Everyone feels anxious from time to time, especially when facing challenging situations, but if your anxiety comes on suddenly and brings with it intense physical symptoms, you may be suffering from an anxiety attack. Understanding what an anxiety attack is and what your triggers are can help you avoid these intense feelings and manage your anxiety a little better.
What Is an Anxiety Attack?
An anxiety attack, which may also be called a panic attack, is an intense period of anxiety that is pronounced enough to disrupt normal life. Anxiety attack symptoms may include:
- Becoming overly sensitive to physical sensations
- Feelings of lightheadedness
- Rapid heartbeats
- Chest pain
- Trouble breathing or hyperventilation
- Hot flashes or chills
- Stomach upset
- Feeling of being detached
- Intense fears
- Feelings of panic
- Intense feeling of dread
When these symptoms come on suddenly, they can make it difficult to function. Frequent anxiety attacks may indicate an anxiety disorder, which could need treatment to allow the individual to better enjoy life.
Why Do People Experience Anxiety Attacks?
Anxiety attacks are typically triggered by an event or emotional state, although some people with anxiety disorders will have an attack without any obvious triggers. Being able to pinpoint your individual anxiety attack triggers, and then learning how to avoid them or cope with them when you cannot avoid them, is an essential part of treating this disorder.
For some people, triggers are things like a stressful job or health concern that naturally cause anxiety. People may also be more prone to anxiety attacks if they skip a meal, consume too much caffeine, or become dehydrated. Alcohol and cigarettes can also trigger problems, especially when these addictive substances aren’t available. Some people will experience an attack if they give themselves too much time to think over stressful or fearful situations.
Specific types of anxiety can also point to the trigger. For instance, people with social anxiety disorder find themselves more prone to panic attacks when in large crowds or similar social situations. Post-traumatic stress disorder can make individuals prone to anxiety attacks when facing triggers that remind them of their traumatic event.
When Should I Seek Treatment for Anxiety?
Not all anxiety requires treatment, but if your anxiety has reached the point that you are struggling with anxiety attacks on a regular basis, and are having trouble functioning day to day, it’s important to seek treatment. Also, seek treatment if you feel that your anxiety is interfering with your ability to form healthy relationships or if you are having any suicidal thoughts. Anxiety medication combined with supportive counseling can help limit these attacks and help you get a handle on your anxiety triggers.
If you are struggling with anxiety, help is available. Contact Aayu Clinics – Lakeview Immediate Care for an appointment to discuss your anxiety symptoms with a board-certified physician. We offer same-day appointments when needed and the benefit of an immediate care facility located conveniently in Chicago. Contact us today to get the help you need.