HOW TO DEAL WITH PANIC ATTACKS
By Mansimran Kaur, Psychologist
A panic episode is characterized by a strong sense of fear and anxiety. It frequently occurs when people are stressed out about a future event or have recently gone through a trying or stressful time.
Children in particular may experience highly scary panic attacks, although they may typically be ended with treatment. It’s crucial to understand that a panic attack won’t injure you and that, even though you might not realize it at the time, the feeling will pass.
A panic attack is a sudden feeling of overwhelming fear and worry that is typically accompanied by severe physical symptoms such as dizziness, shortness of breath, and a racing heart.
During an attack, many kids experience fear and a sensation that something terrible is about to happen. Even when there is no actual threat, these emotions can still exist.
In both children and adults, the exact cause of panic attacks is not always known. We are aware that having a panic attack might result from experiencing something tough or stressful or from feeling apprehensive about it. These circumstances consist of:
The death of a loved one; a traumatic event like abuse or neglect; stress related to activities like exams, friendships, or relationships; anxiety brought on by a challenging experience at home or at school; an experience that was violent; anxiety produced by exams.
Some methods for assisting someone experiencing panic attacks are:
- Acknowledge the episode: At times, it may seem simpler to simply avoid an environment or circumstance that causes us anxious. It’s normal to experience this. Avoiding circumstances, though, can amplify our fear. The objective is to teach people how to deal with their feelings in certain situations rather than to avoid situations that make them feel anxious.
- Ask the person to name something for each letter of the alphabet as you go through it. These may be things like names, places, meals, or animals. This will cause them to use a different portion of their brain and divert their focus from their fears and anxieties.
- Pay attention to your breathing: Deep abdominal breathing helps us take oxygen into our lungs and is incredibly soothing. Here is a simple 3-step procedure:
- Put your hand on your belly.
- Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth for five full breaths, taking five seconds to do each.
- Describe how your child’s tummy is softly inflated like a balloon when they inhale, and how the air slowly escapes the balloon when they exhale.
- Locate safe spaces: If a person feels anxious in a circumstance, help them find a place where they can take a deep breath and reason clearly. This might be a physical location that they are accustomed to, such as your home or their room, or perhaps an imagined one, such as their favorite area of the park or by the sea, where it feels tranquil.
- Encourage them to use their senses: Our senses are effective tools for coping with stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions. Here’s a quick trick to persuade the user to use them.
Request that he take a seat calmly and breathe in and out slowly. Next, have them list four things they can see, three they can hear, two they can smell, and one they can taste that aren’t upsetting.
When panic attacks are severe, the sufferer could be reluctant to leave the house. It’s essential to seek medical assistance if you find someone exhibiting persistent signs of panic attacks. Panic attacks can typically be stopped with treatment. Serious consequences can sometimes be avoided with early treatment.