How do you know if you’re suffering from anxiety and panic attacks? While everyone feels anxious at times, anxiety disorders are characterized by persistent and excessive worry or fear that interferes with daily life.
Common symptoms of anxiety include racing heart, difficulty breathing, nausea, trouble sleeping, dizziness, irritability, sweating, and shortness of breath. Sufferers often feel like they’re on the verge of a panic attack—even when they aren’t in danger—and the attacks can be very frightening.
Learning more about anxiety can help you understand your symptoms better. Fortunately, there are lots of places you can go for information. For example, try a quick search on Google using phrases like causes of panic attacks, anxiety symptoms or anxiety attack signs.
You’ll be amazed at how much information is out there! This guide isn’t a replacement for medical care, but it’s a great place to start if you’re looking for answers.
Coping With Anxiety
It’s estimated that 1 in 5 people will experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, but many don’t get diagnosed or seek treatment. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has been studying anxiety since 1988; one of its most recent studies found that half of Americans say they’ve experienced a period of extreme stress over a one-year period, while 40% report being constantly stressed.
But there is hope: according to Mental Health America, getting professional help can reduce or eliminate symptoms 80% of the time—and psychotherapy or medication can be effective if taken in tandem.
What Causes Anxiety?
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what causes anxiety. It may have something to do with an imbalance of chemicals in your brain, such as serotonin. It may also have something to do with how your brain processes stress. There are probably many different factors that play a role in causing anxiety, so there’s no single fix-all solution for all anxiety sufferers.
A good therapist can help you deal with these things one at a time until you find what works best for you—you might just need some coping strategies for dealing with high-stress situations, or cognitive therapy techniques for reframing irrational thoughts when they occur.
Physical Symptoms of an Anxiety Attack
- Pounding or racing heart
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Hot flashes
Signs of anxiety in your child
If you have a child who is showing signs of anxiety or exhibiting symptoms of an anxiety disorder, there are several things you can do to help them cope with their anxiety. First, let your child know that you’re available for support. Second, make sure your child has healthy outlets for stress like spending time outdoors or engaging in physical activity such as walking or jogging.
If a friend or family member has dealt with anxiety disorders in his or her life, consider asking if he/she would be willing to talk with your child about it – having other people talk about their experiences can help put fears into perspective for kids.
Managing anxiety with exercise
Exercise can help you manage stress, which is a primary cause of anxiety. In particular, aerobic exercise—exercises that increase your heart rate and strengthen your cardiovascular system—can have a positive impact on your physical health and mental well-being.
Try to find time for 30 minutes of vigorous exercise each day. Exercise at least five days per week for at least three months; it takes that long for exercise benefits to start kicking in.
What NOT To Do When Feeling Anxious
Stay Away From Tranquilizers. If you experience panic attacks that involve physical symptoms, like chest pain or a racing heart, experts advise against taking medications like Valium or Xanax that put you at risk for addiction. If there’s underlying anxiety or depression involved, then it’s okay for someone to take an anti-anxiety medication as prescribed by their doctor, but if it’s just plain stress reactions due to situational issues, then self-help is fine, says Koppelman.
Stay Active. Exercise can be an effective way of managing anxiety—so long as it doesn’t lead you to push yourself too hard and end up feeling worse. Anxiety is based on poor conditioning, says Koppelman.
Common Triggers for Anxious Feelings
Our moods are heavily influenced by our daily habits, and if you have anxiety or panic attacks, it’s possible that certain activities or patterns could be setting off your feelings. If you know what triggers anxiety for you, however, you can easily plan around them.
It may be a stressful situation at work or even a particular type of person that brings on anxiety. Learning how to deal with these triggers is key in preventing feelings of anxiousness from taking over your day.
The Fight or Flight Response Explained
The fight or flight response (sometimes called simply, the stress response) occurs when your brain receives a signal that danger is present. This triggers a cascade of biological events: your heart beats faster, which can lead to chest pain. Your breathing becomes shallow and quick as your body gets ready for action.
Blood vessels in your hands constrict so that you’re able to grip things tightly, and blood flow to some parts of your body slows down so that you don’t bleed out if you are injured. Your eyes take in more information than usual, like looking at an approaching animal or predator trying to determine if it is dangerous or not—are those teeth bared? Does it have claws? Are its ears back?
Dealing With Panic Attacks
The Most Common Treatment for panic attacks is an anti-anxiety drug. If your panic attacks are relatively infrequent and you don’t want to get hooked on a prescription, consider some natural remedies. There are a few different methods you can try at home that have been shown effective in reducing anxiety, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises.
These natural treatments will help you learn how to deal with anxiety without medication so you don’t have to worry about developing addiction problems later on.
Anxiety Medication Can Help Control Symptoms, But Is Not a Cure
When anxiety attacks become so severe that they are disabling, medication may be warranted. But there’s a wide range of medications for anxiety, from anti-anxiety drugs like Ativan or Xanax to antidepressants like Paxil.
If you can’t find one that works for you, your doctor may eventually prescribe a benzodiazepine such as Valium or Klonopin. (Some people prefer benzodiazepines; others hate them.) Sometimes this work well enough to allow you to taper off them after a few months or a year.
However, many people need something more long-term — which is where antidepressant medications like Prozac come in.
There are many symptoms of anxiety, which vary from person to person. Learning how to deal with anxiety is an important first step in getting a handle on your condition. The best way to treat your anxiety is by seeing a doctor. They will be able to diagnose you and refer you for any extra help if needed. In addition, there are plenty of self-help techniques that can be done at home or anywhere else that might help improve your situation as well.
It’s also important to make sure that you’re doing everything in moderation and trying not rush through things too quickly; try taking things easy for a little while until you get used to changes. Hope you will now aware with anxiety and panic attacks.