When experiencing panic and anxiety attacks, there is a sudden and overwhelming rush of a combination of physical symptoms as well as mental or emotional distress, which include heart palpitations and the feeling of dying or going crazy. The first episode of a panic attack often occurs during a distinct situation, such as going through a very difficult situation or experience; however, later episodes can become unpredictable through time. Panic and anxiety attacks usually are triggered by major transitions or changes in life such as graduating, moving away from home, getting a new job, or getting married. When a person experiences a number of panic attacks, he or she can eventually become extremely scared of being helpless. The individual eventually will avoid being alone, venturing far from their home, or being in public places.
Before becoming disabled or weakened by this disorder, people who have experienced recurrent panic attacks must seek help or treatment. If untreated, panic and anxiety attacks can cause the person withdraws completely from places wherein their previous attacks have occurred. Before getting treated, it is very important to get the right diagnosis from your doctor. Once you get your diagnosed and get treated, the recovery will usually take place in months, or longer, which depends on the individual and the circumstances that they underwent.
The most common and most successful treatment for panic and anxiety attacks is a combination of cognitive and behavioral therapy and medication. Joining a support group has also been proven to be effective so that the patient can be reassured that other people are going through the same thing. In cognitive and behavioral therapy, the person’s way of thinking as well as behavioral patterns is studied so that the therapist can develop a technique to reduce anxiety. These techniques can help the patient relax more and express their emotions in other ways that will not trigger anxiety or panic. Eventually, the patient will be exposed gradually to the situation that triggered their past attacks so that he or she will be able to cope eventually with the situation in the future.
Medications such as anti-anxiety and antidepressant drugs have also been proven effective in controlling or preventing panic and anxiety attacks. These medications will work best if they are accompanied by therapy as well as lifestyle changes. The effects of taking these medications usually will occur about a few months later, which is why intake of these medications must be regular.
These professional treatments are a big help; however, there are also things that you can do on your own to help prevent panic and anxiety attacks from occurring. These tips include:
educating yourself about panic – this can help you be more aware of the different feelings and sensations that come along with panic attacks.
avoiding smoking and caffeine – these two are two major triggers of panic attacks along with stimulants.
controlling your breathing – this helps greatly in improving or relieving yourself from the symptoms of panic attacks.
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