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Fighting Panic - Panic attacks are harmless

Updated on August 7, 2012

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What is Panic Disorder

Panic Disorder is the name given to the illness in which people have recurrent anxiety attacks.

I have a website totally dedicated to Panic Disorder and I've seen lots of cases during that experience, therefore I'll expose some of the common info I get from those afflicted by this illness.

An anxiety attack is a scary moment when everything seems out of control, chances are, if you are visiting this hub, you already know what a panic attack/anxiety attack is.

For those who don't know: You have the feeling you are going to die/faint, your heart pounds faster and faster, skips beats or beats irregularly, you feel sick, you gasp for air and start feeling lots of scary symptoms.

The difference between a person with panic disorder and a person with generalized anxiety is that panic disorder patients have panic attacks very frequently. It can be a very debilitating disease that will pin people in their homes or even make them develop Agoraphobia.

Panic Disorder is treatable, but I'm not going to lie to you - it's hard! Many times it's a chronic disease. Even though my panic disorder is controlled I still feel anxious lots of times - I just cope with it better than before, and I've walked a long path to the healthy place I am now.

What I am going to give you are tips on how to overcome your panic disorder, how to control it, to be able to live normally.

Some Panic Symptoms

Panic Attacks Symptoms
Panic Disorder Symptoms
Concerned About Health
Rapid Heart Beating
Excessive thinking about death
Feeling About to Faint
Fear of Medication
Chest Pain
Afraid of going nuts

Step 1 - Learn the Effects

I'm giving you my tips trough a "two steps to success" scheme.

First step: learning the effects.

Learn that all panic attacks, yes ALL, are harmless. Nobody ever died from a panic attack. Even though you think you're going to die - you are not. Thinking about dying is just another symptom of the attack.

So, the Panic Attack releases lots of stress hormones and substances. Adrenalin for example, its the substance that makes your heart pound faster.

But do you think our body would release substances in a fatal amount? Think again. Whatever you do, the Panic attack will pass. You can run, you can freeze, you can go to the hospital, you can puke, you can scream - but after your body notices you are getting dangerously stressed it makes the body anti-stress mechanism kick in, and you will feel better in 3 minutes. You will even feel sleepy and weak after that, so you don't have to worry about getting over stressed, it wont happen.

Step 1 summarized is - Learn that panic attacks are harmless, and every single one of them passes.

Step 2 - Knowledge

Knowledge is second step.

To learn how to cope with panic attacks you have to learn why you feel the way you do. Its simple:

Panic attacks are actually the body's defense mechanism to flee or fight any danger to your life. If you face a wolf, you will get these symptoms, and maybe they will save your life. Remember, Panic attacks are the defense mechanism kicking in when you are not in real danger - that is why you find it so disturbing.

Rapid Heartbeat: Your body makes your heart pound faster so the blood gets pumped to the main muscles in your body, so you can fight the wolf, or run away. It raises the amount of oxygen transported to them. It's a good buff if you are fighting, but its really uncomfortable when you are at the groceries or something.

Numbness: You feel numbness because the blood stops circulating on the surface of your body. This happens so if the wolf bites you or injures you, you won't bleed out. It's a great defense mechanism, but annoying when it is not needed.

Sickness: Your digestive system shuts down so the blood can be pumped into giving you additional strength.

Fear and Panic: You get terrified because your body wants you to run away and get to safety. It will do everything, even frighten you, to get you safe.

Getting Pale: The blood is not needed on the skin, and goes to your Big Muscles to aid you, once again.

So you see, these annoying symptoms give you an inhuman strength, but if you aren't needing it, you may feel the adverse effects more than the benefits, and think you are going to die.

So, now that you know of this, I think it will be easier for you to cope with the next panic attack you have.

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    • Rui Carreira profile image

      Rui Carreira 5 years ago from Torres Novas

      Wow, thanks for the awesome comment bac2basics.

      I know what anxiety looks like first hand, that's why it came so naturally to me...

    • bac2basics profile image

      Anne 5 years ago from Spain

      Hi Rui. This is a great hub and very detailed description of a panic attack, very well done. I suffer from anxiety from time to time and I do know of course just how terrible this feeling is and also that when it gets out of hand I do need medication until I feel able to cope and strong enough without it. Many thanks for following me, after reading this great hub I will do the same and follow you.

    • Rui Carreira profile image

      Rui Carreira 5 years ago from Torres Novas

      Amen to that! It's just another long-term illness like diabetes... You got to learn to cope with it.

    • CJWood71 profile image

      Christopher J Wood 5 years ago from Florida, USA

      Very informative hub, voted up! I have suffered panic attacks as long as I can remember and almost always with no reason. I have found that a few minutes in a quiet place does wonders for me in calming the symptoms. I just wish others could understand what we go through and not think it is all in our heads.

    • Rui Carreira profile image

      Rui Carreira 5 years ago from Torres Novas

      Thanks for the support Rodric... yeah it is scary to watch... you gotta be strong and remind yourself to not let the victim see you are scared though.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Johnson 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I have a family member who suffers from this disorder and this was very helpful for me. I had no idea how natural a panic attack is. It is not something scary anymore because I know that no harm is done, but it sure looks like it when my sibling has one.

      I voted this up and shared it.

    • Rui Carreira profile image

      Rui Carreira 5 years ago from Torres Novas

      You are right. Learning these steps I mention are just a way to be able to float through panic attacks better.

    • meloncauli profile image

      meloncauli 5 years ago from UK

      Thanks for sharing this information. Can I just add, it is best not to try to control panic? Trying to control it depicts a fight. A fight increases anxiety/adrenaline release. Passive acceptance or nonchalance works well but it is a big brave step that many are afraid to take. As a therapist I found understanding what it is is not enough for most people. At the point of panic most is forgotten. I shall be writing a hub soon on my take on what to do . Voted interesting and thanks.