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Panic attacks can occur suddenly and often overpowering. In some cases where panic attacks got acute, they can be very annoying. So, how to get rid of panic attacks effectively? What can you do to stop the symptoms?
Panic Attacks – Overview
A panic attack is often referred to as a condition of intense fear that leads to severe physical reactions. Most of the time, there is no apparent cause or real danger that can be associated with the condition. However, when the attack comes, it can be very frightening for some people. It will lead you to have a thought that you are getting a heart attack or losing control. There are often cases when the panic attacks also make the sufferers feel that they are dying.
People usually get just one or two times of panic attacks for their entire life. The attack will soon go away once the stressful situation that triggers the condition ends. If that is the case with you, then there is nothing you should worry about. However, you need to be aware if you often experience unexpected and recurrent panic attacks or suffer from a long period of constant fears. It can be a sign that you are suffering from a condition called panic disorder. Most of the time, panic attacks are not life-frightening. However, they can reduce the quality of your life significantly.
Symptoms of Panic Attacks
You need to know that panic attacks usually come in sudden without any warning. The attacks can occur anytime and anywhere – when you are driving a car, in a business meeting, or even in the middle of the night while you are sleeping. There is also a wide range of panic attack variations that often experienced by people. However, the symptoms of panic disorder can peak just within minutes. After the attacks subside, you might experience fatigue and worn out. Here are several common symptoms often found in people with panic disorder.
- Sense of impending danger or doom
- Fast and pounding heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness in your throat
- Fear of death or lose control
- Hot flashes
- Abdominal cramping
- Chest pain
- Shaking or trembling
- Feeling of detachment or unreality
- Tightening sensation or numbness
- Faintness, lightheadedness, or dizziness
Causes of Panic Attacks
Unfortunately, the causes of panic disorder are not known until today. However, there are several factors that often associated with panic attacks, they are genetics, major stress, a temperament that causes people to tend to be more sensitive to negative emotions or prone to stress, and certain changes that occur in the function of the human brain. Though panic attacks often occur without any warning, scientists believe that the symptoms are usually triggered by certain conditions such as fear or stress situations. This is because your body usually has a fight-or-flight response to danger. The natural response given by your body to the danger is often involved with panic attacks. When responding to danger, your breathing and heart rate will suddenly speed up. This is the same reaction that often associated with panic attacks.
Speaking about panic attacks, there are several risk factors often associated with them. The disorder usually starts in early adulthood or late teens. Studies reveal that women are a group of people that often found to suffer from panic disorder. Several factors that can increase the risk of panic attacks include a family history of panic disorder and traumatic events such as a serious accident. Major life stress such as the death of a loved one, major changes in life, and history of childhood’s physical abuse can also increase the risk factor.
How to Stop Panic Attacks
With proper treatment, you can reduce even stop the symptoms related to panic disorder. Here are 10 effective methods on how to get rid of panic attacks you can try.
1. Deep Breathing
The first tip to stop the panic attack is taking deep breathing. It will allow you to bring the attack under control. This is because fast breathing can boost tension and anxiety. But, by taking a long, slow, and deep breathing, you can lower the tension. In doing this, make sure that you breathe steadily and slowly count down to four or five while taking a breath in. You also need to count to another four when breathing out.
In some cases, doctors will prescribe medication for people with panic disorder. The medicine is called PRN when the prescription made should be used whenever it is needed, instead of regular dosage. These kinds of medications usually work fast to control panic attacks. Several medications prescribed as PRN include propranolol which functions as beta-blocker to decrease heart pressure and slow down a rapid heartbeat. Another common medication prescribed is benzodiazepines that include Xanax and Valium.
3. Acceptance and Recognition
If you experience panic a panic attack for the first time, you are suggested to visit a doctor soon. This is because several symptoms often found in a panic attack can also be the signs of serious health problems such as strokes and heart attacks. But, if you have experienced the attack before, you need to remember that it doesn’t cause any harm at all for you. Remembering this when another panic attack occurs, it can help you to overcome the symptoms.
4. Inhale Lavender
The essences of lavender have been known for a long time as an effective ingredient to reduce anxiety. Lavender essence also carries a sense of calm relaxation for everyone inhales it. When you get a panic attack you can inhale the essence to help you relieve the symptoms. You can also rub a small amount of oil on your hand or wrist, then inhale it. Today, you can easily find lavender oil online. However, you need to keep in mind to avoid using the lavender oil if you have taken benzodiazepine medication before. This is because the combination of the two ingredients will cause you to experience heightened drowsiness.
5. Learn Triggers
Another best tip on how to get rid of panic attacks is learning about the trigger factors. You need to know that most of the time, people experience panic attacks triggered by the same things such as crowds and enclosed spaces. By knowing the triggers that cause the attack, you will be able to manage or even avoid it. In this way, you can lower the intensity and frequency of the panic attacks.
6. Try Muscle Relaxation Techniques
Another thing you can do to stop panic attack symptoms is to practice muscle relaxation techniques. It will help you to limit the attacks since one of the symptoms related to panic disorder is muscle tension. If your brain senses that your body is relaxing, then the other symptoms following the attacks such as rapid breathing can be eliminated.
7. Focus on a Certain Object
You can also stop the attack simply by focusing on a certain object nearby. If you frequently suffer from the attack, it will be very helpful if you can bring something for this purpose everywhere you go. By removing your focus on a certain object, you will be able to reduce the stimuli that cause the attack.
8. Light Exercises
Light exercise is also believed effective to stop panic attacks. It helps you to release endorphins, a hormone that will improve moods and makes your body relax. There are many light exercises you can do at home include walking. This activity will push your body to produce endorphins and help you to move from a stressful environment.
9. Limit Stimuli
The next thing you can do to reduce the symptoms of a panic attack is by limiting the stimuli. Several things such as sounds and sights can cause people to get a panic attack. In this way, it will be very helpful if you can find a more peaceful environment. You can do it simply by moving to lean against a wall nearby or leaving a busy and stressful room. Just close your eyes and take a deep breath to help get relax.
10. Mindful Exercises
The next effective tip on how to get rid of panic attacks is by doing mindful exercises. You need to know that most of the time, panic attacks can cause you to feel detached from reality. The mindful exercises will make it possible for you to re-ground and direct your focus away from the things that trigger stress. Here are 4 steps to do mindful exercises. Look at 5 different things and think about each of them for some time.
- Next, you can listen to 4 different sounds. Then, you can examine what sounds are they.
- Then, you can touch 3 distinct objects and consider their uses, temperature, and textures.
- For the next step, you can identify 2 distinct smells and think about the memory triggered by them.
- Last but not least. Taste something and then identify what object it is.