Thursday, June 20, 2024

What To Do To Stop A Panic Attack

Don't Miss

Schedule An Appointment With My Psychiatrist

Doctor Explains How to Stop a Panic Attack

Panic and anxiety can be overwhelming for the person experiencing these emotions. The fear feels very real in the moment, and you may even feel like you lack control. At My Psychiatrist, we can help treat anxiety disorders and reduce your fears. Our board-certified psychiatrists can diagnose your anxiety disorder and offer treatment to improve your quality of life.

If youre ready to take back control of your life, browse through our list of providers and book an appointment today!

Get Help. Anywhere, Anytime.

Talk to a therapist or psychiatrist when youre feeling anxious, stressed, down, or not like yourself

Who Is The Best Person To Turn To

Mental health issues are no longer stigmatised. Increasing demand has led to many people pursuing careers as well. Several institutes now encourage students to enroll in mental health programs, offering affordable, score-friendly, and flexible programs.

Did you know that an online masters in counseling no GRE programme is equivalent to a traditional 4-year programme?

According to BLS, jobs in counseling will increase faster than psychologist jobs by 2025, with a growth rate of 20%. The statistics indicate that there may be many local counselors in your area or in your community that you can contact. You might even have a friend or family member studying mental health, so reach out to them for support.

Sensory Grounding With Ice Or Cold Water

If you have a washcloth and a water bottle, you have a good start to a panic attack survival kit. Sometimes panic attacks make people feel uncomfortably hot. A damp washcloth around the neck or face can ease this feeling and give you a sensation to think about.

3 ways water can calm a panic attack:

  • Hold an ice cube in your hand and focus on the sensation
  • Place a cold, wet washcloth on the back of your neck
  • Dunk your head into a bowl of ice water

You May Like: Psychogenic Blackouts Anxiety

Dont Compare Normal Stress And Fear To Panic

Maybe youve felt stressed or terrified in a dangerous situation. You might even have anxiety yourself.

These experiences arent quite the same as a panic attack, though. Avoid trying to draw comparisons between your different experiences. Unless you also get panic attacks, you probably dont entirely understand how they feel.

If you have experienced extreme fear, let that memory inform you on what your friend is going through. Remind yourself they arent just afraid or stressed.

They may also feel:

  • unable to manage whats happening
  • physical pain or discomfort

Give Yourself A Simple Massage

5 Ways to Stop a Panic Attack

In order to stop panic attacks, youll need to help yourself relax. Unfortunately, going to the spa regularly can be out of some peoples price range. So youll have to practice pampering yourself. There are a few spots that do the trick.

When having a panic attack, massage the top part of your nose between the eyes. Just move your finger up and down gently to help you relax. You can also massage your wrists or feet. Sometimes rubbing your chest above the heart can help you unwind. Some people rub ice on themselves in a massaging motion to help stop panic attacks. So you can try that too!

Don’t Miss: When Does Schizophrenia Develop In Females

Treatment Options For Panic Disorder

Here is a list of treatment options that you can refer to:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

It is the most common type of psychotherapy used to treat panic disorder. This type of therapy helps you understand how your thoughts and behaviors contribute to your panic attacks and helps you to change them.

Your therapist will likely ask you a lot of questions about what triggers your attacks, how long they last, and what kinds of things make it worse for you. This information will help them create a personalized treatment plan for you.

Medication for Panic Disorder

If youre not interested in or unable to undergo therapy, medication might be a good option for you. There are a variety of medications that can treat panic disorder, such as antidepressants and antianxiety medications.

Prescription medications including antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs , and beta-blockers can all be used alone or combined with psychotherapy to treat panic disorder.

Benzodiazepines may be the best choice for short-term treatment of a panic attack, while antidepressants may be the best choice for long-term treatment.

There is also research that suggests SSRIs may affect panic disorder symptoms, so they might be a good option for you too.

Self-Help Strategies for Panic Disorder

There are a few different self-help strategies that can help you manage your panic disorder symptoms:

Panic Attack Natural Medicine

While some natural remedies appear promising in treating panic attacks, more research is needed to explore potential risks.

Keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration does not subject herbal remedies, dietary supplements, and essential oils to the same standards as medications. As a result, its not always possible to know what youre taking.

Natural remedies can interfere with other medications and cause side effects. Ask a doctor before taking a natural remedy for panic disorder.

Research has shown that cognitive behavioral therapy is the most effective form of therapy for panic disorder. It can be used alone or in combination with antidepressants.

CBT is a practical form of therapy that encompasses a number of techniques. The goal is to adapt your thoughts and behavior to improve panic disorder symptoms.

Read Also: Does Anxiety Cause Blurry Vision

How Do I Calm My Anxious Child

Anxiety and panic share some common symptoms. When your child is experiencing a panic attack or is feeling particularly anxious, follow these steps.

  • Be calm yourself. Its not about you.
  • Acknowledge that their feelings are real instead of punishing/shaming them for how they feel.
  • Practice chest breathing together to encourage their parasympathetic nervous system to do its thing.
  • Tell them that you are there for them by saying, I am here for you.
  • Give them a long hug .

