6 Causes and Solutions for Panic Attacks
Greetings, Beautiful Soul,
You’re on the street, in the office, or even in bed asleep. Suddenly, you feel your heart pounding,
You’re disorientated, or you even dissociate from your body. You may think you’re going crazy or even dying. Thankfully, it’s not as bad as it seems. What’s happening is you’re having a panic attack – definitely petrifying in the moment, but treatable. There are ways to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of panic and move towards a more fulfilling – and peaceful – life.
While every case is different, here are some common causes of panic attacks and how you can work towards alleviating them.
There are known medical issues associated with or that can cause panic attacks. They include thyroid dysfunction, low blood sugar, and certain heart problems such as mitral valve prolapse, also known as a leaky heart valve.
Another cause of panic attacks is withdrawal from prescription medication psychotropic medication such as antidepressants.
Talking to a doctor about your symptoms can help determine the root cause of your particular attacks.
Sometimes not knowing what a panic attack entails can create more problems than the attack itself. If you don’t know what to expect, when it happens, you will be more alarmed and experience intensified symptoms. Understanding your own body’s reactions to a panic attack can help you embrace the experience when it does happen, thereby reducing its severity.
Kicking the Habit
In many societies, there is a lot of pressure to perform, excel, and work hard. This leads people to take stimulants such as nicotine, caffeine, or even cocaine and other narcotics to stay awake, keep working, and be who they’re expected to be. Using such stimulants and enjoying the success presumed to come with their use can lead to dependence and addiction. To someone suffering from a strong addiction, it might not always be clear that it’s the stimulants amplifying the emotions that contribute to panic attacks. Likewise, alcohol can cause problems in the body that lead to panic.
Abandoning bad habits is easier said than done, though, especially, when they’re reinforced by our social
circles. Sometimes we need a little help getting started and one tool for nicotine addiction is Allen Carr’s “Easy Way To Stop Smoking”. Another important tool is goal setting, for example, try to go for one hour without a cigarette, one week without a drink. When that goal’s achieved, set another, increasing the time without using the addictive substance. This method is a good way to steadily gain control over habits.
The Power of Breathing
The link that breathing has to our bodies’ deeper processes isn’t obvious to most people. It is one of few necessary bodily functions that we can consciously control. Breathing slowly and deeply can help us deal with panic much faster than words of encouragement.
Give it a try. First, breathe deeply from your belly, then fill your lower lungs, then your upper lungs. Next, empty them in order. Repeat the exercise, breathing in and out for a count of five, then again for a count of 10. Try holding your breath a little every time you breathe in.
By gaining control of your breathing, you have more control over your body and feelings.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Sometimes our own beliefs and thought patterns cause panic attacks. Our thoughts happen so
quickly, and our beliefs are often subconsciously ingrained that we might not even realise how they affect our emotions. Using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), or talk therapy, though, we can explore the connection between events, beliefs, thoughts, and emotions. When we make our beliefs more conscious, we are more free to examine them. For example, you might fear that if you have a panic attack at work, your coworkers will think that you’re weird, a freak, and make you a social outcast. When you say this belief out loud and really think about your coworkers, though, you realise the idea sounds silly and most of them would likely be understanding.
A Range of Possibilities
Going through a panic attack is difficult. While you might feel alone in that moment, ultimately, there are many available resources to help you gain control of and minimize their effects.
Resources and Tools
Internet research and guides
Therapist/Cognitive behavioural therapy
Connect with friends
You are the hero and you’re free to rescue yourself.