Updated: Apr 6
Do you feel anxious before a dental visit or starting something new? Most of us do! It's normal to have such fears. However, if your fears become debilitating or prevent you from performing your usual activities, you could have an anxiety or panic disorder. Anxiety and panic disorders are overwhelming conditions, and many of us suffer from them. To better understand if your anxious feelings could be a sign of an anxiety or panic disorder, let's take a look at some of the symptoms.
Not everyone is the same, but these are some of the most common symptoms:
A feeling of your heart racing, or that you can't breathe normally
Uncontrollable fears of things like crowded places, driving, or being in a position where you may have to converse in front of a group of people
The strong belief that something bad and disastrous will happen if things are not done in an exact and precise way
The inability to concentrate and the feeling of your mind wandering
Repetitive movements, such as walking around the same area over and over again, or repetitively twitching your fingers or toes
A feeling of doom, like something bad is getting ready to happen to you. You may feel like an accident, heart attack, or even death is impending, ready to happen at any moment.
Numbness in your hands, fingers, toes, and legs, or feeling like you can't stand up
Trouble swallowing or unusual dry mouth episodes
Fear of people around you and the desire to be alone
The inability to even leave your home
Normal activities you're always involved in become overwhelming to you
Many symptoms of anxiety and panic disorder can also lead to panic attacks. However, the good news is that there are now effective treatments and therapies to help you lessen the symptoms and conquer your anxiety or panic disorder.
These conditions are no longer thought of as being something people should hide. There's help for people who suffer from anxiety. Many mental health providers also offer affordable help if you're on a lower or fixed income. Even your health insurance can help you get treatment.
As we learn more about the brain and its functions, we're able to create more medications and other forms of relief. Relaxation techniques have been very effective for people who suffer from anxiety or panic attacks, and these techniques can even be done in your car or at your place of work.
Understanding your condition may be your best bet to overcoming your panic attacks. Once you understand why these things are happening to you, you'll be better informed and able do something to relieve them.
The more we know about anxiety and panic attacks, the more we can do to keep them to a minimum or stop them altogether. Experiencing the symptoms of a panic attack can be very upsetting and painful. These three steps can help you to learn to relax and regain your composure whenever panic strikes:
1. Admit that you’re starting to panic and assess your feelings. As soon as you start to panic, think about the sensations that you’re experiencing. Do you feel out of control? Does your chest feel tight? Do you feel breathless and dizzy? All of these are common symptoms that we experience as we begin to panic.
It's important to be honest with yourself and openly admit that you’re starting to panic. You’ll likely discover that these sensations are the worst thing that will happen. You just have to be patient until the sensations subside. While these symptoms feel terrible, understand that you’re not in any real danger.
Admitting and accepting the sensations of a panic attack are crucial first steps in calming down.
2. Learn how to relax during a panic attack. Regardless of where you might be, try to focus on your breathing and relaxing the tense and tight areas of your body during a panic attack.
If you’re stationary and in a safe place, allow your eyelids to gently close as you inhale and exhale very slowly. Try to avoid thinking about anything other than using your diaphragm to fill and empty your lungs.
If you happen to be driving in a car or operating machinery when the panic attack occurs, bring your vehicle or equipment to a safe stop. Then, acknowledge and release the stress that is pent up in your body.
Continue to focus on your breathing until you feel that the sensations of the panic attack are completely gone. When you feel calm, centered, and in control, you’ll know the panic attack is over.
3. Reduce stress. Determine the causes of stress and worry in your life. Seek ways to reduce your stress levels by incorporating healthy strategies to deal with anxiety. By decreasing your overall stress levels, you can dramatically reduce the frequency and severity of your panic attacks.
Healthy ways to deal with stress include adopting a balanced diet and getting adequate rest. Regular exercise, such as yoga and meditation, can also help release stress before, during, and after a panic attack occurs.
TRY THIS 10 MINUTE GUIDED MEDITATION FOR PANIC ATTACKS
If you suffer from some of the symptoms above, seek professional help. Be sure to equip yourself with the knowledge and treatment that can stop your suffering and the effects it has on your body.
What are some techniques that you use to relieve panic attacks?