Anxiety crisis: what it is and how to act ~ Meaning Articles

Anxiety crisis: what it is and how to act

It is estimated that between 5% and 6% of the population will suffer an anxiety attack at some point in your life


The panic attacks, also known as crisis anxiety or distress, are a type of anxiety disorder in which the sufferer has repeated attacks of intense fear that something bad happens to him. But, what is happening ?, Why ?, Who is affected and what people who have it feel? This article answers these questions and tips on how to act before it is provided.

Panic attack or anxiety attack

What is a panic attack or anxiety attack? Dr. Antonio Cano, president of the Spanish Society for the Study of Anxiety and Stress (SEAS), states that it is a reaction of intense anxiety accompanied by the feeling not being able to control this reaction , and even with a sense of imminent danger of death.

This specialist explains that triggers this disorder are the kind of catastrophic thoughts that cause (as imminent death, heart attack, dizziness and loss of consciousness, among others) and hyperventilation (rapid breathing that can join shortness of breath) that generates a rise generalized physiological arousal. The catastrophic thoughts arise from an incorrect interpretation of anxiety symptoms (physiological arousal).

From the American Psychiatric Association (APA) indicate what are the criteria needed to diagnose a panic attack : it is a temporary and isolated onset of fear or intense discomfort, in which four (or more) of the symptoms listed below, which they start abruptly and reached a peak in the first 10 minutes.

These symptoms to which they refer are:


  • 1. palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate.
  • 2. Sweating.
  • 3. Trembling or shaking.
  • 4. Choking sensation or shortness of breath.
  • 5. Feeling of choking.
  • 6. chest pain or discomfort.
  • 7. Nausea or abdominal discomfort.
  • 8. Instability, dizziness or fainting.
  • 9. Feelings of unreality or being detached from oneself (depersonalization).
  • 10. Fear of losing control or going crazy.
  • 11. Fear of dying.
  • 12. paresthesias.
  • 13. Chills or hot flashes

In the victim dilated pupils can also be seen, pale skin and can even become so hectic expressing suicidal thoughts and feelings.

Anxiety Crisis: Who affecting more

Anxiety attacks are twice as common in women than in men
According to the Clinic Guide Primary Care Network , these panic attacks are twice as common in women than in men and the most common age band is from late adolescence to early adulthood (under 35 years). It is estimated that between 5% and 6% of the population will suffer a panic attack at some point in their lives.

These attacks can occur at any time, suddenly , even during sleep. As a result of panic disorder, those affected may feel a great concern about where and when the next episode will suffer, creating an anticipatory anxiety. In addition, they start to avoid places and situations where the attack has befallen them and cause them fear. This affects and greatly affects their quality of life.

Although the exact origin of these crises is not known, it is believed that the most likely cause is a combination of genetic factors, changes in neural circuits or in metabolism and psychosocial stressors.

How to deal with a panic attack: first aid

An anxiety attack or panic causes intense discomfort to the victim, in addition to shortness of breath, excessive sweating, stiffness or tingling sensation in all four limbs, not oppressive chest pain, tachycardia , and even abdominal pain. Given a panic attack, experts in first aid recommend proceed as follows:


  • Keep Calm : if you're quiet you can best help the victim. The aim is that the affected relax.
  • Isolating the victim from the hustle and provide privacy.
  • Try to relax the affected encouraging him to perform slow, deep breaths and repeated, taking the air through the nose and blowing it through the mouth. If breathing is very hectic (fast and shallow), you can put a bag over the mouth and nose as a mask and insist on slow, deep breaths.
  • Reassuringly , explaining that if you follow the instructions control the situation. It should not say that nothing happens - not true and may feel as if he is not taken into seriously as it could increase your anxiety. Nor should we judge the underlying cause of the crisis.
  • Speak calmly , slowly and in a low tone that does not increase the nervousness.
  • Try to find out what happened to him and call 112.
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