The manifestation of anxiety can cause many to experience debilitating symptoms of panic attacks which can lead to an avoidance of situations, places and even people. There are two types of people though, there are people that experience a panic attack and label it as an uncomfortable and unsettling experience that is no real threat to the individuals health, thus the fear of recurring symptoms of panic attacks isn’t present (or go unnoticed). Than there are the other types of people that store the memory of a panic attack deep in their subconscious mind, in this case the connection has been made between the fear of recurring panic attacks and the possibility of a real threat to the individuals physical and mental health. This is when things start to become chronic, and the label that goes with this fear of recurring panic attacks is commonly known as having panic disorder, which can be characterized by the following:
- Repeated panic attacks for at least 6 months
- Constantly ‘checking in’ and being overly concerned that another panic attack is near
- Feeling like things are mentally and possibility physically going out of control
- Experiencing a big increase in stress and anxiety on a daily, or possibly hourly basis
So What Are The Symptoms Of Anxiety That Lead To Panic Disorder?
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Tingling or numbness in the fingers and hands
- Profuse sweating and possibly chills
- Overly accelerated heartbeat
- Stomach pain and nausea
The usual time frame for experiencing a full blown panic attack is somewhere around 10 minutes, but the duration and the symptoms of panic attacks can vary from person to person.
Two Things You Must NOT Do If You Experienced Your First Panic Attack Recently
#1) Do Not Visit A Doctor – I know this goes against what many ‘professionals’ out there say, but it’s important that you don’t JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS and book a doctors appointment right after you’ve experienced a panic attack. Take your time, look into what might have brought on the panic attack, and move on with your life without feeding it beliefs that don’t support your mental health.
#2) Do Not Look For Support And Reassurance On Doctor Google – Yes others have had panic attacks before and yes others have also experienced similar symptoms of panic attacks that you have, and yes they’ve all lived. Understand that by researching your symptoms online and looking for others that have had a similar panic attack experience as you have, could open the door to building a feared response that could get hard to break in the future.
The goal here is of course to learn from your previous panic attack (if there was something that brought it on) and to not let it happen again, but, equipping yourself to manage your panic attack symptoms when they become present is just as important. The way you do this is by focusing on your mental and physical reaction to the symptom, and the possible situation. Conditioning yourself to physically do things that don’t add to your fear of the symptoms, as well training thoughts that reaffirm your healthy lifestyle will go a long way to preventing chronic anxiety and panic disorder.