Panic attacks come on suddenly, overwhelming you with fear. The physical symptoms can get so bad that people often mistake them for a heart attack. Trying to describe them to others can seem like a fruitless endeavor. Only those who have experienced one understand the feeling of helplessness they bring. Take control of your issue by following these tips on how to prevent a panic attack.
What Is a Panic Attack?
Panic attack sufferers typically describe the episodes as an intense wave of fear. They feel immobilized and unable to move. The physical symptoms come on suddenly, even while you are asleep. Some people experience them only once, while those with a diagnosed panic disorder often experience repeat episodes.
A panic attack can come on without warning or be triggered by specific situations, like looking down from a high building or having to give a speech in front of a roomful of people. People feel like their life is in danger, with no way of escaping the oncoming disaster.
Panic attacks can happen in healthy people and those dealing with other disorders like depression or substance abuse. It is possible to treat panic attacks using targeted strategies. By learning how to prevent a panic attack, you feel more in control of yourself and have the confidence to move forward in life without fear.
Signs of a Panic Attack
Most panic attack symptoms peak around 10 minutes after they begin. Panic attacks rarely last much longer than an hour. Most episodes end after 20 to 30 minutes.
Panic Attack Symptoms
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
- Feelings of dizziness and lightheadedness
- Feeling of choking
- Shaking and trembling
- Hot or cold flashes
- A sense of detachment from surroundings
- Feeling like you’re dying
Many people typically have one or two panic attacks with no further issues. However, you may have a panic disorder if you have reoccurring episodes not tied to a specific situation.
Reach Out to the Right Step
If you’re unsure of how to prevent a panic attack, try following these self-help techniques.
- Accept your condition: Tell yourself that what you’re experiencing is real. It’s not in your mind, and you are not paranoid. Once your mind accepts the reality of your situation, learn more about panic attacks. In addition, you should seek help from a medical professional.
- Practice deep breathing exercises: One of the best ways of bringing yourself back under control is by taking deep breaths into your lungs. Focus on breathing steadily and counting to four slowly while taking air in and out.
- Find a pleasant scent: Surround yourself with a scent that you find enjoyable, relaxing, and puts your mind at ease.
- Limit caffeine, smoking, and alcohol intake: These substances can exacerbate the severity of a panic attack. Cutting back can lower the frequency and intensity of your panic attacks.
- Learn your triggers: Pay attention to the surrounding conditions when you experience a panic attack. Are you in an enclosed space, close to a large dog, or surrounded by a large crowd? Once you learn your triggers, you can figure out how to manage or avoid them.
Reach out to The Right Step for help if you feel your panic attacks results from ongoing substance abuse or mental health disorder. Our facility offers support in the form of a variety of therapies and programs.
Contact The Right Step today at 713.528.3709 for assistance learning how to prevent a panic attack.