What Are Panic Attacks?

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A panic attack is one of the most distressing conditions that people suffer from today – according to an official report. It causes physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat, chest pains, difficulty breathing and numbness. The mental effects include feeling afraid for no reason though they might be caused by thinking about past events or worries about what’s happening now. They may also be triggered by certain situations – like crowds or driving – or they might occur without any obvious cause at all.

A panic attack is overwhelming anxiety that leaves you feeling out of control.

Symptoms include your heart racing, chest pain, difficulty breathing, numbness or tingling in the face and hands, dizziness, hot flashes, chills, cold sweats.

What Triggers A Panic Attack?

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Panic attacks can be triggered by specific situations or events once they happen though it’s often hard to tell if something triggered the attack or if it came from nowhere. That’s because during a panic attack, your brain releases norepinephrine – sometimes called the fight-or-flight hormone – which surges through your body and floods your nervous system causing physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath while mentally you are feeling afraid.

Can a Panic Attack Lead to Other Problems?

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In rare cases, panic attacks can lead to agoraphobia, which is an intense fear of being out in public places where you might have a panic attack. Agoraphobia can make it hard for people to go outside their homes alone. In some cases, panic disorder leads to depression. In fact, 20% of people who have had one panic attack will end up developing another anxiety disorder within six months.

How Is A Panic Disorder Diagnosed?

To be diagnosed with panic disorder, you must experience unexpected panic attacks, and at least one of the episodes must cause concern or worry for at least a month. Some people are afraid of leaving their houses because they are afraid of having another panic attack.

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How can I get help for Panic Attacks?

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Panic disorder is generally first treated with medications that may include anti-anxiety drugs or antidepressants. Other treatments include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which involves counselling by a therapist on how to change your thinking patterns and behaviour, relaxation techniques, hypnosis, meditation, exercise and acupuncture.

Is A Panic Attack The Same As A Burnout?

A panic attack can feel like a total mental and physical breakdown. It leaves you feeling weak, shaky, lightheaded, fatigued and often short of breath. The symptoms are so severe that they force you to make drastic changes in your life to avoid the symptoms occurring again. For example, it may mean avoiding certain activities or places where you might have had an attack in the past.

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The symptoms of burnout include exhaustion, confusion, lethargy, apathy (a lack of interest), memory problems and difficulties concentrating. But a panic attack is not a burnout – though many people who feel overwhelmed by stress do suffer from them both at some point.

Burnouts are often brought on by long periods of high stress. And they happen when you have pushed your mind and body to the limit, usually because of work-related reasons. Burnout can result in anxiety, depression or even suicide, but not panic attacks.

In Closing

The good news is panic attacks are treatable without medication, but it’s important to talk to your doctor or therapist so they can help you get the right treatment.

The Basic Steps Of Problem-Solving, even with high-functioning Autism, ADHD and OCPD

Problem-solving 101

So you’ve had a problem and want to know how to solve it, right? Wrong! According to modern “thinking” on problem-solving, we first need to ask the question: what is a problem?

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A common answer goes something like this: a problem is anything that can be seen as undesirable or dissatisfactory. This is wrong for two reasons – firstly, such an ambiguous definition would mean that just breathing could be construed as a problem; secondly, there are many more problems than those which stem from direct human dissatisfaction.

I prefer the following definition: a problem is anything that prevents us from reaching our current goal (if we believe we have one). By this criteria, not having enough money isn’t a problem, but not being able to pay the bills certainly would be.

So now that we have a working definition for problems, let’s begin by saying that problem-solving requires three steps:

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Problem Recognition.

The first step in solving any problem actually recognizes it as such – this means that you must be aware of the present circumstance which prevents you from attaining your goal. Sometimes it can be difficult to avoid falling into the trap of “ignorance is bliss”, especially when our feelings are involved; however, if you are unaware of your current situation, how do you know there’s even a problem to solve? This step is thus crucial because it prevents wasting time aimlessly searching for solutions to non-existent problems.

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Problem Analysis.

The second step is breaking down this problem into smaller pieces that are easier to identify and solve – in other words, you must ask yourself, “what exactly prevents me from reaching my goal?” Be specific! Just because the birdie didn’t come when you called it doesn’t mean you have a serious problem; however, if your boss demotes you for not showing up at work all the time, then I’d say there’s a good chance that might be enough of a reason to start looking around for ways to fix your situation.

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There’s even a name often given to the process of identifying smaller parts of a larger problem: dividing by 2s. In other words, if you have a big problem you need to solve, instead of tackling it head-on, try splitting it up into two separate problems which are smaller in nature and easier to solve. For example, if your landlord is about to evict you for not paying rent on time, recognize that the real issue here is simply money management; as such, instead of whining about how much you hate paperwork and filing, why not focus on finding ways to become better with money?

