What to Do When Anxiety Resembles the Symptoms of the Coronavirus
It may not be ideal to suffer an anxiety attack during the time of the coronavirus pandemic, but it does not mean that there is no chance of them happening. Sweating, shortness of breath, and a sense of impending doom are symptoms of an anxiety attack, but they can also be symptoms of the coronavirus. It is important to be able to tell the difference between an anxiety attack and the coronavirus to ensure you know what needs to be treated.
Shortness of Breath
A panic attack is when fear or anxiety leads to sudden, physical symptoms that make you feel like you cannot breathe. We are also told to look out for chest pain, shortness of breath, and feeling like you are getting a fever or chills when it comes to the coronavirus. If your chest hurts or you are having trouble breathing for a long amount of time, call a doctor to rule out if you have contracted the virus. When you experience shortness of breath through the coronavirus, this experience is more frequent and interferes with your daily activities.
Your anxiety symptoms will subside through relaxation, slow breathing, or removing triggers. You may feel like you are having trouble breathing because you are taking very fast breaths which minimizes your oxygen intake, causing your muscles to swell up. The next time you feel a panic attack, lie down, breathe in for four seconds and breathe out for the same amount of time to get your oxygen flowing normally again.
A hot flash is when you experience warmth spread through your upper body and your face. This can lead to feeling flushed with a rapid heartbeat and feeling cold when the hot flash blows over. There is a big difference between having a hot flash due to anxiety or having a raised temperature due to the coronavirus. Having a hot flash due to the coronavirus means having a fever of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius). This is often accompanied by shivering, cold sweats, or muscle aches.
A dry cough is a common side effect of the coronavirus. Some people with anxiety tend to cough out of nervousness, but having a persistent dry cough could mean something much more serious. People with anxiety tend to cough a lot as a result of hyperventilation where you feel like your throat is closing. Coughs that come from the coronavirus could mean experiencing a one-hour long cough or three or more coughing episodes within 24 hours.
Managing Anxiety During the Coronavirus
It is normal to feel anxiety during this time of uncertainty. Remember to keep in contact with your friends and family, whether it is through phone calls or video chats. Let them know how you are feeling and they will be a great source of comfort to you. It is also important for you to stay active in your home by catching up on house cleaning or home repairs.
Watching a lot of funny movies or reading an entertaining book can boost your mood as well as your immune system. Meditation is also a good tool to keep you in touch with your emotions and to stay in the present moment. Now is the best time to take care of yourself without any distractions.
A New App For Panic Attacks During the Coronavirus
The University of Vermont has created a new app, PanicMechanic, to help people who are experiencing panic attacks during this time. This is the first app for panic attacks of its kind. PanicMechanic uses your cell phone’s camera to measure your body’s panic response.
When you activate the app, you hold your finger onto the flash which will measure your reaction to stress. Being able to see a visual of what your panic attack looks like can help you gain a sense of control of it and provide the tools you need to calm down.
The app also gives you an estimate as to how long this panic attack will last as well as ask you a series of questions such as how much you slept, what your anxiety level is, what you ate, and if you have consumed drugs or alcohol. PanicMechanic has the power to help you gain better control over your panic attacks by understanding it. The PanicMechanic app is currently available on the Apple App Store.
If You Have the Coronavirus
If you are developing symptoms of the coronavirus, you should stay home. This means staying away from people and keeping yourself at home for two weeks. Most mild symptoms will get better over this period. If after that length of time, you do not experience a fever anymore, you can go back to your normal routine, however, you should still try to limit the number of times you leave your house unless it is for an essential reason like going to the grocery store.
If your anxiety symptoms like shortness of breath, coughing, or hot flashes have become serious where it is interfering with your life, it is best to speak to your doctor to get tested for coronavirus so you will know whether or not to stay in your home.
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