Most panic attacks occur without warning. Furthermore, there is not always a clear trigger for a panic attack. Sometimes they can occur for no reason at all. For this reason, most people do not know how to prevent a panic attack.
Panic attacks can have a devastating effect on individuals who experience them. Although most panic attacks do not lead to physical harm, some can cause severe symptoms. A person who suffers from ongoing attacks should seek treatment from an anxiety treatment center. Furthermore, they should learn how to prevent a panic attack.
Let’s look at the signs and causes of a panic attack, how it differs from an anxiety attack and what you can do to prevent an attack.
What is the Difference Between a Panic Attack and an Anxiety Attack
While some of the symptoms of a panic attack and anxiety attack do overlap somewhat, there are some distinguishing features of each that you can look out for. These features may include:
- Pounding heartbeat
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Sudden chills or hot flashes
- Tingling in the arms or legs
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Stomach problems such as nausea or sharp pain
- Tightness or pain in the chest
- Dry mouth or feeling hydrated
- Fear or paranoia mixed with agitation
- Sudden spasms or pain in your muscles
- Rapid heartbeat
- Feeling like someone is choking or smothering you
There are other symptoms that both have in common such as loss of concentration, an overall feeling that something is wrong, inability to sleep or function, and an intense amount of worry or distress. Both a panic attack and anxiety attack can wear you out and make you feel tired once the episode is over.
What Causes Panic Attacks?
Anyone who suffers from a panic attack can tell you that nothing has to trigger it. Sometimes these attacks can come on without warning and then disappear as fast as they came. However, there is generally some underlying factor that is connected to the attack. Some of the most common causes of panic attacks include:
- A tremendous amount of stress at work
- Problems in your relationships
- Nicotine, caffeine, drug, or alcohol addiction
- Body chemistry or chemical imbalance
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Phobias or high level of fear – real or imagined
How to Prevent a Panic Attack
There are several ways that you can learn how to prevent a panic attack including:
- Recognize when a panic attack is coming on
- Breathe deeply and slowly during the attack
- Close your eyes if what you are looking at is creating stress
- Open your eyes and focus on a single object
- Learn muscle relaxation techniques
- Engage in light physical activities or exercises immediately
There are other strategies that you can use. For instance, lavender oil is known to have stress-relieving properties. You may want to keep a bottle of lavender on hand. Another technique is to repeat your favorite mantra. Repeat something like, “This too shall pass” until you calm down.
Treatment Available at Victory Bay
Substance abuse can both trigger panic attacks and get worse because of either. You may drink alcohol to self-medicate or calm down after an attack. Likewise, your drug addiction may be causing you to have a panic attack.
Dual-diagnosis treatment is available for both panic attacks. You can meet with a therapist to discuss dual-diagnosis treatment for both your panic attack and your drug or alcohol addiction. By getting the right treatment you can address both issues and learn how to prevent a panic attack. To find out more about what treatment is available for panic attacks, call Victory Bay at 855.259.1624.