Have you ever experienced an intense level of fear, though there is no actual danger? Do you often feel nervous? Or do you worry that things would turn out bad even though they are unlikely to?
If you’ve ever experienced any of these emotions, you are having an anxiety attack. In mild situations, an anxiety attack isn’t a terrible thing. It can help a force to help you stay alert, focused, and motivate you to solve problems.
However, if these emotions are constant, uncomfortable, and overwhelming, then you are experiencing an anxiety disorder. The good news is there’s something you can do about it, and that’s why you are reading this.
Some of you that are new to this word, “Anxiety attack,” you may be wondering, what does it mean? Keep reading. You are about to find out.
Anxiety attack is a human reaction to danger. It occurs when you feel threatened, under pressure, or facing a challenging situation. Sometimes, what some people call an anxiety attack is a human emotion that makes us nervous.
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These experiences include getting married, losing a job, becoming a parent, etc. Anxiety attack occurs as an over-reaction to a situation that seems dangerous though it is unlikely to be.
However, there are some uncomfortable feelings or negative thoughts that, more than an anxiety attack. At this point, it’s good to watch for symptoms that are larger than the events that triggered it.
Symptoms of Anxiety Attack
One significant sign of an anxiety attack is excessive worrying. It means worrying that something terrible is likely to happen. It could be worrying about losing your job, worrying about losing your loved one or worrying about how your colleague perceived you.
As humans, we have an urge to think things through to prevent bad things from happening. Unfortunately, what we are doing is overthinking things. Worrying about things won’t solve the problem.
Restlessness is another symptom of an anxiety attack. If you experience an anxiety attack frequently, this is a sign you are experiencing an anxiety attack. Restlessness could be a feeling of uneasiness or being unsettled. Some see it as feeling “on edge”. In this case, what matters is the frequency at which it occurs.
Negative self- talk is another symptom of an anxiety attack. This means talking to ourselves negatively. It could self-doubt or self-criticism. The negative consequence is that it affects our environment and daily lives.
People often talk to themselves negatively, and they may not be aware of it. At first, it starts with a small critical voice, but it becomes louder and prominent as we continue.
This can stop you from carrying out a new task. It begins to develop a fear of failure, which makes people procrastinate or become a perfectionist. Another side-effect is fear of criticism. This negative self-talk affects your overall self-image.
Irritability is another symptom of an anxiety attack. This means getting highly irritable at the slightest event. Difficulty falling asleep is another symptom of an anxiety attack. Sleep disturbances are associated with an anxiety attack.
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If you find it difficult to sleep or wake up in the middle of the night, you might be experiencing an anxiety attack. Physical symptoms of an anxiety attack are changes in heart rate, frequent headache, difficulty breathing, and panic attack, trembling, and always feeling weak.
Types of Anxiety Attack
Anxiety attack comes in different degrees. Some mild experience forms of anxiety, while others experience extreme symptoms of an anxiety attack.
Below are the few types of anxiety attacks.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder:
This involves frequent worrying over events situations or activities. If you frequently worry about your daily activities, or something terrible is likely to happen, you may be experiencing Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
People suffering from GAD, are always anxious about things in their lives, though they may not notice it. People suffering from GAD are easily distracted, and this prevents them from functioning effectively in society. Physical symptoms of GAD are fatigue, insomnia, and restlessness.
Phobia is an intense fear for an object, a situation which is usually excessive and unrealistic. This form of anxiety is generally irrational. Examples include fear of heights, fear of speaking in public, fear of animals such as spiders or snakes.
A common way to resolve this form of fear is by facing it. This form of anxiety disorder is not as debilitating as others.
Social Anxiety Disorder:
This is a common form of anxiety disorder. People suffering from Social Anxiety disorder avoid being the centre of attraction. This is because of the fear of being criticized or negatively viewed by others.
People struggling with Social Anxiety Disorder are seen as extremely shy. If you find yourself avoiding people or avoiding a situation where you are the centre of attraction, you may be experiencing Social Anxiety Disorder.
This involves frequent panic attacks. These attacks occur because of an intense fear the individual is experiencing. Attacks like this can be life-threatening. People who have Panic Disorder avoid situations that can trigger it.
Those experiencing OCD feel uncontrollable obsessions or thoughts. People experiencing this have recurring worrying over little things, such as cleaning up the room; making sure things are in order. People suffering from OCD are extreme perfectionists because they often worry about doing something wrong.
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Treatment for Anxiety Disorder
Some medical treatment for anxiety disorder includes:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:
This helps individuals identify and face negative thinking patterns. Through this, they learn a negative thinking pattern causes their anxiety.
Through the help of a therapist, individuals learn to confront their fears and anxiety. This is done through gradual exposure to the event or situation that triggers the anxiety. This helps the individual gain control over the stress. As you continually face your fears, your anxiety reduces.
Self-help to Reducing Anxiety Attacks:
It helps to reduce negative self-talk. It’s essential to pay close attention to the thoughts in your mind, once you have identified them, replace those thoughts with positive and realistic ones.
Doing this helps to reduce the occurrence of negative self-talk. Self-help to reduce anxiety attack is to face your faces. This is what exposure therapy would help you achieve. Ignoring your fear only increases the level of anxiety you feel.
Whatever form of anxiety you are facing, you don’t have to face it alone. Connect with people, practice slow breathing, and seek medical help when necessary.