Helpful Tips for Stopping and Preventing Panic Attacks

Oct 28 20:08 2020 Mitch Nox Print This Article

Before dealing with a panic attack, it's worth understanding better what it is. A panic attack is a condition when a person experiences strong and unreasonable fear. At the same time, such emotions are almost beyond control. This state can last only a few minutes, or maybe whole hour

Breathing practices,Guest Posting clear actions, and a favorite notebook at hand. This is a simple guideline to help you survive a panic attack. The article uses a statistical analysis of data obtained from a mental health survey conducted by

What is a panic attack?

Panic attacks significantly reduce the quality of life and in some cases lead to quite serious consequences, for example, agoraphobia. Also, panic attacks often cause various addictions - nicotine, alcoholic, narcotic. With their help, a person tries to relieve accumulated stress, but over time, such "drugs" are less effective, but panic attacks intensify. That is why it is so important to see a specialist on time. If you have experienced panic attacks several times in a year, then you should see a professional - a psychologist, psychotherapist or psychiatrist (depending on the severity of the situation).

Panic attack symptoms

Often times, panic attacks have no relationship to real danger. In this case, the disease takes a sudden start, the symptoms intensify rapidly, and then decline, leaving the patient alone with the state of recovery after an attack. As a rule, panic attacks last about 15 minutes. In rare cases, there are non-prolonged attacks (about 10 minutes) and prolonged attacks (about 1 hour).

The most common complaints are a feeling of suffocation, pain in the heart, heart sinking or excessive heart activity, breathing problems, lack of air, etc. Frequent symptoms are paraesthesia, dizziness, chills, sweating. Often, patients report cognitive impairments: de-personalization, fuzzy sound, blurry objects, light-headedness, and so on. More rare symptoms are vomiting, belching, nausea, and other gastrointestinal symptoms.

The first panic attack is usually expressed by a specific fear of death. When repeated, it takes on a clear form: a person is overcome by the fear of death from any disease or accident. There is a feeling of anxiety, which is difficult to explain with anything, internal tension. Often, patients reach a state of passion. Some patients are most susceptible to emotional disorders: feelings of pity, worthlessness, hopelessness.

Panic attacks can be accompanied by certain functional disorders: twisting of the arms, chills, mutism, visual impairment, numbness of the limbs, change in gait, etc.

Who is prone to panic attacks?

A panic attack can happen to anyone. However, there are also special "risk groups". Residents of large cities where daily stress overloads the nervous system get it more than other people. It is believed that about 5% of the inhabitants of megacities are susceptible to panic attacks. Also, the "risk group" includes people with so-called catastrophic thinking. People with this type of thinking are prone to drama and exaggeration - even a minor problem in their eyes grows to the size of the apocalypse. Often, people with anxiety disorders, social phobia, or heightened emotional sensitivity are susceptible to panic attacks.

The trigger for these attacks can be serious exhaustion or anticipation of an important event. We must not forget that such a state arises as a result of various psychological traumas. It is not at all necessary that the traumatic event happened recently - the psyche does not always "promptly" react to what has happened, so a panic attack may be the result of some kind of severe and not well-developed childhood trauma.

What are morning and night panic attacks?

Panic attacks can happen not only on the street, in unfamiliar and crowded places, but even at home. This usually happens at night or during the day. This type of panic attack is typical for people with a high level of self-control and discipline. During the daytime, a lot of energy is spent on maintaining external calmness and goodness, but at night, when self-control weakens, stress seems to "catch up" the body and falls on it. The result is not only insomnia but also real panic, when your own walls, familiar pieces of furniture, and even a partner lying next to you cause horror. The same goes for morning panic attacks.

