How do you cease a panic assault?

Each week we ask a well being query to a medical knowledgeable. This week: I generally have panic assaults, what can I do about it? Psychologist Emel Özbek: “It’s important to understand {that a} panic assault includes innocent bodily signs.”

What precisely is a panic assault?

“Panic is a startle response. Once you startle one thing, all types of issues occur in your physique. Stress hormones are launched, respiratory and coronary heart price speed up and blood strain rises. The physique does all this so that you could react shortly and effectively to the hazard. : to arrange for battle or flight, for instance.”

A startle response solely lasts a second. Panic assaults final for much longer, proper?

“That is proper. The hazard you suspected often seems to not be actual. As quickly because it has handed, the startle response disappears. In a panic assault there’s usually no hazard, however you dwell too lengthy on the bodily sensations and misread them.”

“Listening to it and making errors in considering makes the bodily signs worse and creates a vicious circle.”

Emel Özbek, medical psychologist

“For instance, you are feeling your coronary heart pounding and you might be afraid that you’re having a coronary heart assault. Otherwise you discover that you’re respiratory sooner and you might be afraid of passing out. Since you pay a lot consideration to it and make errors in considering, the bodily signs worsen and come up there is a vicious circle.”

However panic assaults do not simply occur out of the blue, do they?

“No. They’re often triggered by one thing: fatigue, stress or anxiousness. If the anxiousness will get too excessive, bodily reactions usually come up and the misinterpretation of those reactions can result in panic assaults.”

Are you able to eliminate it your self?

“Typically it goes away by itself. If it would not, you may go to your physician. He can then refer you to the poh-ggz or to a psychologist.”

Is it good to keep away from conditions or locations that may set off?

“No. Avoidance is a short-term answer. In the long run, it could actually result in a panic dysfunction. You develop into increasingly withdrawn. This reinforces to your self that it’s good to keep away from the concern, whereas it’s important is that you simply understand that these are innocent bodily signs. That vicious circle must be damaged. It is not going to be potential to keep away from it.”

If the panic assaults are too unhealthy, is remedy potential?

“Actually. Cognitive behavioral remedy works effectively with a panic dysfunction. Psychoeducation is essential. Some purchasers are afraid that they’ll cross out throughout a panic assault. If you already know that that is virtually unimaginable, as a result of you’ve hypertension once you panic and once you faint low blood strain can cut back anxiousness.”

“Publicity additionally helps: simply exposing your self to the bodily sensations after which experiencing that what you concern shouldn’t be taking place corrects your anxious ideas.”

And medicines?

“Medicine is an possibility if the complaints are very severe and each day functioning is restricted an excessive amount of. But when purchasers handle to get the panic assaults below management with the assistance of remedy, that’s preferable.”

Emel Özbek is a medical psychologist at Psy Helmond and GGzE in Eindhoven.

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