Cathy – “Panic Attacks”

 

This issue is relevant to me because I have suffered with it in the past, although I never realized it – I simply thought that I was stressing myself out a lot more than I should have been. In addition, I also chose this topic because I know that there are a lot of teenagers that suffer from panic disorder and feel alone and misunderstood.

Panic attacks are basically periods of intense fear and anxiety that are usually associated with a lot of physical and psychological symptoms like:

-Sweating

-Trembling

-Feeling unable to breathe or very fast breathing

-Chest pains

-Dizziness

-Tingling or numbness in your hands and feet

-Hot or cold flushes

-Feeling nauseous and claustrophobic

-Being extremely emotional/uncontrollable crying

-Feelings of unreality

Panic attacks happen very quickly, usually peaking within 5 to 20 minutes, however there have been a few cases in which panic attacks have lasted up to an hour. When panic attacks occur, they usually happen one after another, therefore these cases that are said to have lasted an hour are probably 2 or more consecutive panic attacks, not just one long one.

  • Why do panic attacks occur?

Think of it this way:

Your brain stores all your memories (everything you’ve learned, seen, heard,etc.)            This means your brain also stores your recollections of panic attacks (where it                happened, who you were with when it happened, etc.), so it begins to train your            body to react in a similar way when you are faced with a similar situation.

  •  Here are some causes of panic attacks:

-Stress: When you are stressed, you think a lot more negatively, and this leads              to anxiety, which then triggers the panic attacks.

 -Heredity/Genetics: Panic attacks are actually considered a disorder – panic disorder. Just like how other diseases can be passed on in a family from generation to generation, panic disorder can be passed on from parent to child. Not all people who suffer from panic disorder have family members that also have it, although it may be a contributing factor.

-Intelligence: Surprisingly, panic attacks are more common in people with a                   higher IQ because they can focus more internally, increasing their awareness for             their physical and emotional sensations, triggering panic attacks.

-Hyper-sensitivity: Hyper-sensitivity is the overall awareness of your                                body. Everyone experiences raised heart rates, aches, pains, and the like                      everyday, however almost all people who do not suffer from panic disorder                    usually do not even notice this. People who suffer from panic attacks, however,            are over-sensitive to these feelings. They notice and feel every one and                          also experience a rush of anxiety and adrenaline whenever this happens, which            results in panic attacks.

For me, I think my panic attacks began when I was about 9 or 10 years old, although rarely. Eventually  though, my panic disorder took its toll. I think a lot of my panic attacks came from stress – I lost too much weight, I lost my appetite, I thought too negatively for my own good, I spent less time doing what made me happy… and I came home having a panic attack everyday. It eventually became sort of a routine for me, which I didn’t tell anyone about, and let me tell you now, it was NOT good. If you suffer from panic attacks, do not cope with it by yourself; it will only make you feel more alone.

It came to the point where everyone in my family knew that it was affecting me in a way which was unhealthy and unfit for someone my age, and I decided enough was enough, and that I would find a way to deal with it because I did not want to spend the rest of my life like that. I think the only way to deal with panic attacks is to take it easy and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. If you feel you can handle it, you can also take the medical route and see a doctor. Panic disorder also makes you not want to go anywhere and do anything because you are afraid of having a panic attack if you do so – if you feel this way, do NOT let these feelings rule over you; push yourself to get out of  your comfort zone and try new things – but don’t do anything that you think will make you uncomfortable.

Lastly, I think that doing this topic has made me more aware of both myself and other people; I never knew that panic attacks were considered a disorder, or that intelligence can be a cause of panic attacks, or a lot of the topics I just covered, for that matter – I never even realized until now that what I have been experiencing for the past 3 and a half years were panic attacks. I really hope this has helped you in some way, and if you are reading this, and you suffer from panic attacks and feel like it will be like this for the rest of your life, just remember – it’s never easy to deal with panic attacks, and no matter how scary it is, it will not kill you. Panic attacks aren’t uncommon, especially in teenagers, so you are not alone. 🙂

8 thoughts on “Cathy – “Panic Attacks”

  1. I think that you’ve been through a lot with panic attacks, but you really know how to handle them. I wonder though, how common it is to have panic attacks.

  2. This is really good! Sometimes i get mini panic attacks from swimming. They really scare me but now i know what do do when i have one.

  3. I think this explains a lot about panic attacks and really shows what you understand about the topic. I sometimes get mini panic attacks when I have a lot of projects going on, but now I know what to do. I was just wondering, what do you do when someone around you is having a panic attack?

  4. I think this blog post really shows your experience with dealing with Panic attacks. I wonder about what you should do if someone is having a Panic attack. Should you try and snap them out? Or should you try and get help?

    • I think the best way to deal with someone who is having a panic attacks is to just stay calm and let them know that you’re there if ever they need help or support; be patient and understanding. However, don’t say forceful things like: “Pull yourself together,” or “Please stop crying,” or “Don’t be a coward.” Instead, say encouraging things like: “You can do it no matter how you feel now. Tell me what you want me to do for you. I know this is very painful for you, but remember that this will only last for a few more minutes. Breathe slowly.” Don’t try and get help from someone else because it brings more attention and highlights the fact that he/she is having a panic attack, making them feel abnormal.

  5. Before, I didn’t know that you suffered from panic attacks during the past. But after reading this blog post, I realized that you actually did. I’ve never encountered panic attacks before or have known about them that well but this blog post really helped me to understand more about panic attacks. For example, I learned the many physical and psychological symptoms of panic attacks. I think that this blog post is really insightful and well researched. You’ve stated the facts and questions one might ask about panic attacks very well! Great job! 🙂 But I wonder, what do you do when someone is having a panic attack? Once again, awesome job on this blog post Cathy 😀

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