A panic attack does not choose a place and time and can catch a person anywhere. How to behave? Can I help myself or do I need a doctor for panic attacks?

told therapist Irina Golotina.

A panic attack is a sudden, causeless attack of anxiety or fear (more often, fear of death, helplessness, or fear of “going crazy”). Typical symptoms of a panic attack: trembling in the arms and legs, rapid breathing, palpitations, shortness of breath, a feeling of lack of air, compression or severe pain in the chest, a feeling of heat, cold sweat, chills, burning of the skin on the neck and face, dizziness, nausea, pallor.

Outwardly, this is manifested by pallor or, conversely, hyperemia (redness) of the skin, sweating, trembling in the arms and legs, and an asthma attack.

A panic attack does not choose a place and time. Fear arises literally from scratch, without any external threat. An aggravation can occur in a traffic jam, in public transport, at a meeting or during a conversation with a manager. In 70% of cases, a panic attack is the cause of depression.

At gunpoint

Women are more susceptible to seizures than men (statistically, their ratio is 5:1). The peak incidence occurs at the age of 25-35 years. But attacks can haunt a child, a teenager, and people over sixty years old.

The root cause of panic attacks can be stress, depression or exhaustion. Sometimes attacks provoke hormonal disorders, pathologies of the central nervous system, some somatic diseases.

In addition, people who experience chronic lack of sleep, physical or emotional overload, and alcohol abuse are at risk.

How to survive an attack

First of all, focus on your breath. You need to breathe with your stomach, focusing on exhalation. Try to “find” your body, to be aware of its presence. To do this, you need to stand on both feet, “ground yourself” – imagine that fear goes through you into the ground, like an electric current, grab onto something or start shaking your hands, shaking off the tense state. If there is someone nearby, then it is better to tell him about it, that you are experiencing a panic attack and you need help. You can try to verbalize your feelings: say each sensation out loud, tell others that you are afraid. By voicing our fear, we reduce our anxiety.

Why see a doctor?

A panic attack is a serious condition that can reach the real sensations of impending death. Some people experience such attacks on a daily basis. In fact, their whole life is reduced to such an expectation.

Some consider their illness a far-fetched sore, others – an incurable mental illness. Both of these are wrong. This is a serious problem, which nevertheless can be controlled and treated. A competent approach, including psychological therapy and drug treatment, will allow you to successfully and quickly get rid of the problem.