What are Panic Attacks and 6 Ways to Deal with them

Every 1 in 7 people suffers from mental health issues like panic, anxiety, depression, etc. Studies have shown that panic attacks affect women more than men. The female to male ratio is 1:17.

With our stressful lifestyles, panic attacks are quite common. To help us understand and deal with these better, we spoke with Dr. Bir Bahadur Sinha, (MBBS), Neuropsychiatrist. He enlightened us about the various foods that can help prevent or control panic attacks.

As per studies, people living in the cities, who are 30 years of age have experienced a panic attack at least once in their lifetime.

Panic attacks are intense surges of fear, panic or anxiety that are overwhelming and have physical as well as emotional symptoms.

During a panic attack, you may often find difficulty breathing, may sweat profusely, tremble and may feel your heart pounding. Some people might experience chest pain and a feeling of detachment from reality. Additionally, some people may feel like they’re having a heart attack or a stroke.

A panic attack starts without any warning and lasts up to 15 mins. In extreme cases, the attacks can last up to an hour. These attacks begin due to intense apprehensions or fears and can begin at any time. As per many studies, it has been noted that panic attacks are more in women than in men.

Some common causes of Panic Attack

The causes vary from person to person. However, some common reasons are:

  • Mental health issues like depression
  • Family history
  • Substance abuse like drugs, alcohol, tobacco, etc.
  • Medical conditions like overactive thyroid

Symptoms of a Panic Attack

If you are having a panic attack, following are some of the symptoms you might experience:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling of suffocation
  • Heart palpitation
  • Sweating and shaking
  • Nausea
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Fear of dying

If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to rule out any other problems like heart rhythm issues, hyperthyroidism, etc. Once these problems have been eliminated, you can begin the diagnosis for panic disorder.

6 preventive measures to deal with a Panic Attack
Panic attacks can be scary and can affect a person at any time. Here are some things you could do to control panic attacks:

  1. Medication
    Consult your doctor and based on your severity, the doctor will prescribe some medicines that might provide some relief.
  2. Psychotherapy
    If you experience extreme attacks, you should consult a psychotherapist who can help you deal with the attacks and treat you for the same.
  3. Deep breathing
    In case you feel like you’re panicking, take deep breaths. Breath in, breathe out and focus on your breathing. Breathe in for four counts, hold for a second and breathe out for four counts again.
  4. Regular Exercise
    To maintain your mental and physical health, it is important that you exercise on a regular basis. It is essential that you exercise for 30 mins a day, at least. Doing so, you’ll notice the change it brings to your lifestyle, mood and health.
  5. Healthy diet
    Along with exercise, it is also important to maintain a healthy diet. If you tend to overeat regularly, you must be cautious to not let this happen. These small changes will, in general, change your mood and help reduce panic attacks.
  6. Meditation
    Being mindful and meditation can help in keeping calm. Many times, one feels like they have strayed away from reality. Thus, it is important to keep your state of mind in check and in control.

In case you feel any symptoms or have queries regarding Panic Attack, do consult top doctors on the Dhani app. With Dhani doctor, you can video consult any of our doctors in just 10 seconds who will be able to help you 24×7 with your health concerns. Download today to try free consultations for 30 days.

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