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How to Stop Panic Attacks

How to Stop Panic Attacks

Panic attacks are often seen as sudden episodes of extreme fear, accompanied with a series of symptoms. Here are some tips to stop panic attacks.
PsycholoGenie Staff
Panic attacks can be really frightening for the sufferers, especially, when they experience the condition for the first time. Such an attack occurs all of a sudden, and is described as a feeling of extreme fear. It is accompanied with symptoms, like sweating, rapid heart rate, chills, shortness of breath, chest pain, and nausea. The symptoms may vary from one person to another. Usually, panic attack symptoms subside within half an hour; but in some cases, it may take a few hours. The sufferer may think that he is experiencing a heart attack or any other condition that is associated with an impending death.
While some people experience panic attacks two to three times, during their lifetime, some others suffer from this condition periodically. Such periodic attacks are termed panic disorder or panic attack disorder. Panic attacks are often confused with anxiety attacks, and both the terms are used interchangeably. However, they are different, even though in some cases, a panic attack may lead to an anxiety attack. In short, panic attacks are scary for many, as the condition can interfere with their daily activities. Apart from medication, there are various other methods to prevent panic attacks.
Tips to Stop Panic Attacks
There are various methods to control and prevent panic attacks. They include medication, like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (a class of antidepressants), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (antidepressants), tricyclic antidepressants, benzodiazepines (sedatives), and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (antidepressants). Most of these drugs may cause side effects. So, you must talk to your physician about the possible side effects of these drugs. The physician may also change those medicines which are not found to be effective.
Apart from medicines, psychotherapy is found to be effective in people with panic disorders. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the popular and effective types of psychotherapy for panic disorder. You have to undergo repeated sessions for the best results. The frequency and intensity of panic attacks will reduce with time. You can prevent panic attacks by avoiding triggers, and by practicing stress relief techniques.

  • As mentioned above, avoid triggering factors, which may vary from one person to another. Such triggers include stress, certain medical conditions, medicines, and drug or alcohol withdrawal. If the triggering factor is avoidable, it is better to do that. Otherwise, stick to a treatment plan, stress management, and psychotherapy.
  • If you are feeling depressed, never stay idle. Divert your mind by watching TV, or engage in some activity, which you find interesting.
  • Get sufficient sleep, which is very important for normal brain functioning.
  • A right diet may also work wonders. You must have a diet, which is rich in complex carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, whole grains), proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil and flaxseed oil).
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol. They can worsen your condition, and may sometimes trigger panic attacks. Regular exercises (like aerobic activities) is another solution for stopping panic attacks.
  • A regular intake of foods with B vitamins is also found to be effective in people with panic disorders. You can include fish, eggs, soy products, brown rice, leafy green vegetables, and whole grains, in your diet.

If the trigger is any medical condition, treatment is provided for the same. Otherwise, avoid triggering factors, maintain a good lifestyle with regular exercise, adopt the right diet, and practice stress-relief methods, like yoga and meditation. Breathing exercises are also said to be good for preventing panic attacks. However, if you have a panic disorder, with frequent episodes of panic attacks, it is always better to consult a physician and stick to the treatment plan. The above said remedies can be practiced along with the suggested treatment plan.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. Visiting your physician is the safest way to diagnose and treat any health condition.