“I cried without being able to control myself” and “there were countless panic attacks”, vented the presenter and ex-BBB Rafa Kalimann this Sunday (5). After the “Fantastic” special report (see video below), she talked about the pressure of name-calling by the haters on social networks: “do not normalize the open evil that became fun”.
O G1 interviewed psychiatrist Henrique Bottura, clinical director of the Instituto de Psiquiatria Paulista and volunteer physician at the Impulsivity Outpatient Clinic of Hospital das Clínicas, to finally understand: What is Panic Crisis? Can online pressure affect mental health?
- What is a panic attack?
- Is there a difference between a panic attack and a panic disorder?
- What are the symptoms?
- How to treat?
- Always have a trigger for the crisis?
- Has the occurrence of panic attacks increased?
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1. What is a panic attack?
It is a set of physical and emotional sensations generated by strong anxiety. It is an alert from the organism that leads to thoughts of imminent death, fear of going crazy and losing control. According to the psychiatrist, some alterations may even be difficult for the patient to explain.
“Crises are short-lived and last from 10 to 20 minutes. It’s the end of the world for those who are suffering, because it’s an absurd agony. A panic attack is very uncomfortable, anyone who experiences it doesn’t want to live again. no way,” explains Bottura.
According to the doctor, they can happen in different situations during life: as a trigger during a situation of tension, stress and/or when faced with an abrupt change.
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2. Is there a difference between a panic attack and a panic disorder?
Yes the Panic disorder is diagnosed by the psychiatrist after the patient has several attacks of panic in a certain period of time. The interference in the person’s quality of life is also evaluated when identifying the problem. Panic disorder is within the range of anxiety disorders.
“Panic disorder is a condition in which the person has recurrent attacks. There are acute anxiety attacks, which are panic attacks, and there is what we call panic disorder, which is when these crises present themselves in a way that we can classify almost like a ‘panic disease’“, explains Bottura.
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A person in a panic attack may have some physical and emotional changes. They are, mainly:
- Shortness of breathe
- cold hands
- feeling of despair
- imminent fear of death
- Fear of losing control
First, there are therapies that will address the causes and help deal with the problem. Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy, for example, seeks to perceive sensations, emotions, and the thoughts attached to them. This helps the person to stay under control, in addition to breathing techniques, which prevent the person from being overwhelmed by despair.
In addition, pharmacological treatments, which, according to Bottura, have excellent results.
“There are medications that help to contain a crisis. In general, these conditions respond very well to drug treatments, in general with the drugs that are used for depression and other anxiety conditions”.
5. Do you always have a trigger for the crisis?
It may or may not have. When it is already at the level of a panic disorder, the person starts having the attacks without necessarily a trigger.
“A person can have this crisis anywhere. It can be in a bank, in a supermarket, in a waiting room of an office”, explains the psychiatrist.
“When the person is in a phase of overload, has a very high level of tension, goes through any psychological pressure, you can trigger anxiety attacks such as panic.”
6. Has the occurrence of panic attacks increased?
Anxiety exacerbation frames have always existed, but, according to the psychiatrist, it is possible to observe that there is a tendency for an increase in cases, especially in big cities and with the new “superconnected humans”.
“Humanity is in the process of a transition from dealing with stimuli never before. When would someone expose themselves to interacting with as many people as they do today on a social network? In the past, you had more of the bonus of fame. Today, fame comes with a burden too. And there is no way you can be completely protected, because you will always please some and displease others.”
“It is a very big challenge for the human organism to deal with. We are all sensitive to the opinions of others, even when we start to develop and understand that these aggressions are projections. We are all vulnerable to criticism.”