Wednesday, April 17, 2024

How To Calm Someone With A Panic Attack

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Walk Or Do Some Light Exercise

How To Calm Down During A Panic Attack

Walking can remove a person from a stressful environment, and the rhythm of walking may also help them regulate their breathing.

Moving around releases hormones called endorphins that relax the body and improve mood. Taking up regular exercise can help reduce anxiety over time, which may lead to a reduction in the number or severity of panic attacks.

How Panic Attacks Work In Your Body

With a panic attack, the above anxiety river gets short-circuited.; Lets take a look at what happens during a panic attack.

  • Similar to the anxiety response, the first signal of a panic attack is from your amygdala. Your;body senses a threatin the environment and sends a signal down your spinal cord to increase your heart rate and prepare to fight or run away.;
  • Your body then senses;your tension in your heart. In a panic attack, you dont recognize this tension as normal or helpful.; Instead of soothing anxiety, the signal is ignored. The fire alarm is dismissed, not paid attention to. We often ignore the signal by working harder, by scrolling social media, by busying ourselves.
  • Because the anxiety isnt soothed, it;continues to build inside;until a breaking moment: the threat overwhelms the coping strategies. If our normal anxiety response is a river, then a panic attack is like a dam that, after holding back too much water, breaks.;
  • Its hard for the body to remain in a panic state for long. After the period of intense breathing, heart racing, and fear, the body will;naturally calm itself;down usually after 15-30 minutes, though occasionally it can take an hour or more.;
  • Often the original;cause of anxiety is forgotten, due to the overwhelming experience of panic.
  • Try Muscle Relaxation Techniques

    Another symptom of panic attacks is muscle tension. Practicing muscle relaxation techniques may help limit an attack. This is because if the mind senses that the body is relaxing, other symptoms such as rapid breathing may also diminish.

    A technique called progressive muscle relaxation is a popular method for coping with anxiety and panic attacks.

    This involves tensing up and then relaxing various muscles in turn. To do this:

  • Hold the tension for 5 seconds.
  • Say relax as you release the muscle.
  • Let the muscle relax for 10 seconds before moving on to the next muscle.
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    Prevention: Focus On Managing Or Reducing Your Stress

    With panic disorder, panic attacks often have no tangible triggers, but there is a connection between feelings of stress and the occurrence of panic attacks, so practicing self-care and adjusting some lifestyle habits can help.;

    Here are a few ways that you can better manage the stress in your life:

    • Avoiding or limiting alcohol or caffeine consumption
    • Making sure to get enough sleep
    • Eating regular, well-balanced meals;
    • Getting plenty of exercise
    • Relying on your support network this could mean speaking with your friends, family, or other loved ones when you are feeling anxious. Confiding in someone you trust can help take the edge off, and may bring you comfort or at least can alert somebody so that they are prepared to help you if a panic attack happens.
    • Practicing meditation or other mindfulness techniques

    Taking good care of your overall health and wellbeing can help you more easily manage and cope with your stress or anxiety.;

    Coping With An Attack

    The Unpredictability Of Panic Invisible Illness Medium

    During a panic attack, experts recommend reminding yourself that you arent in any danger. Carbonell suggested asking yourself: What Im experiencing now, is it danger or is it discomfort?

    You should also try to remember that the attack is going to end,;regardless of what you do, Gallagher said. Panic attacks typically peak at about 10;minutes.

    Try not to take any immediate dramatic actions, such as fleeing the situation, experts said. Also, dont avoid similar situations in;the future; that will only reinforce the belief that its something really terrible and to be feared, said Lynn Bufka, a senior director at the American Psychological Association.

    Instead, let the panic attack happen and let yourself accept everything youre feeling. As Carbonell points out, youre experiencing discomfort, not danger. You want to take actions that will help you stay in place and give the panic a chance to subside.

    For example, if youre hyperventilating, you can try slow diaphragmatic, or belly, breathing, Bufka said.

    Trott, the Illinois resident at the grocery store, was able to stay in place, as Carbonell recommends. He continued to shop albeit at a quicker pace. If I can bear it, I just keep moving and try to concentrate on what I need to get, he said.

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    How To Handle Panic Attacks At Night

    Even with your best efforts, panic attacks at night can still happen. Thats ok. It doesnt mean something has gone wrong it just means youre human.;

    However, when a panic attack does happen, you can minimize the effects by doing a few simple things.;

    First, work to focus on taking deep breaths. Deep breathing signals your body to calm down.;

    Second, once the panic attack ends, have activities ready that help you relax again. Journaling can be cathartic, or you might play relaxing music while you meditate. Here too, a weighted blanket or weighted throw blanket can help remind your body you are safe and able to calm down.

    Finally, make sure youre scheduling enough time to sleep. It can take several minutes to come down from a panic attack, and worrying about the sleep youre missing could actually increase your anxiety.;

    You could also use a weighted blanket while youre having a panic attack. The pressure and soothing hug feel it provides could help soothe these intense feelings.;

    Things You Shouldn’t Do

    Donât try to minimize it. Understand that the panic you see is real to your friend, even if the cause may not appear rational to you.

