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People who suffer from panic attacks are always worried about having more attacks. Panic attacks are accompanied by fear or discomfort that last for minutes or in severe cases, for hours. Symptoms of anxiety appear a few hours after the attack. The attack is severe, frightening and incapacitating to the person who experience it. A panic attack can appear at almost anytime with no warning and reach the peak and last up to 10 minutes. Usually, patients who experiences panic attacks feel as if they’re losing control, going crazy, or having a heart attack or dying. It can also attack during sleep which may cause exhaustion.
Panic attacks can happen spontaneously at almost anytime. They also appear when a person is exposed to situations that trigger the attack. Panic attack also occurs when exposed to a feared object, socially or to a specific phobias.
Patients are preoccupied with the experience they had during the panic attack. The fear of being attacked sometimes triggers the panic attack symptoms to appear. Patients may think they have problems regarding the cardiac, neurological and gastrointestinal system. They will consult their doctors and will discover that panic attack is what their real condition is.
Panic attack sometimes leads to a more severe phobia called agoraphobia. Agoraphobia is the fear of public places. Patients may develop a fear to places where the panic attack is triggered, especially to places where help isn’t available and intervention is impossible. This is why patients with panic disorder often stay at home and let other people do their activities outside the home.
This is also why patients with panic disorder need to be watched closely. However, there are different effective interventions for patients suffering from panic attacks. Here are a few:
• You should make yourself available to the patient so you can help during panic attack. You’ll have more knowledge about the patient’s discomforts.
• Maintain an environment that is calm and has few stressors.
• Avoid using rude words and avoid shouting. Use languages that is easy to understand and use a calm voice when talking to them.
• If the patient is hyperventilating, provide him or her with a brown bag and focus your attention on the breathing pattern of the patient.
• Allow the patient to release their tension by letting them cry, pace or shout. In this way the patient will be able to express the emotion that is stuck within.
• Talk to the patient about how he or she feels and let him or her know that you are in control of the situation.
• Bring the patient to places where stressors are not present. Avoid touching the patient as it can trigger the attack. Usually, patients suffering from panic disorder don’t like being touched as it can increase the feeling of fear and panic.
• Ask the patient about how he or she feels and let him or her express his or her perceptions of the feared objects. Let him or her tell you about what they have in their mind.
• Contact the people concerned about the situation.
These are examples of simple, yet effective, interventions you can do to help a patient with panic disorder. Ask your psychiatrist about how to handle a patient with panic disorders for more tips. It’s very important to consult your doctor about this. Never feel awkward when asking questions that concern panic disorder. They will be more than willing to answer any questions about your concerns.
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