Panic attacks are abrupt bursts of terror, panic, or anxiety that can occur without warning. Panic attacks may be overwhelming and bring with them both physical and emotional symptoms for those who experience them. You might struggle to breathe while having a panic attack, you perspire profusely and tremble, and your heart races.
A panic attack might be triggered by a variety of things, and it’s not uncommon for one to be triggered by no apparent reason. Panic attacks are most often induced by a stimulus, although the stimuli vary from person to person.
You may experience a panic attack if you:
- have panic or anxiety disorder
- use certain substances or medications
- have an overactive thyroid
- have a condition that involves psychosis
- social events and public speaking
- situations that remind you of past or current stress in your life
Is it possible to avoid having a panic attack?
You can’t always prevent a panic attack from happening, but there are certain things that might help you feel better:
- do breathing exercises every day
- get regular exercise
- follow a diet that is low in added sugar and eat regularly to avoid glucose spikes
- avoid caffeine, smoking, and alcohol, as they may make anxiety worse
- seek counseling and other professional help
- ask your doctor about local support groups
Avoiding particular triggers is one way to help avoid a panic attack, but it isn’t always practical or appropriate. It’s best to wait until you’ve worked with a specialist to learn how to handle situations.
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