Panic attacks are very real and they can significantly reduce a person’s quality of life. It is often a vicious cycle, leading to people becoming agoraphobic. Once someone has a panic attack, they will try to attribute that to a certain occurrence, which they will then try to avoid. In doing so, they become almost reclusive and would in fact bring on a panic attack simply by their own fear.
What Are Panic Attacks?
So what is a panic attack? Basically, during a panic attack, a person experiences extreme mental (psychological) symptoms. However, these are coupled to physical symptoms, which frequently increases the feelings of panic. Some of these symptoms include:
Some people have a single panic attack during their lifetime; others have them on regular occurrences. Some of the panic attack symptoms as described above cause people to feel like they are having a heart attack, which sends them into deeper panic. However, as frightening as they are, they are not dangerous. Very often, people rush themselves to hospital fearing a cardiac arrest, only to be discharged almost immediately because it was “just” a panic attack.
How to Overcome Panic Attacks
There are a number of ways to overcome panic attacks. First of all, it is very important that you recognize that what you are having is in actual fact a panic attack. It may be useful to seek medical attention from your family doctor, who may refer you to counseling. Once you learn to recognize panic attack signs, you will be better equipped to take steps to overcome them. The signs of a panic attack vary on a person to person basis, and you know your body the best.
Acceptance of Panic Attacks
Naturally, what people with panic attacks want to know most of all is how to stop panic attacks. Because panic attacks are psychological phenomena, stopping panic attacks also works through the psyche. Overcoming panic attacks means you need to first learn to know what a panic attack is, and you need to accept that this is happening to you. This is often very difficult. In fact, there have been occasions where people have left hospital very angrily, believing they are having a heart attack that isn’t being detected. This is very well portrayed in the movie Anger Management, where the Mafia member Robert De Niro starts to have panic attacks. However, once you are able to recognize that what you are having is a panic attack, you will also be able to mentally flick a switch and just tell yourself “no”.
Medication and Breathing
It is possible to be prescribed medication for panic attacks as well, mainly beta blockers for the palpitations and perhaps anti depressants if the panic has an underlying depression cause. However, many people prefer to stay away from chemical drugs. There are a number of natural remedies that can also be used to combat panic attacks. However, the best way by far to overcome panic attacks is through breathing exercises.
Breathing exercises are a form of meditation, which you can either teach yourself or go to counseling and learn them under instruction. By following a pattern of deep breathing, you will learn to relax and let go, giving you the calmness and serenity that is needed to snap out of a full panic attack. Almost everybody that suffers from panic attacks finds solace from this form of treatment. Once you figure out how it works, you will be able to start the breathing exercises as soon as you feel panic rising, thereby effectively averting the attack from happening.
However, it’s always better to prevent than to actually stop panic attacks. If you already experienced an attack check these herbal remedies for preventing panic attacks.