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panic attacks what to do

Panic Attacks: What To Do?

Panic Attacks: What To DoReceive relief by receiving a deep breath. That’s right — breath in slowly and then exhale slowly. That’s one of the best things you can do when you feel as if a panic attack is overcoming you.  And they can come suddenly and unexpectedly.  How do you know if you are having a panic attack: what to do?

Random Overwhelming Fear and a Sense of Being Trapped

This may be the first thing you recognize.

You Sense Something Bad Is About To Happen

And your stomach is tied up in knots.  It may also feel as if your stomach is doing flip-flops, as if it were riding a rolling coaster and you weren’t.  You have a dreaded sense of something bad about to happen.  (Which is the release of adrenaline into your system).

Your Heart Rate Increases Rapidly

This is because you’ve activated extra adrenaline in your system.  Your normal fight or flight tendencies have kicked in which sends a shot of adrenaline through your body.  This increases your heart rate and your breathing.  A sense of terror may overtake you as well.

Your Breathing is Deep and Fast

Will cause you to hyperventilate.  Hyperventilation is known as the state of over-breathing. According to Wikipedia, hyperventilation can, but does not necessarily always cause symptoms such as numbness or tingling in the hands, feet and lips, light-headedness, dizziness, headache, chest pain, slurred speech, nervous laughter, and sometimes fainting, particularly when accompanied by the Valsalva maneuver (where you pinch your nose shut and keep your mouth closed and exhale to clear your ears but the air doesn’t escape your mouth).

Your Chest Hurts

It may feel as if you are having a heart attack.  If this is your first time feeling this, be sure to get medical help, and make sure your heart is ok.  Don’t take chances here.  If you have had these attacks before, these feelings have become all too familiar to you.

Acid Erupts Into Your Esophagus

This alone is no fun, because you’ve churned up your body, your stomach starts producing more acid and this may rise up past the esophageal sphincter and into the esophagus causing a heart-burning sensation in the middle of your chest.

You Start To Get Really Dizzy – You’ve Got To Slow Down Your Breathing

This is caused by the hyperventilation.  Slowing down your breathing by breathing in to the count of seven and breathing out to the count of eleven, saying one thousand one, one thousand two mentally until you reach eleven.

You Feel Suspended Between a Dream World and the Real World

The light headedness can evoke of feeling of being in another world, as if you were swimming in a place where it’s hard to get through to this world.  You still see and hear everything, but at a distance.

You Might Feel an Urge To Go To The Bathroom

You may or may not experience this, but many people who have suffered panic attacks experience the need to use the bathroom.

You Find Yourself Thinking Crazy Thoughts

Irrational thoughts outside of your normal thinking pattern seem to chime in during the panic attack and they tend to heighten the sense of fear.

Panic Attacks: What To Do?

  1. Use the 7-11 method above to slow down your breathing.
  2. Try holding your breath if that doesn’t work, just to get carbon dioxide to balance out the excessive oxygen in your body, which is throwing you pH blood level balance off.
  3. Try breathing into a paper bag and breathing that air back in, this is another means to get the carbon dioxide back in your body.
  4. Try some brisk exercise, oftentimes this is enough to get your mind off the panic attack and it gives somewhere for the adrenaline to go.
  5. Learn to relax and realize it is only a panic attack, it will be over shortly.
  6. Try drinking cold water – this kind of stops everything short.
  7. Accept that you are having a panic attack, and get control back by saying STOP outloud.
  8. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and drugs during a panic attack.
  9. Get enough sleep every night.
  10. Get a meditation program.

You can gain control back and release your panic attacks altogether and eventually you can get rid of them.

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