The End Of Everything: What A Panic Attack Feels Like

How To Stop A Panic Attack

Only 16, Caroline, had her first panic attack a year ago. Her mother was dropping her off at her summer job at a local school when, without warning, a full-blown panic attack engulfed her. My heart started racing and my body felt so hot. I started to sweat and shake uncontrollably. My vision became distorted and my body felt limp, like a wet noodle, she says. For 20 minutes, until the panic attacked passed, Caroline refused to get out of the car. Her mother didnt know what to do.

Kirstie Craine Ruiz, 46, has lived with anxiety, panic attacks, and panic disorder for about ten years. For a long time, she had full-blown attacks 2-3 nights a week. I would usually awake to a racing heart or the feeling of my heart expanding in my chestas it might explodeFrom there, I would begin to panic and my heart would go even fasterand my body would shake so hard that it felt like I was having a convulsion. I could barely breathe and was usually pretty sure I was having a heart attack and that I was going to die. Sometimes Id go the ER and theyd hold me overnight because my heart would be going so fast and they couldnt get it to go down.

Recommended Reading: Phobia Define

Who Gets Panic Attacks

At least 6 million Americans suffer from panic attacks and panic disorder both conditions classified as anxiety disorders. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America , about 2-3% of Americans experience panic disorder in a given year and it is twice as common in women as in men. Panic disorder typically affects individuals when theyre in their 20s but is also seen in young children, adolescents, and older adults.

Try To Find Evidence For Your Fear

When trying to stop a panic attack, you need to get to the root cause of it: your fear. Many times are fears are exaggerated in our mind. Our imagination can play some terrifying tricks on us. A simple way to stop panic attacks is to first label what the situation or trigger is. For example, an upcoming wedding. Then, list your feelings such as anxious, paranoid, scared, etc. Next, name the unhelpful thoughts that youre having. For example, feeling like youre in danger, feeling like youre about to die. Then, list the facts that support your unhelpful thought.

Keep in mind they need to be facts not beliefs. You might have some weird coincidences that you can list but that wont be considered actual evidence. Then, list facts that provide evidence against the unhelpful thought. For example, maybe youre still young and healthy so you likely arent about to die. Next, provide an alternative and more realistic. Next, focus on reevaluate you how currently feel. This is the Thought Record you can fill out to help you.

You May Like: Bipolar And Bpd Comorbid

Logic: You Have Beaten This Before

Chances are this is not your first panic attack. If thats the case, you should already know the drill by now. Im going to feel super scared for a few minutes, and then its going to pass. Maybe this fact isnt ideal, but its certainly better than the state of bewilderment you were probably in trying to stop your first panic attack. Remember, youve survived every panic attack before this one, and youll beat this one as well.

Take Any Prescribed Medications

How to Deal with Anxiety or Panic Attacks

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.

Don’t Miss: Does Dehydration Cause Anxiety

If Feeling Anxious Is Normal When Does It Become A Clinical Disorder

Anxiety is formally diagnosed as generalised anxiety disorder after meeting these specific criteria from the DSM-V:

  • The presence of excessive anxiety and worry about a variety of topics, events, or activities. Worry occurs more often than not for at least 6 months and is clearly excessive.
  • The worry is experienced as very challenging to control.
  • The anxiety and worry is accompanied with at least three of the following physical or cognitive symptoms :
  • Tiring easily
  • Increased muscle aches or soreness
  • Irritability

A health practitioner will use standardised assessment tools, the above diagnostic criteria, and their clinical judgement to make a diagnosis of anxiety-related disorder.

Know Your Physical Health Status

Knowing more about your physical health puts you in a better position to tell the difference between panic attack symptoms and signs of a medical condition. Going to your doctor for regular checkups can help you rule out other conditions that would be cause for alarm.

A doctor will be able to differentiate whether the symptoms of panic shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, shaking and sweating, etc. are the result of a medical condition or anxiety, says Dr. Mehta. Also, if you do have a medical condition, educate yourself about those symptoms and how they differ from panic and anxiety.

Think about the specific symptoms youre experiencing. Are they things common during a panic attack? Remind yourself of the conversations with your doctor. Go over the logic in your head or say it out loud.

Recommended Reading: Fear Of Long Words Phobia Name

Always Seek Professional Advice

Always seek medical advice if you are not sure whether your symptoms, or another persons symptoms, indicate a panic attack. In an emergency, dial triple zero for an ambulance. Its important to see your doctor for a check-up to make sure that any recurring physical panic-like symptoms are not due to illnesses, including:

  • Diabetes

How To Stop A Panic Attack

How to Stop Panic Attacks Fast when you are having a Panic Attack?

