“My heart is starting to speed up, am I having a heart attack?”
“I can't breathe, I'm so bad.”
"I'm breaking out in a cold sweat, I think I'll pass out or even die!"
“This situation scares me a lot.”
Have you found yourself drowning in such feelings and thoughts? At the end of these complaints, you went to the nearest health institution and you were informed that you had nothing, and after leaving the health institution, the first thing that comes to your mind is "I think this doctor is not good at his job and he couldn't put my definition." it happened. But have you ever thought that maybe this is not the case?
If we tell you that maybe these emotional states can be caused by the over-activation of a part of the brain called the "Amygdala", which is only the size of an almond.
What is the amygdala?
The amygdala is the almond-shaped structure in the medial temporal lobe of the brain that regulates the emotion of fear in the brain. The amygdala was first introduced in 1822 by Kark Friedrich Burdach. In some studies, it has been determined that monkeys without amygdala do not display fearful behavior towards humans, and mice without amygdala do not display fearful behaviors towards cats. It has been stated that the structure of the amygdala provides the emergence of emotions such as fear, anxiety and aggression, which indicate some anxiety disorders or panic attacks (Davis M. and Shi C.).
In a different experiment on individuals, when amygdala structures were imaged with fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) according to the anxiety and fear states of people of different ages and genders, it was found that people with high fear and anxiety levels had a much higher amygdala activation than standard people (Herrington J. etc.).
What is Panic Attack?
Definition of panic attack according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders; “It is a sudden wave of intense fear or intense discomfort that peaks within minutes.'
Panic attacks are one of the most common psychological disorders in the world after depression, and approximately 10% of the world's population has experienced a panic attack at least once in their lifetime. About 12,5% of people who have panic attacks have panic disorder. In order to be diagnosed with panic disorder, the person must be afraid of having a panic attack again for a month after more than one attack, and must experience recurrent panic attacks with maladaptive behaviors related to the attacks.
If the person has experienced several of the situations mentioned in panic attack more than once and it is stated by a specialist that he does not have any problems (such as heart disease, chronic asthma, diabetes) after physical examination, he should definitely consult a specialist psychologist or psychiatrist (DSM-5; Magraf J. ).
Panic Attack Treatment
When a correct diagnosis and treatment method is followed with the help of a specialist, you can cope with a panic attack. With the help of various therapy techniques carried out in the company of experts and drug support when necessary, the complaints of the people who suffer from the disease are reduced to the dimensions that they can easily lead their daily lives. Apart from this, it will be useful to review your life routines such as nutrition, sleep patterns and social relationships.
In a study by Professor Ziemann A decrease in the pH level in the brain increases your chances of having a panic attack. In the study, it was observed that the possibility of panic attacks increased in experimental animals that were given respiration in an environment with a high CO2 ratio. The increased amount of CO2 causes an increase in the acidity of the environment, especially in the brain. The increase in the acidity of the environment causes the pH level to decrease, causing the amygdala structure, which was mentioned above, to become more active.
In order to regulate the acidity level in the brain, Consumption of various minerals will be beneficial mentioned in the same article.
In the study Reductions in panic attack behaviors of experimental animals that were given a diet rich in bicarbonate (Ziemann A. et al.).
Especially natural mineral waters rich in bicarbonate and natural rich mineral waters especially Spinach, Cabbage, Cucumber, Celery, Parsley, Broccoli, Avocado, Tomato, Pepper, Potato Adding fruits and vegetables to our diets, which also have other minerals such as , regulates the acidity level of the body by providing the pH balance in the body (Schwalfenberg G.).
It has been revealed by various scientists that regular and healthy nutrition balances the sleep pattern and causes the symptoms of disorders such as depression, anxiety disorder and panic attacks to be milder. Except those meditation or yoga Doing various brain exercises that enable us to control our thoughts and emotions, such as these, helps to reduce the destructive effects of such mood disorders.
Our mental health is as important as our physical health in order to continue our lives without any problems. If our mental health is not good enough, even simple activities such as socializing with our friends can turn into unbearable torture. If you think that you or the people around you have such mental health problems, do not neglect to consult a specialist and get help.
Talking about such issues with an expert will not separate you from the society and will contribute to your becoming a more harmonious individual with the society and to live your life more happily, peacefully and meaningfully.