How to stop a panic attack? 5 useful tips
  1. The most important thing during a panic attack is to distract from the fear experienced. All means are good for this. If you like to play games on your phone, run your favorite one. You can also try to read a book, turn on music on headphones, start writing down your feelings in a diary, and do oral counting. Any of these actions requires a concentration of attention, which means that it weakens the panic attack. However, the trouble is that it is very difficult to concentrate in such a situation, and it will require a lot of effort from you;
  2. In addition to the fact that you need to come up with an activity for the brain, it is not bad to occupy the rest of the body with something. For example, you can touch the rosary so that tactile sensations distract from the panic attack, or put a lollipop in your mouth and use your taste buds. Psychologists also advise massaging the earlobes, squeezing and unclenching the palms - this will give work to the muscles and help to "feel" your body again;
  3. Also, it is good if you have a bottle of water on hand. During a panic attack, it often becomes stuffy, there is an acute lack of oxygen, and a few sips of water will at least partially solve these problems;
  4. Remember about the benefits of working with breathing. A panic attack causes the heart to speed up, which in turn further increases fear and creates discomfort. There are many ways to calm your "mad" heart. One of the easiest ways is to normalize breathing. At the first symptoms, start breathing in beats: four for inhaling, four for holding your breath, and four for exhaling;
  5. Anti-panic applications will be a good assistant in stopping panic attacks: Stop Panic & Anxiety Self-Help, The Worry Box Android app, Calm app, Inner Balance app, and Fast Calm app. They contain useful information about panic attacks, breathing exercises, and the so-called coping cards that will help reduce the level of anxiety.
Life without panic attacks: 5 tips for prevention

Alas, medicine does not know exactly why panic attacks occur, therefore, methods of struggle are rather general recommendations, which, however, will help you avoid attacks in the future:

  1. Do not lead a sedentary lifestyle. Scientists believe that the occurrence of attacks is associated with a lack of endorphins, which our body produces during physical exertion. Therefore, even light aerobic exercise and walking can make your life much easier;
  2. Try not to be nervous. Yes, we know that this recommendation sounds ridiculous - how can you not be nervous when life is so difficult? But, alas, only calmness will save you from panic attacks;
  3. Don't drink coffee or cut back on coffee. Large amounts of caffeine cause heart palpitations and can trigger panic attacks at the most unexpected moment;
  4. Be careful with alcohol. Alcoholic drinks can cause unexpected reactions in the body, including an attack;
  5. Be careful with medications. Analyze if the panic attack is related to taking a new drug? Medication can sometimes trigger panic attacks, so check with your doctor.
Treatment for panic attacks

The main approach to the treatment of panic attack is the interaction of a psychologist and a neurologist who jointly try to convince the patient that a panic attack is not a disease, it does not pose a risk to life and health, and can also be controlled. Changing your outlook on different life situations is one of the most important moments of recovery.

Antidepressants (tricyclic and tetracyclic) occupy a special place in drug treatment. However, they start working in a few weeks, and the symptoms of panic attacks during this period may become more pronounced. The stage of maximum effectiveness of the drugs begins after about two months.

Various benzodiazepines can be prescribed to the patient. They do not aggravate the symptoms of a panic attack and are more effective from the moment of use, however, these drugs are not recommended for use for more than 4 weeks due to the risk of addiction. Besides, they are ineffective for depressive disorders. As a rule, these drugs are used to relieve paroxysms.

The choice of a drug treatment method is always individual. As a rule, the course of drug use is at least 6 months. A complete refusal to use medications is relevant only in cases where the panic attack has not recurred within 40 days.

Respiratory control is the simplest and most effective non-drug therapy. You need to take the deepest possible breath and hold your breath for as long as possible. After that, you need to make a slow exhalation. In this case, you need to try to relax your body and close your eyes. This exercise should be repeated about 15-20 times. You can make a short pause in several standard breaths and exhalations.

Source: Free Guest Posting Articles from

  Article "tagged" as:

About Article Author

Mitch Nox
Mitch Nox

Dr. Mitch Nox has more than 20 years of supervised clinical work experience. Dr. Nox specializes in the treatment of mental, emotional, or behavioral problems. Dr. Nox is a nationally and internationally recognized expert on psychiatric diagnosis and assessment issues. Currently, he is working at the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Nox also provides consulting services to My Canadian Pharmacy and keeps them imformed about innovative, new mental health treatments.

View More Articles