Sir Rod Stewart feared his little boy was having a “heart attack” when he passed out.

While playing for the Young Hoops Under 12s, Aiden collapsed onto the field as his father Rod watched from the sidelines. “We thought my boy was having a heart attack,” Rod told football magazine FourFourTwo. “He turned blue and was unconscious until he calmed down. It was scary, but it turned out to be a panic attack.”

Panic attacks

Mental health charity Mind explains that a panic attack is “an exaggeration of your body’s normal response to danger, stress, or excitement.”

The physical sensations of a panic attack may include:

  • Rapid or palpitations
  • Feeling weak, dizzy, or dizzy
  • Feeling very hot or very cold
  • Sweating, shivering or shivering
  • Nausea (not feeling well)
  • Pain in the chest or abdomen
  • Have difficulty breathing or feel like you are suffocating
  • Feeling like your legs are shaking or turning to jelly
  • Feeling disconnected from the mind, body, or environment, which is a type of dissociation.

People experiencing a panic attack may feel like they are losing control of themselves, that they are about to faint or die.

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Most panic attacks last between 5 and 20 minutes, and while they can be frightening, there are things you can do to calm yourself down.

The mind says, “Focus on your breathing. This can help you focus on slowly inhaling and exhaling while counting to five.”

Some people may find it helpful to stomp in place to control their breathing.

Another way to deal with a panic attack is to divert attention from other senses.

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For example, a person experiencing a panic attack may benefit from touching or squeezing something soft, or trying a mint-flavored candy.

A person may only experience one panic attack in a lifetime.

Others, however, may have multiple panic attacks at unpredictable moments.

People in the latter category will benefit from making an appointment with a doctor.

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Although a panic attack can feel like a heart attack, especially since it has similar symptoms, the condition is caused by a blockage in blood flow to the heart.

The leading cause of a heart attack is coronary artery disease, which is caused by:

  • Smoking
  • High fat diet
  • Diabetes
  • high cholesterol
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Overweight or obesity.

If a heart attack is suspected, the first step is to call an ambulance on 999.

In December 2022, when Rod’s son passed out, that’s exactly what happened, as an ambulance was called to Aiden.

The father of eight, Rod, has had a hard time lately, as both of his brothers, Don and Bob, died last year.

Rod told his followers, “I lost two of my best friends… RIP Don and Bob, irreplaceable friends.”

Then his other son, Sean, was rushed to the hospital after a horrific road collision.

Rod Stewart on BBC Two on Saturday 7th January at 8pm.

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