Tips for Overcoming Panic Attacks

It’s a beautiful day and you decided to walk instead of driving towards walk. You take in the sights, the ray of sunshine and the smiles of people all around you. You take in the smell of coffee from nearby coffee shops and the breeze on your face. Suddenly, just when you feel like it’s going to be an amazing day, you suddenly feel your heart “racing” when you’re not exactly moving fast. You begin to panic as the feeling in your heart increase and you’re scared that you might be suffering from heart attack. The truth is, a “racing” heart is just one of the many panic attack symptoms and overcoming panic attacks is an ordeal that haunts one in every 113 Americans or roughly 1.7% on an annual basis.

What Is A Panic Attack?

Commonly defined as an episode of anxiety or fear that usually appears out of the blue and comparatively takes only a short time, panic attacks typically hit the highest point within the first 10 minutes and settle down after a few hours. Reactions to panic attacks differ, depending on the frequency of the attack. For instance, those who experienced panic attack for the first time tend to call emergency services, believing they’re suffering from a nervous breakdown or a heart attack. Most of the people who have been through a panic attack recall it as one of the most terrifying, uncomfortable and rough experience in their lives.

Panic Attack Symptoms

Most people who suffered from panic attacks claim to have experienced a feeling of dying, a flashing vision, a feeling of nausea or on the verge of fainting, a numbness over the body, hyperventilation, tunnel vision and chest pains. Trembling, the sensation of being smothered or choked, chest pains, having heart palpitations, chest pains, hot flashes and cold flashes are also commonly reported. Due to the increase of the hormone epinephrine (adrenaline), the person undergoing panic attack may also feel the need to flee or run away to a safe, comfortable place.

Panic Attack Treatments and Tips

Pharmacologic interventions are common means in overcoming panic attacks as it is fast, safe and reliable. Antianxiety drugs, typically benzodiazepines, are administered to help decrease the anxiety and soothe the patient. This is also used to avoid the patient from harming himself/herself. Antidepressant drugs are used in a regular basis to help avoid the symptoms of panic attacks.

The technique of paper bag breathing to help enhance relaxation is also a popular method to help overcome panic attacks. However, this is only to be used on a short-term basis and should only be done when the patient is breathing evenly. Psychotherapy is another panic attack treatment that makes use of a mixture of behavioral and cognitive therapy to help decrease the panic attack symptoms and frequency. The initial stage of the therapy is made of disseminating information while the second part is mostly made up of viewing the attack in a positive manner.

Overcoming panic attacks is not always easy. But with patience, determination and the right treatment methods, you should overcome it with flying colors.

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