Many have experienced panic attacks at least once, and if this is an isolated case, then there is no harm to health and social activity. If panic occurs regularly, attacks pose a lot of problems. It is generally accepted that the cause of a panic attack is – suppressed response to stress. There are three ways for the body to respond to stress, to a threat. – fight, run away or hide, freeze. This applies to all living beings, for a person, due to social norms, a certain upbringing, and other restrictions – it is not always possible to respond to a threat. Panic attacks have a chain of causes in their origin, psychotherapy makes them aware, and some techniques – control your condition. In fact, a panic attack is a startle response when there is no real threat. Various phobias can manifest themselves not only by avoiding certain situations or actions, but also in the form of panic attacks. Psychotherapists together with the patient treat panic attacks with the help of medications, psychotherapy, special training.
What are the symptoms of panic attacks
The condition that occurs with fright is associated with the release of adrenaline into the bloodstream. It is he who triggers the biological response to the threat, as we wrote – preparing for a fight or flight. There are changes in the work of the heart, lungs, kidneys, blood vessels, which are felt as symptoms of panic attacks, here are the most common:
- Feeling of fear, experiencing a threat to life
- Rapid heartbeat
- Shortness of breath, may also be «lump in the chest»
- Feeling hot or, conversely, it becomes cold and shivers
- Vessels can spasm, causing a headache
The patient can breathe quickly, complains of palpitations, «heart jumping». Symptoms subside within an hour. If panic attacks recur, they usually seek help from a psychotherapist or psychologist. Panic attacks can indicate an anxiety disorder or depression, or even physical illness. If a person experiences panic in a specific context more than once, phobias associated with those specific circumstances arise. Panic attack symptoms are stressful in themselves, and can pass in waves. Despite the very unpleasant symptoms, panic attacks can be successfully treated..
Not every sympathoadrenal crisis – panic attack.
There are three main types of sympathoadrenal crises:
Suppressed anxiety, a suppressed stress response, leads to an accumulation of nervous tension. The body prepares to respond to danger, all this is experienced as a panic attack. It lends itself to psychotherapy.
Adrenal adenoma – a benign tumor that produces more adrenaline than necessary can be the cause of panic attack symptoms. For diagnostics, ultrasound or MRI is done, tests are prescribed. It is treated promptly.
An epileptic seizure can be the cause of symptoms. Establish a connection between epileptic brain activity and panic attack using EEG studies.
Symptoms of psychogenic panic attacks and the other two types of sympathoadrenal crises are similar, but their treatment is different..
Strong-willed people who hide negative emotions, suppress them, do something «through I can not» more susceptible to panic attacks. Emotions that have not been lived can be repressed, but the body does not forget them. The accumulated excitement can discharge just in the form of a panic attack..
How psychotherapy helps treat panic attacks
Psychotherapy is a sure way to get rid of panic attacks. A psychotherapist will not calm down somehow, but on the contrary, in a rather energetic work with a patient, he will help to understand the reasons and teach self-regulation techniques.
Treating panic attacks takes time; it can take from a month to two. Given the patient’s condition, he is offered various methods of therapy. Recommendations for lifestyle changes can be made, mainly – of a general nature. Mode of activity, nutrition and physical activity partially affect panic conditions, so the doctor may recommend getting enough sleep, eating regularly, being more outdoors and, of course, doing physical education and yoga. It is recommended to give up watching TV and news, reduce the amount of caffeinated drinks to a minimum. Avoiding alcohol is also recommended..
Medications for the treatment of panic attacks
Medications are prescribed for severe and frequent panic attacks; they can temporarily eliminate or relieve symptoms. With pronounced symptoms, psychotherapy may not be possible, then medications are used to treat panic attacks of the following types:
Beta-blockers, partially block the effect of adrenaline on the body, with their help stop an attack or prevent a panic attack. These are anaprilin, atenolol and other drugs.
Tranquilizers reduce the excitability of the nervous system and interrupt a panic attack, for example, phenazepam, alprazolam and others.
