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What to do in case of a panic attack
If you suffer from panic attacks, these few tips may help you calm down and get over it.
What should we do in case of having a panic attack?
Panic disorder is a serious and debilitating illness. It may have started with a sudden outbreak of anxiety, seemingly without a specific cause or threat. Symptoms may have progressed in physical condition causing increased heart rate and body sweating. Some people even start to avoid places or circumstances that have given rise to these panic attacks in the past.
It can become so serious that it makes you feel uncomfortable in public or during your daily activities, such as on public transportation or at the grocery store. Here are three pieces of information to help you understand panic attacks and know the possible treatments.
Risk factors for panic disorder
You are more likely to have panic disorder if you:
Are a woman?
- Have a family history of panic and anxiety;
- Have a history of panic attacks.
Common symptoms of a panic attack
- Panic attacks can give rise to symptoms common to great scares, such as
- Increased heart rate
- Dizziness and fatigue
- Chest pain
- Difficulty in breathing
- A sense of terror almost akin to a fear of dying
Potential treatments for a panic attack
Having a panic attack doesn’t mean you have panic disorder. Some people have one or more seizures that will never come back. However, if you are able to recognize the circumstances that triggered the situation, consider the following treatment options.
Psychotherapy: Also known as behavior therapy, this method helps you understand where your panic is coming from and whether it really is panic attacks or something else (such as depression). Your therapist can help you recreate the attacks in a controlled environment so you can detach yourself from the fear associated with each episode. It’s a bit like starting your computer in safe mode.
Medication: These are usually antidepressants and sedatives. After a diagnosis and some form of psychotherapy, your doctor will be able to prescribe the most appropriate option for you.
Lifestyle Adjustments: Panic attacks and panic disorders are complex illnesses, large areas of which are still beyond our comprehension. However, there are several lifestyle adjustments you can make to alleviate your anxiety.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, or drugs as they affect your nervous system.
- Relieve your stress and anxiety with exercise.
- Practice relaxation and stress management techniques, such as deep breathing.
Join a support group;
it’s hard not to feel alone in this situation, but many other people struggle with the same issues.
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