Panic attacks treatment can vary from person to person. In some cases it is possible to control panic attacks and prevent them recurring by simple methods such as relaxation and breathing exercises. In other cases a person will require medication.
A mild panic attack can sometimes be controlled by concentrating on slowing the breath. This works in some cases because panic attack symptoms usually include shortness of breath, leading to short, fast breaths which in turn cause hyperventilation. Control this can reduce the symptoms of a panic attack and help a person to come out of it more quickly.
When a person is hyperventilating, they expel too much carbon dioxide. This leads to an imbalance in the blood supply that makes the person feel they are not getting enough oxygen – which is actually not the case. This in turn can lead to increased fear and panic, even faster breathing and increased levels of hyperventilation. So shortness of breath can cause a vicious cycle that may eventually lead to dizziness and even fainting.
To counteract this, you can try to control your breathing. This means breathing slowly and deeply.
First, exhale completely. One of the problems with fast, shallow breathing is that a lot of stale air remains in the lungs, so there is not room for enough good fresh air. Put your hand on your belly while you breathe out to make sure that you are expelling the air from the bottom of your lungs.
Then breathe in slowly. What do we mean by slowly? Well, a little more slowly than you would normally breathe in everyday life, and a lot more slowly than you would usually breathe during a panic attack. Try breathing in to a slow count of five or six, then holding it there for a count of three before exhaling equally slowly.
If you have had a panic attack, it is also a good idea to do breathing exercises regularly so that you become familiar with the correct way to breathe during an attack. That way, you are more likely to remember to control your breathing if another attack should strike. Besides this, breathing more slowly in your everyday life may help to reduce your general anxiety levels and prevent future attacks.
It can also help if you tell your spouse, friends or older kids about your panic attacks treatment and especially, explain to them how you need to breathe during an attack. That way, they can help by reminding you and working on breathing along with you any time that they see you going into a panic attack. An extra benefit is that if they breathe slowly with you, it can help them to control the fear that they may feel at the sight of you having a panic attack.
Other forms of panic attacks treatment include cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and psychoanalysis. It is possible to undertake some CBT exercises by yourself as a form of self-help. However, it is better to see a professional in the beginning to have your symptoms diagnosed and have specific behavioral exercises recommended for your individual case.
In terms of medication, the most common treatment for panic disorder symptomized by repeated panic attacks is the benzodiazepine family of drugs. These are often known as anxiolytics because of their success in reducing general anxiety. They work directly on certain parts of the brain to reduce fear and agitation. Alternatively, an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) may be indicated, especially if the person is also suffering from depression. Of course, these drugs may not be right for all cases and they must be prescribed by a doctor.
If you are looking for treatment for panic attacks, it is important to discuss your symptoms with your doctor. This will enable him or her to rule out other serious problems such as heart disease that could otherwise go undiagnosed. They may refer you on for professional panic attacks treatment or you can go with a self-help program that is available for instant download online.
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