    Donât be judgmental or critical. Blaming someone for a panic attack doesnât help. Donât try to talk them out of it, either.

    If you know what causes your friend’s attacks, donât help them avoid the situation. Escape now could be harmful later. It could make the anxiety worse and raise the odds for more attacks. They may also become reliant on you to shield them from their fears.

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    How Do You Help After The Panic Attack

    Many people with panic disorder distance themselves, fearing others wont understand. They may be embarrassed by their panic attacks or other anxiety symptoms. There are also many myths about panic disorder that may contribute to a panic sufferers feelings of shame.

    This means that you may need to remind your loved one, family member, or friend that they are not alone and that while you may not understand their experience exactly, you do understand that they have unique experiences that you wish to be supportive of.

    It can also be helpful to encourage them to spend time doing self-care and using self-care strategies that help to combat feelings of loneliness and reduce panic disorder symptoms.;

    For example, physical exercise for panic disorder can help reduce stress hormones and decrease muscle tension. It may be worthwhile to invite the person to exercise with you or a small group. Also, it is important to remember that on average it takes 5 weeks for the brain to produce endorphins as a result of exercising so it will take more than one or two trips to the gym to feel results!

    Another way to help someone overcome the feelings of isolation related to panic attacks is to gently encourage them to put themselves out there by getting involved in classes, groups, clubs, or organizations. Providing a supportive and understanding group of people can help eliminate loneliness.

    What Is A Panic Attack

    How To Calm Down During A Panic Attack

    A panic attack is a sudden, painful collection of anxiety symptoms. Panic attacks often involve extreme tightness in your chest, a fast heartbeat, rapid breathing, and intense fear. Many people mistake panic attacks for heart attacks. Most panic attacks last for 15-60 minutes. After the intense period of anxiety, the pain decreases, and people usually feel exhausted from the heightened state of arousal.;

    Panic attacks can be debilitating. Many people who experience panic attacks often worry about going out with friends, to work, social situations, or the grocery store. They worry theyll have a panic attack in public and wont be able to control their anxiety.

    Also Check: How To Relax After A Panic Attack

    Learn To Recognize The Signs Of Anxiety

    Anxiety disorder is the most common mental health condition in the United States, affecting up to 18% of the population. Knowing the signs of anxiety can help you realize when someone you love is having fearful thoughts or feelings. Symptoms vary from person to person but can be broken into three categories:

    What Are Panic Attacks

    A panic attack can be described as a sudden and intense surge of anxiety, panic, or fear. These intense reactions can be overwhelming and exhausting. The darkness can make panic attacks more intense at night. You may also experience both physical and mental effects. It can be more common if there are multiple triggers.

    Did you know that a distraction from triggers and panic attacks can reduce the chance of having these episodes? This means you can increase your concentration to prevent sudden intense attacks from any trigger.

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    Panic Disorder Treatment Options

    Panic attacks and panic disorders are treatable once the underlying cause is identified. Usually medical conditions and other factors are ruled out before making the diagnosis, says Flo Leighton, psychiatric nurse practitioner, and therapist with Union Square Practice in Manhattan. Getting to the root cause typically takes a couple of sessions, says Leighton. Here are some options that may be recommended to you :

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy , is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations, and events. The National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists says the benefit of this therapy is that we can change the way we think to feel and act better even if the situation does not change. CBT focuses on determining the thought and behavior patterns responsible for sustaining or causing panic attacks. CBT is a time-limited process that employs a variety of cognitive and behavioral techniques to affect change.
  • Medication can be used to control or lessen symptoms related to panic disorder. It is most effective when combined with other treatments, such as the aforementioned cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy. Medications used to treat panic attacks and panic disorder include antidepressants, though they take several weeks to reach effectiveness. Benzodiazepines such as Ativan and Xanax work quickly. However they are addictive and should only be used for a short time,
  • Treatment Options For Your Clients

    How to avoid panic attacks puzzle 1.0 : poihaupar

    Treatment options are suitable for clients who are experiencing panic attacks because of a clinically significant mental health condition such as panic disorder.

    The first port of call for such clients should be Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy . CBT is a diverse therapy that can involve any combination of a suite of therapeutic interventions, unified by the goal of helping your client reevaluate their beliefs and reprogram the habitual links;between their beliefs and behaviors.

    As the name suggests, the mental health interventions involved in CBT can be categorized as either cognitive or behavioral.

    Cognitive therapies involve identifying and disrupting beliefs that cause the negative mood or anxiety that trigger panic attacks and educating patients to understand their panic attacks and put psychological distance between themselves and their experiences.

    Behavioral therapies can involve relaxation techniques, practicing how to navigate potentially triggering situations, and exposure therapy, in which a client is safely guided through a direct or visualized experience of a potentially triggering situation.

