How to Handle a Panic Disorder?
Extreme anxiety levels can trigger panic attacks. A person who exhibits a panic attack is undoubtedly prone to having a panic disorder. An episode of feeling intense fear accompanied by palpitations in heart, chest pain, dizziness, or discomfort in the abdominal region formulate panic attack symptoms.
Panic Disorder Definition
Panic disorder is a medical condition which surfaces when an individual exhibits a panic attack symptom. Medical science has revealed that women in the age group of 18 to 25 years are more prone to having this disorder than men in general.
When the individual has experienced multiple panic attacks in the past and is constantly living fear of having another one, will s/he be considered of having a panic disorder. Such people withdraw themselves socially, resist going to public places or may not engage with family and friends.
Panic Disorder Causes
A human being’s response towards a possible danger and anxiety is controlled by the amygdala in the brain. Sometimes, the amygdala starts sending anxious signals to the body when actually there is no danger. This, in turn, increases the adrenaline levels. High adrenaline in the body results in excessive sweating, rampant heartbeat, irregular breathing intervals, and stomach churning. All these body reactions result in a panic attack.
How to manage a panic attack?
It is very important that the fear of having a panic attack is not controlling you or your lifestyle. A panic attack can last for a few seconds but the after effects need to be appropriately managed. Below are some easy tactics on how a panic disorder can be handled:
- Intake of Iron and vitamin B6 – Serotonin or the happy hormone is regulated by healthy levels of iron and vitamin B6 in the body. Ensure that food you consume is rich in these so that you are able to cope with the difficulties in a better way.
- Breathing exercise – Do not hyperventilate when you have an episode coming to you. Deep breathing is the key here. Breath through your mouth and focus on the air filling up your chest. Make use of the four-second rule. Four second to inhale and another four to exhale.
- Recognize an attack from a heart attack – It is essential that you keep reminding yourself of the panic disorder symptoms you are encountering. Reassure yourself throughout that the phase will pass shortly and you will be ok.
- Lavender – We all know that lavender has great stress relieving properties. It is a good idea to have some lavender oil handy if you are prone to having panic disorders. You may want to quickly apply some drops on your forearms and breathe in the scent. Additionally, chamomile or lavender tea also relax the body. You should try and avoid caffeine-based drinks as they exhilarate anxiety.
- Muscle relaxation – Just like focusing on breathing, muscle relaxation also comes in handy while managing an episode. Start with a simple muscle in your body such as your fingers and focus to relax them. The key is to control your body’s response when you get an attack.
- Exercise – It is a good idea to exercise lightly and ensure to maintain good endorphin levels in your body. Avoid doing heavy exercise as that can hyperventilate body.
When having a panic disorder, the most important thing to remember is that this will pass and you will come out of it. Choose from the above tips and use them to get control of yourself. Working with a therapist is yet another alternative which will help you relieve the stress you undergo in such situations.