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Problem Solution.

Once we’ve identified what prevents us from reaching our goal, we must now figure out how to fix those issues – this step requires creative thinking: think outside the box! Once again, I look back at my own personal experiences: when I wanted a new car, the real problem was money management; in order to solve that, I had to come up with a list of creative ways to save (or spend less!) money every day.

Here are some examples of creative thinking:

– If you find yourself constantly checking your phone when you’re supposed to be studying/working, try buying a cheap alarm clock.

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– If you often find yourself skipping work or school due to mental health challenges, why not make an agreement with your boss/professor about how many days you’ll miss before getting fired/getting expelled? Then stick to it! [EDIT: after receiving numerous requests for more details on this approach, I looked back at my own life and remembered that I actually did something similar when working at my last job… even though not everyone knew about my high-functioning Autism, ADHD and OCPD, of course!].

– If you struggle to make friends in school or work, try finding ways to get involved in clubs/projects/teams/sports – problem solved!

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– If you can’t seem to focus on your work because of all the distractions around you, try moving somewhere else with less noise.

– If that doesn’t solve the problem, then taking up meditation might help! I never thought that’d be effective, but hey, whatever works for you.

By using these quick tips, not only are you preventing future problems from popping up again by setting yourself up with healthy habits now, but also improving your mood by discovering new interests and exploring possibilities? Plus, creativity is just plain fun.

Remember: if at first, you don’t succeed, try something else! (Just kidding, or am I…?!)

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Problem Resolution.

Finally, the last step is putting these ideas into action and solving this problem once and for all – it’s time to make a decision! For example, when I wanted a new car, my plan was set in stone: I had to save up over $2k worth of money for a deposit in order to afford to buy one — simple as that. Obviously, this step may be very short or take a long time depending on the complexity of your situation; however, either way, I can guarantee you there won’t be any headaches since this last point doesn’t require much thinking at all – if anything, it requires more will power.

There You Have It!

I hope that this article has been helpful to those of you who have been struggling with problems for quite some time. I know from personal experience that it really helps to read other people’s perspectives, as well as find new ways to look at your own life. In fact, there are many other types of problem-solving models – if you’d like me to write an article about one in particular, please let me know using the comments section below! Thank you so much for reading and sharing.

Day 5 post failed suicide attempt – Ritalin to assist with High-functioning Autistic Savant Syndrome

Rise

Rise against the dying of the light…

On the 5th day in the Psychiatric Hospital I was about to test medication called Ritalin.

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Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a nervous system stimulant that’s commonly used to treat ADHD in adults and children.

It’s a brand-name prescription medication that targets dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain to reduce common ADHD symptoms.

Though Ritalin is a stimulant, when used in ADHD treatment, it may help with concentration, fidgeting, attention, and listening skills.

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I have been using 4 types of medication during my stay at the Hospital up to now, so this will be number 5:

  1. Sleeping pills (strong)
  2. Anti-depressant
  3. Anti-psychotic
  4. Painkillers (strong)
  5. Ritalin (New!)

The Psychiatrist instructed the nurse to give me the fast acting Ritalin just after breakfast and I had to pay attention (no pun intended) to what effects I felt. Did I feel anything different?

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Lance Armstrong used performance enhancers in his quest to win the Tour de France 7 times. He still had to train extremely hard, and the stuff he took merely ‘enhanced’ his performance.

Ritalin was the performance enhancer I never knew I always needed. Now, I have always been a very perceptive person:

  • I would memorize everything, everywhere, constantly.
  • I would use ALL my senses to navigate through the world.
  • I would be on high alert every waking moment.
  • I would think, over-think, analyze and over-analyze everything.
  • I would asses and scrutinize small changes in mood, facial expression, body language and eye-movement when I was having a conversation, trying to figure out what the person’s intentions were in order to act appropriately on all the social cues I had to map and adhere to in order not to stand out.
  • I would start to anticipate people’s next moves, or next words or next thoughts to such a point where people became predictable in their behavior.
  • All of this DRAINED me mentally and emotionally…

Which led to my Autistic burnout and an attempt on my life by myself…

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The strange thing is I was under the impression that everyone did this in their minds. The Psychiatrist assured me that none of the normal people did this. I was surprised…

So when the Ritalin started to take effect I felt an immediate sense of relief. I had a calm mind, I had a focused mind, I felt stable, I enjoyed the intensity of my mental application. The dedicated focus and the control I had over my thoughts. Ritalin changed my Life!!!

I was on top of the world!!!!!!!!!!