Coping with and Preventing Panic Attacks

Cope with PanicThe first time you had a panic attack, you probably didn’t know what was happening.

You may have started to feel dizzy or light-headed. Your hands might have been trembling. You may have found it difficult to breathe, all of a sudden, and wondered if you were having a heart attack.

Anyone who has not experienced a panic attack may have trouble imagining what it feels like to lose control of his or her body. It can be more than a little unsettling, and no one wants to experience it more than once.

Unfortunately, many people who have panic attacks struggle to pinpoint the cause. Why do panic attacks happen? More importantly, how can they be prevented?

Panic Attack Triggers

While it can be difficult to identify what causes panic attacks in different people, there are some things commonly associated with the onset of a panic attack.

Substances like caffeine and nicotine are known to lead to panic attacks in people who are susceptible to them.

Other triggers include high-stress situations and lack of sleep.

The most difficult situation is when someone gets panic attacks for seemingly no reason. Sometimes panic attacks seem to strike for no apparent reason, which makes them very difficult to predict and prevent.

Panic Attack Treatments

According to the American Family Physician site, there are three main ways people are treated for panic attacks. The site lists learning “deep breathing and relaxation exercises,” “talking with a therapist,” and taking anxiety medication prescribed by a doctor (or psychiatrist).

For some people, a combination of these three treatment methods may be the most effective. A licensed mental health worker can best determine which treatment will benefit the patient most. Patience and a positive attitude are key during treatment, because nothing works instantaneously; progress can be slow and halting, or frustrating at times.

Having someone to encourage and support you through your treatment for your panic attacks can also make a big difference. Talking to a trusted loved one about your struggle and your successes can be helpful and keep your spirits up.

For the best results from any kind of treatment, consistency is also important. You should follow your therapist or doctor’s instructions carefully and provide feedback for what does and doesn’t work for you after receiving treatment after a reasonable amount of time has passed.

The American Family Physician site reminds readers to remember that panic attacks are not deadly, so try to keep that in mind the next time you feel an attack starting.

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