    Whatever combination of interventions works best for your client, CBT has been shown to be a successful therapy in most cases and is well suited to managing panic attacks, where controlling those triggering links between beliefs and behaviors is crucial.

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    Take Any Prescribed Medications

    Depending on the severity of panic attacks, a doctor may prescribe a use-as-needed medication. These medications typically work fast.

    Some contain a benzodiazepine or a beta-blocker. Propranolol is a beta-blocker that slows a racing heartbeat and decreases blood pressure.

    Benzodiazepines that doctors commonly prescribe for panic attacks include Valium and Xanax.

    However, these drugs can be highly addictive, so people should use them exactly as their doctor prescribes. Taken with opioids or alcohol, they can have life threatening adverse effects.

    A doctor may also describe selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which can help prevent panic attacks from occurring in the first place.

    Do You Need To Stop Drinking

    Alcohol may be a popular casual drink, but it is still a drug. If someone suffers from alcohol use disorder , quitting alcohol must be a priority. Alcohol can cause several long term health issues, in addition to some of the personal challenges that come from the disorder. Please review the linked description of alcohol use disorder, and if you need help, review this link for treatments and resources.

    If you are not struggling with alcohol addiction, cutting out drinking is more of a personal choice. Your panic attacks won’t go away completely if you cut out alcohol, although reducing your consumption may well reduce the frequency and intensity of your panic attacks, and those that quit drinking altogether may find that they feel better overall.

    Alcohol is a drug like any other, and anything that affects your body like alcohol does has the potential to contribute a great deal to your panic attacks and anxiety more generally. For this reason, those that have panic attacks should strongly consider avoiding alcohol wherever possible.

    Whether or not you drink, your panic attacks need to be addressed separately. Cutting out alcohol will help you cope better, and should reduce the likelihood of experiencing a panic attack, but it won’t stop them altogether. In order to truly take control of your panic attacks, you should make efforts to treat the underlying anxiety thatâs causing them in the first place.

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    Making Conversation And Positive Affirmations

    What a person says in response to someone having a panic attack is just as important as what they do. Engaging in conversation can distract from the extreme symptoms and help the person regulate their breathing. It is important to ask whether a person requires help rather than just assuming that they do. Here are some guidelines on what to say and do:

    • Ask questions: Introduce yourself and ask if the person needs help. If so, ask them if they think that they are having a panic attack and whether they have had one before. This prompt may remind them about previous attacks and how they recovered.
    • Stay or go: Let the person know that they do not have to stay where they are. Leaving a certain situation can take the pressure off someone having a panic attack. Find out what makes them feel most comfortable.
    • Kind words: Staying positive and nonjudgmental is important. Help the person understand that you are there to assist them, they are safe, and they are going to get through this. Remind them that the panic attack is only temporary.
    • Have a friendly conversation: An engaging chat can help distract a person from their symptoms. If you are a friend, gently bring up a topic that they are interested in to help them think of something else.

    Causes Of Panic Attacks And Panic Disorder

    How to Help Someone Having a Panic Attack [3 Quick Tips to Feel Calm Again]

    Although the exact causes of panic attacks and panic disorder are unclear, the tendency to have panic attacks runs in families. There also appears to be a connection with major life transitions such as graduating from college and entering the workplace, getting married, or having a baby. Severe stress, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, or job loss can also trigger panic attacks.

    Panic attacks can also be caused by medical conditions and other physical causes. If youre suffering from symptoms of panic, its important to see a doctor to rule out the following possibilities:

  • Mitral valve prolapse, a minor cardiac problem that occurs when one of the hearts valves doesnt close correctly
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Stimulant use
  • Medication withdrawal
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    The First Panic Attack

    I was standing in the canteen at work, talking to my team. I was getting more and more worried as my boss listed all the tasks we needed to complete, and was panicking about how I was going to juggle everything and get it all done. Then I started thinking about everything I hadnt done at home. Id forgotten my lunch that morning – and did I accidentally leave the iron on?

    Suddenly I wasnt listening to my boss anymore. My mind was swirling with thoughts, my inner critic shouting at me, reminding of everything I had to do. I couldnt cope. I felt like a rabbit in headlights, frozen in terror – and then I blacked out.

    Suddenly I wasnt listening to my boss anymore.

    I came round, lying on the floor of my work canteen, with my colleagues crowded around me. What had just happened? Id fainted. Someone at work called 111, and they sent a fast-response ambulance. It was the second day in a row that I had fainted at work, and they were worried about me.

    Know What To Do For Calming A Panic Attack

    Now you have some effective ways of calming a panic attack.

    We understand its a highly unpleasant and scary thing to go through, which is why we hope the above tips have helped. But one of the most important things in handling an anxiety attack is to have the aid of a professional therapist.

    With their help, you can learn even more effective ways of dealing with these panic attacks so they arent as detrimental to your life. In addition, they can help you pinpoint your sources of anxiety and give you effective ways to deal with them so your chances of anxiety attacks are decreased for the future.

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