To understand the meaning of the term “anxiety attack,” it is essential to understand the difference between “anxiety” and an “anxiety attack.” Anxiety is a normal emotional state of mind that is caused as a reaction to a stressful situation or a distressing physical condition. This normal condition takes the form of an aberration when the individual continues to experience stress even when the stressful situation or condition is long past or if the individual experiences severe anxiety or stress in the absence of any obvious stress causing conditions. It is often difficult to distinguish between a heart attack and an anxiety attack, as the symptoms for both are almost similar. Keep reading to learn more about how to cope with anxiety attacks.
An anxiety attack is usually characterized by several or all of the following symptoms; acute escalating tension, pain in the chest, nausea, feeling light-headed, dizziness, sweating and loss of one’s perception of one’s ‘self’. The individual is said to be experiencing an anxiety attack when he/she begins to experience several of these symptoms that become severe as the time passes and usually reach a peak within ten minutes.
Anxiety attacks can be divided into several distinct categories, each with its own characteristics and a few symptoms that are common to all categories. The National Institute of Mental Health divides Anxiety disorder into six main categories; panic disorder, a sudden anxiety attack that may be caused due to no apparent reason; generalized anxiety disorder that affects the individual on a daily basis i.e. he/she suffers from chronic tension; obsessive-compulsive disorder, a condition in which the individual suffers from an urgent need to engage in certain rituals and activities without any need for the individual to engage in them; social phobia, a condition in which the individual feels overly anxious in everyday social situations; specific phobias, the attacks that are caused by a fear, usually irrational, of something and Post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition that follows a traumatic event where the individual has persistent thoughts of the event and feels emotionally traumatized.
Medical researchers have discovered a number of reasons that are considered the possible causes for attacks. Genetics, drug abuse, environment and personality characteristics are considered the main culprits that induce attacks. However, there may be many more triggers of anxiety attacks that have yet to be discovered by the medical researchers.
How To Cope With Anxiety Attacks
Stress and anxiety are considered to be the natural defense mechanisms of the body that are triggered off whenever we have to face an unpleasant situation. However, when these defense mechanisms take the form of severe anxiety or stress that persists even when there is no unpleasant source to trigger them off, it becomes necessary to recognize that these are an anxiety attack symptom and are abnormal, which means that the individual needs medical treatment or other sources of help to be able to lead a normal life.
It is essential that, to seek appropriate help, people should be able to recognize an anxiety attack symptom in their own behavior and also in the behavior of their loved ones. The most common symptoms of an anxiety attack are as follows; constant worry over sources of trouble that are absent and are unlikely to be ever present; body pains, soreness and muscular tension that does not emanate from any illness or injury; insomnia; dizziness and lightheadedness; nausea or diarrhea and recurring troublesome thoughts that prevent you from engaging yourself in any activity. Even though most of us may experience an anxiety attack symptom once in a while, it is the recurrence of these symptoms over and over again that indicate that the individual may be suffering from Generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias, post traumatic disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder.
An anxiety attack symptom can often last for more than a few minutes and the severity of the symptoms usually increases with time. There is never an apparent cause present as a cause for these symptoms and most people who have recurrent anxiety attacks also suffer consistently from the fear of having another attack. If you or any of your loved ones are experiencing a repetition of the symptoms mentioned above, it is desirable to seek professional help right away. Contrary to a general opinion that anxiety attacks subside with age, they may actually become worse and manifest themselves in more complicated symptoms. Virtually all cases of an anxiety attack symptom can now be handled through drug therapy combined with behavior therapy.
Here’s a video that talks more about anxiety attacks and how to curb them.
We hope that you found this article interesting and useful and that now you know how to cope with anxiety attacks a little bit better. If you have any questions, please use the comment form below. Also, if you happen to be looking for a natural product that can help with anxiety, have a look at what Redi-Calm can do for you.
Disclaimer – Please keep in mind that we are not trained professionals here at Tools For Depression And Anxiety. The information on how to cope with anxiety attacks mentioned above were posted for informational purposes only. Please consult your doctor for any mental health issues.