A lot of people use the phrase “I’m having a panic attack” colloquially, but the truth is, it is a scary condition that can be traumatizing. Panic attacks impact approximately 2.7 percent of Americans every year. And approximately 4.7 percent of Americans have it at some point in their lives. When panic attacks occur frequently, you might have panic disorder.
That means you can have a panic attack at any time, even when you are just waking up from sleep. There is a long history of links between panic attacks and addiction, as substances are often turned to in order to calm down a panic attack. Learn more about the link between panic attacks and addiction here.
What is a Panic Attack?
A panic attack is an attack of the body that is also associated with strong feelings of fear, and even fear of dying. It could last just a minute or two, or it could go on for ten minutes or longer. It feels like you are having a heart attack is a common way this is described. But more importantly, the physical symptoms are accompanied by emotional feelings and that makes life feel out of control for a minute.
The most common signs of a panic attack include nausea, dizziness, a feeling of being very cold, sweating, chest pains, a sense of detachment, and sometimes a fear of dying. The fear of death can come from the fact that it feels like a heart attack, and it feels like your heart could stop anytime.
Not every symptom will show up during every panic attack, but many of them will. You could have the feeling of being hot or cold after an attack. During the attack, you do often feel like you are detached from the problem that triggered it.
Because panic attacks are so troubling, the obvious feeling that follows them is to calm down for a little while. This will lead many people to turn to substances that eventually lead to addiction.
Panic Attacks and Addiction
People with panic attacks don’t want to talk about them. They might share that with people that they love that they know will respond without judgment. But overall, they don’t like to discuss it. This means they won’t seek conventional treatment for them, unless there is a clear emergency. This often happens as people with panic attacks can end up in emergency rooms, as the symptoms look very much like heart problems.
When people don’t seek treatment, they create their own. That could very quickly lead to addiction. Sometimes people will even have more panic attacks when they try to stop the substance that they started using to ease panic attacks. Like every emotional problem that is treated with drugs, this creates a dangerous cycle.
It is possible to treat both of these problems without causing major panic.
Get Support for Panic Attacks and Addiction
You don’t have to live a life of panic and addiction. You can treat both problems at once with support from experts that understand what you are going through. Experts like those at http://oceansrecovery.com/ will know exactly how to treat both of these problems in your life, and eliminate or reduce the frequency of your panic attacks. This will involve medical support, and will also emotional support to help ensure you feel less fear in your life.