Panic Attack Treatments - How To Stop Panic Attacks
Panic Attack » Panic Attack Treatments How To Stop Panic Attacks
Panic Attack Treatments How To Stop Panic Attacks
Sometimes, in spite of all your efforts, your anxiety hits its peak and you have no choice but to ride out your moments in hell. If this happens and you experience full-blown panic, try the following:
1. Dont fight your symptoms—keep telling yourself that youre not in real danger, that the wild bodily fluctuations that youre experiencing are the result of the adrenaline rushing through your body and that this will subside as your anxiety level drops, generally within a few minutes.
2. Try to leave the panic-provoking situation.
3. Try to find a safe person and express your feelings to them.
4. Get moving to dispel the stress chemicals from your system.
5. Try to divert your thoughts by focusing on a constructive thought, or on simple objects around you.
Hyperventilation during a panic attack prolongs the attack. An old treatment for hyperventilation is pressing your lips firmly together, forcing you to breathe through your nose and making it very difficult to hyperventilate.
6. Touch the floor, the physical objects around you, or ground yourself in some other way.
7. Put your hands under hot or cold running water—whatever works for you.
8. If you are in a place where you can do so, discharge tension by pounding your fists, crying, or screaming.
9. Breathe slowly and regularly through your nose to reduce possible symptoms of hyperventilation.
10. Squelch your destructive thoughts like, This panic attack will never go away with supportive statements like: Im okay, This will pass, Im not going to let this control me, Ive survived this before.
11. If you can, try diaphragmatic breathing.
12. Take a quick dose of kava (you may want to keep some on you at all times). Or take an extra dose of a minor tranquilizer (with the approval of your doctor).
David Barlow, Ph.D., a noted psychologist and leader in the field of anxiety disorders, has devised another means for teaching people how to cope with panic. He has the therapist teach patients how to recreate the fearful sensations experienced during a panic attack right in the office.
If you hyperventilate during a panic attack, you might be asked to breathe forcefully and deeply for a minute or two to bring on the dizziness and other physiological sensations of over breathing. At this point, you would be told to close your eyes and breathe slowly until the physical sensations subside.
Or you might be asked to spin around in a chair to recreate the sensations of extreme dizziness or to stare in a mirror to bring on the feelings of unreality. In this way, you learn that even when the physical symptoms that you experience during a panic attack are exaggerated, they are not in any way harmful.
If you cannot stop yourself from catastrophic thinking, try imagining the worst case scenario. For example: You couldnt breathe, and you fainted and were taken to the emergency room. When you came to, the emergency room doctor sends you home with a prescription for a tranquilizer. You called a friend and the two of you laughed about it.
At this time, you want to cease what youre doing and take action. If you can recognize your pre-panic state, the following coping strategies should help you abort a full-blown panic attack:
1. If you can, leave the situation until your anxiety subsides. If youre driving on a freeway, pull your car over to the side until you resume control.
2. Try to talk to someone. If no one is there, get on the phone to a significant other. This will help refocus your attention away from your symptoms.
3. Get moving. Activity will help release the extra energy and adrenaline surging through your bloodstream thats creating the need to flee.
4. Focus on your surroundings to try to divert attention away from your vexing physical symptoms and catastrophic thoughts.
5. Do something repetitive, like repeating words or a song over and over, as Sarah did—Winds may blow Or try repetitive movements like rocking, chewing gum, shaking a foot—anything to take your mind off your symptoms. Repetitive movement increases the serotonin level in your brain.
6. Try something that requires concentration, like a crossword puzzle.
7. Take out your anger on an object: pound on a pillow; scream into one or scream while in your car alone with the windows rolled up; throw a dozen eggs into the bathtub (the remains wash away easily); hit a punching bag.
8. Indulge yourself to something immediately pleasurable—a snack, a snuggle, sex, a hot shower or relaxing bath.
9. Visualize a comforting person or scene.
10. Refocus attention away from catastrophic thoughts by snapping a rubber band on your wrist and yelling, Stop!
11. Use positive self-talk like, Im going to be okay. Im not going to let this get out of control.
12. Practice diaphragmatic breathing and muscle relaxation.
All You Need to Know About Treating Panic Attacks
You need to learn how to monitor your inner level of tension to stop it from getting out of control and culminating in a panic attack.
If you feel your tension building up, stop what youre doing and employ some coping strategies.
Once a panic attack begins, fighting it will only intensify the symptoms.
Catastrophic thoughts of what might happen if you have another panic attack increase the likelihood of its reoccurrence.
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