Health anxiety can spike the number of panic attacks that an individual can have, especially during a year such as the one we are currently in. Panic attacks can arise from many different things such as trauma, stress, depression, or even generalized panic.
The one common theme with panic attacks is that you may feel as though you have no control over a situation you are in or thinking of and a trigger related to such the situation can trigger the panic attack. Health anxiety is no different when it comes to spurring on panic attacks that you may be succumbed to.
If you are having anxiety related to psychological stressors of your current medical and health state than perhaps you are also having a degree of panic attacks. In this situation, the trigger is anything to do with health, medicine, and physical symptoms of disease that can trigger the attack to come on. Once induced, it can be hard for you to think clearly and be able to orient yourself in a way that will be able to reduce the panic attack.
Remember one thing, health anxiety does not control you, you control it and the same can go for a panic attack you may be feeling. Try having a safe word in place that you can tell someone or call someone when you are having a panic attack. Ideally, you can have that person on speed dial.
During the panic attack, you may start to focus on your own medical symptoms and well-being. Try not to focus on them but instead focus on the here and now. Focus on one spot on the ground and try connecting the dots in the ground. At each dot, control your breathing. Exhale when you find a dot and inhale as you're looking for the dot and do not move from each dot until you have a solid breath. This can bring your heart rate down fast and actually do a double coping mechanism for health anxiety because if you are breathing normally than you are healthy.
Having recurrent panic attacks inhibits your ability to function normally and creates an ongoing sense of danger. Make sure you seek professional guidance or have your support systems close. Health anxiety is on the rise but that doesn’t mean you have to help it rise. For more information, contact a counselor in Winter Garden or a therapist in Orlando to begin anxiety counseling today.
Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.