Categorized | Stress

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The Aftermath of a Panic Attack

They can hit us without any warning and be a terrifying experience, symptoms such as a racing heart, shortness of breath and a trembling body are all part of a panic attack with the underlying fear that go with them, but what happens after wards. How is the body and mind affected and is there anything we can do to ease us back to normality.

There is a feeling of being totally vulnerable, the thought of another episode can fill the individual with a lot of fear in itself and this can be the only thing the mind can think about. The mind can be in a state of confusion and not understand what has happened, we may feel lost and alone, thoughts of trying to escape to somewhere safe and the need to find a familiar safe environment can be the only goal after this very anxious experience.

Apart from the mind being in turmoil, the body can be left totally exhausted, it can feel like we have done a two hour workout or run a marathon. During a panic attack it is easy to understand that the muscles in our bodies would have been very tense and depending on how long the episode lasted can determine how exhausted the body will feel. So it is no wonder that we can feel physically weak and lacking in energy.

It can take the individual a while to get the mind and body back to some kind of normality and it is a good idea to try and relax as soon as possible after this anxiety has ripped through them both. The only thing we might want to do is hide from everyone and everything. If circumstance allows it is a good idea to try and sit quite and consciously relax the muscles in the body and through breathing calm the whole system down to a normal running speed.

We can feel very emotional, but the biggest feeling after wards is the anxious fear of another attack, the thought that it could happen again. This is when our lives can be affected, we may start to avoid the place or situation in which the episode took place in fear that it will happen again if we go there or do the same thing again. This is a natural reaction, but one that is as irrational as the panic attacks themselves. The mind can become one tracked after such a traumatic experience and the only thing that is important is to some how avoid ever going through the same again and this is why we will avoid the same situation of our last episode.

Help is needed, but many carry on without it and let this condition affect their lives for years. Medication can be a very effective remedy for the short term, suppressing the anxiety and its symptoms. The long term help will come in the form of therapy that will deal with the thoughts and emotions that can trigger the anxiety in the first place and this is the most effective relief to help conquer panic attacks and rid our lives of them for good.

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