When you are struck by anxiety attacks, you can’t work on anything else. Other people will wonder what is wrong with you, or misjudge that you are making excuses to escape from work or responsibilities. Though it is difficult for those who have not experienced it before to understand what you are coping with, sometimes it is necessary to explain your anxiety attack to the people around you. In some cases, you will also be required to explain them to your consultant physician or psychiatrist in seek of proper treatment.
Firstly, you should understand the fact that even though it involves the brain, anxiety is not a mental illness, but a medical condition, and then you should make this clear to the people around you.
Typically, anxiety is caused by hormonal imbalance, as the hormones progesterone and serotonin will affect your mood and energy levels. Thus, you may explain that your hormones are affecting the chemical secretion in your brain, causing an intensified state of anxiety and subtlety to stressful situations.
Then, proceed to explain what your anxiety attack symptoms may be. Different people have different levels of anxiety and their bodies react differently to hormonal change, thus the symptoms may also differ. Some common symptoms include palpitations, hyperventilation, vertigo, muscle fatigue, frequent urination or diarrhoea, shortness of breath, muscle tension, stomach upset, fatigue, headaches, insomnia, muscle tremors and twitches.
In medical contexts, anxiety attacks are episodes of intense panic or fear. Sometimes, these episodes happen when triggered by a certain stressful situation, but most of the time, they happen out of the blue. These episodes or attacks peak within 10 minutes, and rarely last for more than 30 minutes. However, the symptoms cause a good deal of terror, making you feel as if you are dying or losing yourself. The physical symptoms even mimic that of a heart attack. After experiencing an anxiety attack, you will worry and dread about when another one will strike you again, which can be completely nerve-wracking.
Symptoms for anxiety attacks can be divided into two categories, namely emotional symptoms and physical symptoms. You may only experience one category, or even both. These symptoms, though terrifying, are not harmful and generally pass when your body regains calmness. Do remember to explain that you are not in any immediate danger though they should help to ensure that you do not injure yourself in case you get into a panic fit.
An anxiety patient may only experience a few minor symptoms only, while some unfortunate ones may experience majority of the symptoms. The intensities and the frequencies may differ too. Depending on the gravity of the patient’s condition, there may be few possible combinations of symptoms.
To explain your attacks may not be easy to non-medical practitioners but do try your best to describe how you feel when an attack occurs. You may say that you feel like you are losing control, that your heart pounds very fast and that you can’t catch your breath as an overwhelming feeling crash onto you, or maybe even that you feel disconnected from the world and reality. These explanations may give them a clearer picture of what you are going through when you experience an attack.
Explain that it affects you tremendously, and that it is hard to live with. It can get out of control at times, and that you are constantly filled with worry and fear. You have to make it known to the people around you, as they are the people who will give you the support you need for you to make a recovery. Help them to understand your plight so that they may have a chance to help you.
Lastly, to make them understand about your condition more thoroughly, you can get them to visit medical sites for more information regarding symptoms of anxiety attacks and how to give patients the appropriate support that they need.