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Human problems of the 21st century: what causes panic attacks and how to deal with them

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In a difficult time and a period of global turbulence, anyone can become a victim of anxiety, or even a panic attack. Therefore, it is so important to know its signs in order to recognize the moment of an attack in time and cope with a destructive condition. Chief Physician of the Psychiatric Clinic Hospital Marcel Dodica in conversation with a correspondent FAN talked about several ways to deal with a panic attack and an anxiety attack. He also explained why modern man is subject to this phenomenon.

According to the psychiatrist, the most common causes of panic attacks are: anxiety disorder, stress, for example, due to job loss, depression and even exhaustion. Panic attacks can also be provoked by taking certain medications, as well as drugs and alcohol. Often they occur due to diseases of the respiratory system: the patient begins to panic that he cannot breathe. This also includes cardiovascular disease. For example, a person has an increased pulse, he hears his heart beating, which causes a panic attack, Dodica explained.

A panic attack itself is a sudden and severe attack of anxiety and fear, which is accompanied by a rapid heartbeat, chest pain, shortness of breath, muscle spasms, dizziness, nausea, and other unpleasant sensations. As the doctor said, sometimes during panic attacks a person has a feeling that everything that happens is unreal, he feels detached from his own body, as if a person is outside the body and is watching what is happening from the side.

But there is a more destructive phenomenon for the human psyche – this is a panic disorder. A state in which panic attacks occur spontaneously from several times a year to several times a day, and are accompanied by a state of expectation of their occurrence.

“The word“ expectation ”is worth highlighting separately, for many people the episode of a panic attack is not so terrible, but its expectation is destructive. It is the very expectation of a panic attack that is painful – it’s scary to drive, it’s scary to be alone, it’s scary to leave the house. Because a person is afraid in the event of a panic not to cope with the situation or not to get help. Very often, the course of panic disorder is accompanied by a feeling of despair. Panic attacks are uncontrollable and it is very traumatic for a person. All attempts to suppress fear and pull themselves together end in failure, and the more a person resists the manifestation of a panic attack, the stronger his disappointment, a feeling of powerlessness and inability to influence the situation. But it is worth noting that, first of all, the person himself is able to help himself, ”Doditsa emphasized.

The doctor suggested several ways to instantly get rid of anxiety and panic attacks. First, you need to feel the support under you, in the truest sense of the word. To do this, you can sit on a chair, stand against the wall, throw a blanket over yourself. All this creates a sense of security.

Secondly, it is necessary to reclaim the boundaries. The easiest way is to put one hand on the shoulder of the other hand, put the other under the armpit, as if hugging yourself. You need to hold on like this for a few seconds.

Thirdly, you can play on the contrast of tastes – eat a slice of lemon or take a cold shower. All this will help to switch attention.

Also, with a panic attack, focusing on distant things will help. For example, on a TV, a picture, a watch. But you can simply name out loud everything that you see around – the brain will be loaded with a third-party task and anxiety will go away.

“During a panic attack, people begin to have a rapid heartbeat, from which there is a fear of death, and to stop this attack, it is very effective to conduct an Ashner-Dagnini test – this action will help reduce tachycardia, and in some cases even restore heart rhythm. To do this, you need to sit comfortably leaning back, or lie down, close your eyes, use the tips of your thumbs to moderately and evenly press both eyeballs in the region of their inner upper corners for 4-10 seconds. Then stop pressing, and after a minute repeat again, ”the doctor advised.

As he explained, pressure on the eyeball through the optic nerve and centers of the medulla causes excitation of the vagus nerve, which slows the heart rate. In addition, the reflex caused by pressure on the eyeball also extends to the centers that regulate breathing and blood pressure, which leads to stabilization of breathing and a decrease in blood pressure.

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