Many people suffer from panic attacks from time to time. In the Netherlands, an estimated 2 to 3 percent of the population suffers from these, with women being more affected than men. The percentage among young people and young adults is higher than among older age groups.

But what does a panic attack actually entail?

A panic attack is an intense attack of fear that can come out of nowhere and can be experienced as very intense. When you have a panic attack, you may feel as if you are going crazy, losing control or even dying.

>> Read the story of Gregory van der Wiel, who suffered from panic attacks after his football career.

Some of the characteristics of an anxiety attack are;

  • Sweating
  • Hyperventilating
  • Nausea
  • Palpitations
  • Pressure on the chest
  • Shaking
  • Dizziness
  • Fear of dying

What should you do when you are having a panic attack?

  • During a panic attack you have an excess of adrenaline and stress hormones in your body. Tip: Move, go for a walk, jump up and down with your arms.
  • Panic makes you breathe heavily, quickly and shallowly. Tip: breathe deeply and calmly. 4 seconds in and 4 seconds out until you regain control and get low in your breathing.
  • Talk to someone, a person you feel safe and comfortable with. You will notice by telling them what you feel it will sink in.

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