How do you control panic attacks? The answer is not so readily apparent. A panic attack is a sudden onset of anxiety and fear that is absolutely overwhelming. Your heart begins to pound in your chest and you feel as if your breathing may stop at any second. Dizziness may follow and you feel nauseated. You may even feel like you are dying or possibly going mad, losing control of your mind and body.
If panic attacks are not treated, they can lead to extreme and severe disorders as well as other long lasting issues. Panic attack sufferers often end up withdrawing more and more from participating in normal every day activities. The sooner a solution is sought, the quicker the positive results after treatment.
With the proper methods to control panic attacks, the sufferer will be able to eliminate these symptoms and get back their life. Panic attacks can come on suddenly and recur over and over again if they are not addressed. A person with panic attack symptoms may not even want to get out of their house for fear of experiencing a panic attack in specific situation, which would result in embarrassment and social consequences.
Hyperventilation and shortness of breath are usually the dominant symptoms. So participating in breathing exercises as a relaxation technique is a positive step. Take long deep breaths in a relaxed situation to get a feel for what “calm breathing” feels like normally. Pay close attention to the rhythm of your breathing.
Behavioral therapy can help you to face the things that cause you to panic without having a panic response. This kind of therapy puts the focus on your thought patterns and the behavior that results from these thoughts that ultimately trigger a panic attack. It assists you to take a closer look at your fears in a more practical way. The downside to this method is the repeated weekly costs and chance of very extended treatment duration.
For example, one method for conquering fear and anxiety to control panic attacks if you are afraid of driving: while driving, ask yourself, “What is the most terrible thing that is REALISTICALLY likely to happen?” You can take the sensible approach of pulling over to the side of the road and give it some genuine thought. You will realize that nothing bad is likely to happen to you, and this will short circuit the panic-producing thoughts. Could frozen waste from an airplane fall onto the road and cause you to get in an accident where you are severely injured? To be perfectly honest, yes, that is a possibility. However, the chances are so low, that when you stop and consider it, it actually seems funny.
Exposure therapy will expose you to those same sensations of panic, but in a more controlled setting. This will help you to learn that your panic is really an overblown response and you will begin to learn healthy ways of managing your panic attacks so they occur much less often and with less intensity.
With exposure therapy the therapist will give you various exercises that simulate the panic attack symptoms and with these exposures to your fears, you become less afraid and you will be learn the pattern of being able to control panic attacks.
Physicians sometimes prescribe antidepressant for sufferers of panic attacks. However, these may take a few weeks for the sufferer to see any results. Typically taking them continuously and not just when a panic attack comes on is the best way to administer this medication, however medical advice must come from a medical doctor.
Other ways to control panic attacks is to learn more about the disorder and your particular phobia. With proper examination and paying attention to your own internal process, you can become familiar with the sensations and thought patterns that lead to a panic attack. As you become familiar with these patterns, you will naturally begin to feel more comfortable and reflexively feel like you are in control. This will create a positive feedback loop which will generate more confidence and more feelings of calm, pushing the possibility of panic further and further away. While not the most sophisticated or direct way to gain control over your panic attacks, you can practice relaxing techniques and stop smoking, drinking alcohol and caffeine. Learning to focus on over your breathing and restore it to a normal breathing pattern is a great way to accelerate learning to control panic attacks.