now, not what you fear, in your mind, might happen next.
- Wait and let the fear pass. Don’t fight it. Accept it.
- When you stop thinking alarming things, the fear will extinguish itself.
- Remember that the main thing is to learn to cope with fear, not to avoid it. This is a great opportunity to make progress.
- Think of the progress you have made so far, despite the difficulties. Think about how satisfied you will be when you get past this moment.
- When you start to feel better, look around and think about what you can plan to do next.
- When you are ready to move on, start slowly, in a relaxed state. You don’t need to run or exert yourself.
What happens if anxiety attacks are not controlled?
Experiencing a panic attack is a terrible, uncomfortable and intense experience that is often associated with the person restricting his or her behavior, which can lead, in some cases, to adopt limiting behaviors to avoid recurring attacks. The disorder can lead to agoraphobia, due to fear of presenting new crises, which makes the person more and more afraid or fearful and generalizes to more situations.