When a person has a panic attack, adrenaline floods the body and creates an array of physical, mental and emotional symptoms. A panic attack can be a scary experience, but we can guide you through how to stop a panic attack and calm yourself or a loved one down. Some methods you can use to help yourself overcome panic attacks in the moment include:

  • Deep breathing exercises: Hyperventilating, one of the symptoms of panic attacks, decreases the amount of oxygen that reaches your bloodstream and can make your panic symptoms feel worse. Practicing breathing exercises can help you increase your oxygen intake and bring about a sense of calm. Breathing exercises also help lower cortisol levels. Practice breathing in for four counts, holding the breath for a moment and releasing for another four counts. Repeat this technique until your breathing has returned to normal.
  • Acknowledgment: Fighting the panic can make your symptoms more intense than they already are. Acknowledging that youre having a panic attack, not something more serious, can help you realize that it will pass and that theres nothing severely wrong. You might feel uncomfortable and afraid, but know that its just a stress reaction in the body and it will go away.
  • Also Check: Childhood Trauma And Bipolar Disorder

    What To Do After A Panic Attack

    The immediate onset of a panic attack can be distressing and it is important to help the person regain an immediate sense of control.

    This can be done by practising deep breathing exercises. Generally, the presence of a trusted friend or colleague can help the person recover better during the attack but this should be kept to a minimum of only one or two individuals.

    Panic attacks can sometimes be triggered by the presence of too many people and individuals assisting the afflicted should be mindful of this.

    After the panic attack has passed, allow the person room to regain their composure on their own and offer support when requested to help the person feel better.

    Reduce Your Stress Levels

    Stress and worry is all too commonplace in the modern world, but there are things we can do to tackle this. If youre ruminating thinking too much about the past or the future worried, or frazzled from your job, take steps to relax.

    Firstly, some kind of exercise is essential and the benefits of it regarding anxiety and depression are proven. According to some studies, regular exercise can work as well as medication to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Try to fit some swimming, running or yoga into your routine and you should notice the benefits.

    Great lengths: swimming can lower stress and anxiety

    Recommended Reading: What Is Phobia Mean

    Mindset: This Will Be Over In A Few Minutes

    Oftentimes, during a panic attack, we tend to forget that this is a temporary emotional state. We are not going to feel this way forever. In fact, panic attacks are usually fairly short-lived. Around 5-10 minutes is a common duration for most panic attacks. After all, we only have so much energy to burn on anxiety until we are simply too tired to worry anymore. Just remember, these bad feelings are going to pass.

    Anxiety Vs Panic Attacks

    How to control anxiety and panic attacks naturally

    Anxiety and panic attacks are both very common. They are both often underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed as medical conditions.

    Anxiety is characterized by ongoing worry or fear about the future. With generalized anxiety disorder , for example, anxiety symptoms are present for normal everyday experiences and can create mild-to-severe interruptions in a person’s life. With anxiety, symptoms may be present on some level all the time or during specific periods of known stressors, such as during a public presentation.

    Panic attacks tend to come on suddenly and can happen from either a calm state or a state of feeling anxious. They often occur without warning or a known trigger and bring a sense of doom, intense fear, and a feeling of dying.

    Similarly, both anxiety and panic attacks have physical and psychological symptoms. With panic attacks, however, the symptoms tend to come on quickly and are often only present for up to 10 minutes. With anxiety, symptoms can be present for a much longer period of time.

    Also Check: Phobia Psychology Definition

    How To Deal With Panic Attacks

    A panic attack is a feeling of sudden and intense anxiety.

    Panic attacks can also have physical symptoms, including shaking, feeling disorientated, nausea, rapid, irregular heartbeats, dry mouth, breathlessness, sweating and dizziness.

    The symptoms of a panic attack are not dangerous, but can be very frightening.

    They can make you feel as though you are having a heart attack, or that you are going to collapse or even die.

    Most panic attacks last somewhere from five minutes to half an hour.

    Breathe Deeply From Your Stomach

    This is one of the most effective ways to stop or reduce panic attack symptoms. If done correctly, deep breathing can alleviate those horrible physical symptoms such as tingling, dry mouth and dizziness. Here’s how: breathe in deeply and slowly through your nose and down into your belly for seven seconds hold for seven more, then release the air slowly through your mouth over another seven seconds, pushing it right out of your tummy.

    Deep breathing exercises like this help balance out the low level of carbon dioxide in the blood that happens during hyperventilation . Getting this step down is key to stopping a panic attack while you’re in the middle of it.

    Deeply important: breathe right down into your abdomen

    You May Like: Definition Of Phobia In Psychology

    Visualization: What Would I Do If

    Anxiety has a tendency to leave us feeling powerless or visualizing the worst possible outcome. While anxious, we often ask ourselves a ton of What if questionsWhat if I have a panic attack in public?What if my crush rejects me? What if I dont get the job?

    When we start asking ourselves these questions and imagining everything that could possibly go wrong, we make out anxiety worse. It can be helpful to reframe the question: What would I do ifWhat would I do if I had a panic attack in public?What would I do if my crush rejected me? What would I do if I didnt get the job?

    It may seem like a small difference, but posing the question this way allows us to devise an actual answer an actionable plan that reminds us of the fact that we always have options when it comes to fixing or adapting to an unfavorable situation. Everything Is going to be okay, and you are going to figure this out.

    More articles

    Popular Articles