How To Prevent A Panic Attack
Panic disorder is a common mental health condition related to anxiety marked by frequent panic attacks. People with panic disorder experience unpredictable but repetitive episodes of intense fear. Panic attacks can be paralyzing, and last for 20 to 30 minutes. During a panic attack, they may be unable to function physically or mentally. Since the condition is so debilitating and generally unpleasant, patients wonder how to prevent a panic attack.
Furthermore, patients with anxiety or panic disorder along with an addiction may experience more frequent or severe panic attacks. For that co-occurring condition, doctors recommend dual diagnosis treatment.
Common Symptoms of Panic Attacks
A panic attack happens suddenly when a person is confronted with a trigger. Almost instantly, the attack starts to intensify until the person is completely overwhelmed.
Triggers include phobias, reminders of past traumas, or fear of a person, behavior, object, or situation. Panic attacks normally include some if not all of the following symptoms:
- Chest or abdominal pain
- Sweating, trembling, or shaking
- Increased heart rate or pounding heartbeat
- Feelings that something terrible is about to happen
- Shortness of breath or a sensation of choking
4 Tips On How To Prevent A Panic Attack
Familiarity with symptoms is helpful but it doesn’t stop anxiety. Here are 4 tips on how to prevent a panic attack:
- Be mindful: Focus on what your senses perceive so you can appreciate what’s happening in the moment. By focusing on senses, you can block out negative thoughts that trigger your panic attack.
- Relaxation techniques: Deep breaths allow you to focus. If you are able to, reading and listening to music also help you bring your focus away from panic.
- Medication: For panic attacks, doctors prescribe anti-anxiety drugs and antidepressants, such as benzos (Xanax). Your doctor can direct you on when to take the drug and the dosage.
- Reduce stress: Fear can induce stress and stress can cause fear. In either case, stress causes your body to release hormones that induce panic. By managing your life to reduce stress, you can avoid or reduce panic symptoms.
- Eyes open or closed? For some people, sensory activities are the cause of the panic attack. Doctors recommend either closing the eyes (in case of a visual trigger) or opening them (to focus on visuals instead). Noise, movement, and general activity can incite panic, so any method is useful.
Anxiety Treatment at The Ranch PA
If you know how to prevent a panic attack, a lot of the fear of panic attacks subsides. That feeling of assurance and security may seem simple, but it’s a valuable redoubt against your anxiety.
If you need more help or advice on how to prevent a panic attack, come to anxiety treatment programs at The Ranch PA. We deal with mental health and substance abuse issues all the time and want to help you live life healthily and comfortably.
For help with how to prevent a panic attack, contact The Ranch PA online or call us today at 717.969.9126. The solution to panic is just a phone call away.