Anxiety and Depression

How to Handle Panic Attacks?

How to Handle Panic Attacks

According to a recent study done by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, nearly 5 million people suffer from panic disorders every year. And, women are twice as likely to witness panic attacks as men. By definition, panic disorder represents intense fear or suffering to something that happens spontaneously. The discomfort can last between few minutes to several years. Panic attacks are characterized by many symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms include nausea, sweating, intense fear, shortness of breath, trembling, heart palpitations, dizziness and chest pain. If you wish to know how to stop panic attacks, the next few lines will be of great importance to you.

Understand the Attack

Before you understand how to stop panic attacks, you should be able to understand what panic attacks are. If you experience intense physical signs (heart palpitation or chest pain), it would be wise to visit a doctor. The physician will help you verify if something is seriously wrong or not. Even if your mind is screaming “I can’t breathe”, “I am going to die”, you should distance yourself from unpleasant conditions and noise. Try to differentiate the signs of a panic attack from the rest. This will help you find a quick, effective cure.

Be Reflective

According to John Tsilimpais (the director of Anxiety & Panic Disorder Center at Los Angeles), you should be reflective during a panic attack. Never be reactive when you are experiencing panic attacks. As mentioned previously, you will have many negative thoughts. This is when you should write down all these negative thoughts and switch into reflective mode. Meanwhile, try to write down rational thoughts too. This includes phrases like “I am not alone”, “I have a strong mind” and “My heart is totally fine”.

Take Long Breathes

Whenever you feel stressed or panicked, take deep, long breathes. Breathe rapidly but carefully from your chest. Shallow breathes can make you feel uncomfortable and even more worried. To overcome this, you should breathe deeply. During this routine, place your arms on your chest and belly. As you inhale, make your belly expand and not your chest. Also, keep your eyes closed during this process. Focus on how air flows into your system and out!

Stay Calm, Stay Low

Panic attacks are likely to make you feel disoriented. Thus, it would be useful to ground yourself. Your mind will suggest you to run or flee. But, don’t try to move around! Instead, stay where you are and be calm. At all times, try to come to the present moment. Remember that panic attacks are going to last for a very short time. Some symptoms may last longer. But that doesn’t mean you are going to live with panic attacks. So, keep reminding yourself that the situation would pass away.

Last but certainly not least, tell your dear ones what has to be done. The people you know and love will be able to lend you a hand of help. Take time and ask them to support you in the right way.

About the author

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Willie DeJarnette

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