Imagine what it would feel like if a bear started chasing you. Your heart would feel like it’s pounding out of your chest, and your stomach would drop to the floor. Your body would go into fight or flight mode, figuring out how to respond to the threat.
That sense of life-or-death terror is similar to a panic attack, except there’s no physical threat. For many, these attacks can feel random, and can be a major disruption. Take a look at this Ted-Ed video to find out why your body experiences these episodes of psychological panic.
What is a panic attack?
When the body is under extreme stress, you might experience a panic attack. During this, some symptoms you might experience include lightheadedness, hyperventilating, and severe chest pain. Typically, there is an overwhelming sense of doom that can make an ordinary moment feel like life or death.
An estimated 35% of people endure a panic attack at some point in their lives. It can occur after a traumatic circumstance when the body is trying to process the stress it just went through. However, you can be more prone to panic attacks if you have an anxiety disorder or other preexisting mental health conditions.
Ted-Ed reveals that understanding panic attacks helps prevent future episodes in this video. Having fear about experiencing this overwhelming panic can actually lead to having another attack.
For those with chronic anxiety symptoms, it’s worthwhile to see a counselor or psychiatrist. Two avenues of treatment include specialized therapy and psychiatric medication. If your body needs help regulating its nervous system, it’s well worth it to get the help of a licensed professional.
For more on mental health check out The Real Key to Better Mental Health! Take control of your mental health and your life.