Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Coping with Panic Attack

How to stop a panic attack?

This may surprise you, but one of the best things you can do to decrease the severity of a panic attack is to remind yourself, “I don’t have to absolutely stop this and I can stand these symptoms.” The more you insist that you not have a panic attack or that the symptoms end immediately, the more anxious you actually make yourself. So, by focusing on stopping the attack, you can end up worsening the very symptoms you’re trying to stop! Whether you are a new sufferer or an old sufferer of panic, keep in mind that panic attacks are not going to kill you, they are not going to cause you to have a heart attack, and you can ride these symptoms out. Important coping statements include:

• “This is uncomfortable, but I’ve been through this before. I’ll get through this one too.”
• “I’m not dying. I can ride this out.”
• “This is a nuisance, but not the end of the world.”


Basically, you don’t want to demand that a panic attack must not happen or must stop immediately. In fact, a very effective treatment called interoceptive exposure by teaching the sufferer to bring on panic attacks.

Does Panic attacks hurt us anyway?

Assuming medical causes have been ruled out and your doctor has indicated you are having panic attacks, you can be reassured that panic symptoms are not dangerous. When you are panicking you might notice your heart racing, your arms and legs shaking, increased sweatiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, or nausea. All of these symptoms are uncomfortable and can feel really scary; however, none of them will hurt you in any way. Remember, a panic attack occurs because your “fight-or-flight” system is being activated. The fight-or flight system was designed to protect you. None of the symptoms of a panic attack are going to hurt you or kill you. If you’ve been suffering from panic for a while, another way to know you are not dying is to think back to how many panic attacks you’ve experienced. For some people, this number is in the hundreds. Obviously, if you’ve gone through hundreds of panic attacks and not died before, there is much evidence to suggest you won’t die during this attack. Further, keep in mind that a panic attack is always temporary. The chemicals that produce our emergency response will be broken down, so it is impossible for a panic attack to persist indefinitely. Whereas it is difficult to remember this in the midst of a panic attack, the understanding that panic sensations are temporary and not harmful is a huge part of coping with the problem. The more you learn to think realistically about panic symptoms and respond more helpfully to them, the better you’ll feel.

2 Responses:

DRSP May 8, 2009 at 10:06 AM  

thanks it was so helpful information

your "Health Assistant" May 15, 2009 at 8:20 PM  

very valuable health information, thanks for sharing it!

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In this blog the outline of different diseases and their treatment are written, compiling from different medical text books. They are meant for your overall knowledge about the disease and not for any self treatment. Always consult registered medical personnel for the treatment of any ailments.

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