Tranquilizers can also be used to prevent panic attacks. They quickly relieve symptoms, but do not treat the causes, so patients can take long-term tranquilizers, some of which cause drug dependence and reduce cognitive abilities. Usually tranquilizers can be prescribed for the first time, so that psychotherapeutic work is possible, selecting the minimum doses of drugs individually.
Antidepressants from a number of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as cipralex, paxil and others, for long-term use, for about six months, relieve panic attacks. But after the withdrawal of SSRI antidepressants, panic attacks may return. In order not to prescribe medications for a long time, and so that there is no relapse after cancellation, the psychotherapist will suggest working out the psychological causes of a panic attack..
Our psychotherapists will offer you modern medicinal and psychotherapeutic methods of treating panic attacks.
Panic disorder with or without agoraphobia, according to the authors, also amenable to therapy with venlafaxine in doses 75-225 mg / day, which was confirmed in placebo controlled studies. In two comparative studies lasting 12 weeks, similar efficacy was found for the use of venlafaxine at doses of 75-225 mg / day and paroxetine at a dose of 40 mg with a significant movement of drugs over placebo in terms of reducing the frequency of panic attacks and
the level of anticipation anxiety, as well as the level of achievement in remission (stopping panic attacks). At a dose of 225 mg / day, venlafaxine even surpassed paroxetine when comparing the percentage of patients, achieved remission.
In addition, the treatment of panic attacks has become the subject of special scientific investigations, particularly in combination with antidepressants. However, according to most researchers, panic disorder is not a kind of mental disorder and does not meet any of the definitions of mental disorders and is not directly related to the development of depression. Many patients do not recognize a panic attack as the beginning of depression and even if they know it, they do not want to use psychotropic drugs, because they are afraid that the treatment will ruin the mood of the patients. Some patients even insist that they do not need a doctor. In these cases, psychotherapy alone has proven to be effective. In the first place, the mental state is a condition, not a disease. If a panic attack occurs in an individual without depression, it is possible to treat and control it in the same way as any other health problem. The following information will help you to recognize panic attacks, what causes them and how to control and prevent them. In a panic attack, the body is under great stress, and this can occur when the symptoms of panic attack are similar to the symptoms of other disorders, in particular, they resemble symptoms of a general anxiety disorder. Many people think that this kind of situation means that there is an underlying problem. However, panic attack symptoms can be easily controlled by the use of the proper therapy. You may also have panic attacks when there is nothing alarming. Your life is unthreatened. You feel that you are very safe and secure. You are perfectly healthy. You have just eaten a nice meal. You are in love with a nice person. You are not involved in a dangerous situation, but you are tense. These situations are just a manifestation of a problem in your relationship with yourself and with others. This is more than enough to lead you into a situation of panic attack. You are afraid of losing your temper, you will have a nervous breakdown, get into a car accident or be involved in some other dangerous situation. Most people try to overcome panic attacks using anti-anxiety drugs. The main problem with these drugs is that they will never make you feel completely normal. They just reduce the effect of the attack. Most people who want to overcome their panic attacks will have to practice some exercises. Exercises can be used in combination with anti-anxiety drugs. You need to understand that panic attacks are very painful and can cause you great personal suffering. These attacks last from five to 10 minutes and can be repeated often. If you recognize that the attack is coming, you can try to prepare yourself. This will make it easier for you to handle the attack. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to prepare in advance for each attack. In this case, you will not have to struggle each time you experience a panic attack. You can then find ways to manage the situation. The panic attacks could be caused by certain events or situations. When the panic attacks come, you will experience a loss of control. They could be caused by other people, situations and even your own inner feelings and thoughts. These fears are like an iceberg. You can see them only partly. When you are exposed to a new situation, there will be some panic attacks. You can then see how anxious you are. If you notice that your fear of losing control is stronger than your fear of the situation, you will have a panic attack. If you can overcome your fear, you will be able to reduce your level of anxiety and avoid attacks. You will be able to confront your fears. There are a number of ways you can develop your ability to face and manage your fear. You will need to overcome your fear of panic attacks and realize that you can learn to manage your anxiety.