What Happens During Panic Attack and Ways to Overcome it

If you are experiencing a sudden surge of overwhelming fear and anxiety, then you are probably going through a panic attack. You will find it uneasy to breathe and your heart begins to pound heavily. You may also feel like you are going crazy or dying. When left untreated, it can lead to other issues and panic disorders as well. Panic attacks may often lead to withdrawal from daily activities. When the panic attacks are cured without delays, it will only make a person better. With a proper treatment at the right time, the symptoms of panic attacks can be eliminated completely and one can gain control over the life.

In most cases, panic attacks come out of the blue without prior warnings. There is no clear reason for such attacks and it may even occur while a person is asleep or is relaxing. A panic attack may be experienced one time, but most people experience it multiple times. These attacks are triggered by certain instances or specific situations.

What Happens During a Panic Attack?

Panic Attack and Ways to Overcome it

If you are having a panic attack, you may feel your hands trembling or your breath pounding when you are about to give a presentation. Even though they are frightening, these signs are not life-threatening and they are an indication of experiencing a panic attack. These panic attacks are a combination of apprehension and intense fear. Panic attacks may also make a person feel like having a heart attack or black out. These episodes of panic attack begin randomly and reach to the maximum level within 10 minutes and then subside in half an hour.

When an individual is stressed, the sympathetic nervous system revs up and releases energy eventually preparing the body to fight the stress. Later, the body is stabilized to a calmer state by parasympathetic nervous system and if the parasympathetic nervous system is not able to get the job done right, then the individual will experience a panic attack.

Various regions in the brain are involved when a person is going through the panic attacks. Conducting studies can improve the anxiety related disorders and help in finding a better treatment plan.

Ways to Overcome Panic Attack

Ways to Overcome Panic Attack Without Medications

Other than the alternative treatment to medication or psychotherapy, the doctor may use the following methods to overcome panic attacks:

  1. St. John’s Wort and Kava are the natural medicinal herbs used for treating panic attacks. These are effective treatment alternatives and Kava is known for calming the brain and ease nervousness. However, the liver may be affected by consuming this herb in huge amounts. Valerian is also known for the calming effects it has on the brain. St. John’s Wort needs more research in its evidence to cure anxiety and panic attacks.
  2. SAME is also used for treating anxiety and is a dietary supplement.
  3. Reducing the sugar intake and foods that have various additives can help in lessening anxiety and panic attacks. Apart from drinking various beverages, drinking herbal tea can relax the mind without causing any kind of addiction.
  4. Vitamin B complex, magnesium and calcium can contribute in proper functioning of the body as well as mind. These aids in production of neurotransmitters which can activate the nerve cells.
  5. Panic attacks can be eased by practicing breathing techniques. You can practice breathing by counting the inhalation patterns.

Ways to Overcome Panic Attack With Medications

The frequency and the intensity of panic attacks can be improved with treatment. The primary options are medications and psychotherapy. Based on the history and the severity of the disorder, the treatment plan is designed. Therapists can help in offering treatment for panic disorders.

Medications to Overcome Panic Attack

The symptoms that are associated with depression and panic attacks can be reduced via medications. The following types of medications have proven to be effective in managing the symptoms of panic attacks:

  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRIs: SSRIs are usually chosen as the first line of medication when trying to relieve the symptoms of panic attacks. Sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva) as well as fluoxetine (Prozac) have been approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment.
  • Serotonin And Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors or SNRIs: The Venlafaxine hydrochloride (Effexor XR), an SNRI is approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in treating panic disorder.
  • Benzodiazepines: They are used for calming the nervous system and are used for a short term. If you are alcohol abusive or using drugs, then this is not a preferable choice. These sedatives can also interfere with the other medications and this is why; they are less preferred.

If a single medication does not seem to work, then the doctor may switch to some other medication. Keep in mind, the medication may take several weeks to show certain signs of improvement in the signs of panic attack.

Psychotherapy to Overcome Panic Attack

Psychotherapy is also known as talk therapy is initial treatment choice for panic disorders and panic attacks. Psychotherapy help a person in understanding about the panic disorder and the attacks as well as learn ways to cope with it.

It may take time and effort to get better results from the treatment of psychotherapy for panic attack. The symptoms of panic attacks may take time to reduce and it may gradually relieve within few months as well. When occasional visits are being scheduled, these attacks will stay under control.

Ways to Overcome Panic Attack at Home

The symptoms can be managed when one seeks a professional treatment from panic disorder or panic attacks. There are certain self-care tips and lifestyle changes that can be taken at home to overcome panic attacks:

  • Follow the Right Treatment Plan to Get Rid of Panic Attack. You will find it difficult to face the fears but treatment may help you in feeling better.
  • Get Rid of Panic Attack by Enrolling in a Support Group. When you join a support group, you will be able to connect with all the other people who are experiencing the same problems.
  • Avoid Alcohol, Caffeine, Smoking and Other Drugs to get Rid of Panic Attacks. These can worsen the attacks and trigger them as well.
  • Put Relaxation Techniques and Stress Management into Practice to Overcome Panic Attacks. Deep breathing, yoga and muscle relaxation can help in reducing the impact of panic attacks.
  • Try to be Physically Active. Indulging in aerobics can help you in feeling calm and overcome panic attack.
  • Try to sleep for sufficient time.

Ways to Overcome Panic Attack with Exercises

The symptoms of panic attacks can be relieved when you exercise on a regular basis. When you tend to spend 30 minutes every single day, you can promote better well-being. Exercise is a great stress buster and can help in calming your senses. It will also help you in staying focused. When you choose to exercise and help in reducing the panic attacks as well as aid stress management, choose the activities which you can enjoy and can continue for long term.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 8, 2019

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