Panic attacks during pregnancy are never a nice thing to experience. The reaction that your body has to this can be both shocking and terrifying at the same time. Furthermore, this is more common than you may have initially considered, so if you do suffer from them then take comfort from knowing that you are not alone.
Pregnancy worry is common, especially during a woman’s first pregnancy, or an unplanned one. It can be even harder if you’re dealing with depression and anxiety.
However, help is indeed at hand as we will now explain.
Mental Health and Pregnancy.
When pregnancy brings on panic attacks, you need to know how to manage them. Yes, they can be crippling and horrific to deal with, but it’s not impossible.
You see, one major problem when it comes to mental health and pregnancy is that there is often a focus on depression and what happens after the child is born. Post-natal depression is a term that we are all familiar with, but that is merely one mental health issue that can affect a woman during this time.
Studies have indicated that the percentage of women who experience a mood disorder or anxiety during pregnancy may be as high as 20%. This can be due to a number of factors including changes in hormone levels, stress and any other environmental factors that may bring on mental health problems.
But then, simply being made aware of the potential for a problem is one thing. Dealing with it and knowing what to do is going to prove to be something completely different.
The Key Symptoms of Panic Attacks During Pregnancy.
As we are keeping our main focus on the issue if panic attacks during this time, we can look at the key symptoms that are worth looking out for. After all, there is the theory that if you are able to identify a problem early enough, then you may find it possible to ward off a full-blown panic attack.
What you should know is that the symptoms of a panic attack during this time will prove to be no different to those experienced by anybody else. What this means is that the following are key -
- A rapid heartbeat.
- Chest pain.
- Difficulty breathing.
- A shaking or trembling feeling.
- Feeling dizzy.
Even though some of those symptoms may not sound as bad as you were perhaps fearing, it is the intensity of them that can lead to feeling as if you are dying. To many, they may believe that they are having a heart attack, and those feelings will then make you feel even worse.
How to Cope.
The problem with these panic attacks is that it makes you feel even more anxious and in a panic which, in turn, makes everything substantially worse. When they strike, some people try to run away from them or they feel as if they are losing their mind, but it can be easier to cope with them than you fear.
So, these tips should prove rather useful.
Identify it as a panic attack.
By first of all identifying it as a panic attack, it means you will already be starting to dilute the power that it had over you. The fear is increased when we believe that it is something more seriously wrong, so by reaching an understanding as quickly as possible that this is not the case, then it makes life easier.
Understand you will not die from it.
You do not die directly from a panic attack even though you feel that this will be the inevitable conclusion. Sure it’s going to make your pulse race and you feel horrible at the same time, but becoming aware of the panic attack having less power over you than you anticipated is important.
Give yourself space for it to do its thing.
A panic attack is going to ease all on its own. For some, it may be just a few minutes while others can experience it for longer. One approach used by therapists is to teach their client to simply let the panic attack do its thing and to give it some space. As you are doing this, remind yourself that it is merely a panic attack and that it will build to a crescendo before diminishing.
Look at identifying the source of anxiety.
Becoming aware of the source of the anxiety allows you to tackle that issue directly, and that can stop those panic attacks in their tracks. Often, anxiety is due to a fear that is not as rational as you may have initially thought. However, when in the midst of a panic attack, it can be difficult for us to then be able to determine where this stems from.
During pregnancy, fears and concerns are natural. Every mother has them. By taking time during calmer moments to think about those concerns and to then address them directly will, once again, dilute the power that they have over you. If you can reach the conclusion that your anxieties and fears are largely nonsensical, then is there anything for you to then panic about?
As most would clearly prefer to stay away from medication, it puts an emphasis on the need to use relaxation techniques and to do so on a regular basis.
Relaxation techniques such as meditation, mindfulness, yoga, aromatherapy, acupuncture and reflexology can all help to just lower those stress levels and make you feel as if you are more balanced. We aren’t saying that they will completely stop panic attacks, but they will certainly help.
Pregnancy worry is a real thing. The difference is that what is reality and what is the result of our somewhat overactive imaginations can vary to such an extent that one cannot see the other.
Overall, you need to remember that panic attacks during pregnancy are caused by stress and anxiety and that you are one of many that unfortunately suffer from this during those 9 months. However, with the correct care and attention, the symptoms you experience can be overcome and there is no reason for them to then curtail your life during what is supposed to be a happy time.