Let’s face it: panic attacks are scary. When you start having one, you feel powerless and out of control. When you learn how to stop having a panic attack, you begin to take charge of your life again. We provide evidence-based treatment for anxiety disorders and panic disorders that help you feel in control again. We feature a variety of types of therapy designed to meet your individual needs. As a result, you can improve your mental health and stop having panic attacks.
What Are Panic Attacks?
Panic attacks are episodes during which a person feels an exaggerated sense of anxiety, often with no known cause. They happen suddenly and overwhelm the person with a sense of loss of control and several physical symptoms. Panic attacks can happen anywhere, including potentially dangerous situations, such as when a person is driving,
Having panic attacks can be a sign that the individual has a panic disorder. Panic disorders are a type of anxiety disorder. Someone who has these disturbing experiences will usually be frantic to know how to stop a panic attack. Seeking treatment from a therapist, often in combination with medications, can help the person address and overcome panic disorders.
Having anxiety disorders and panic disorders can run in families. This may be due to shared genetics, with some family members being predisposed to having them. They may also occur as a result of unaddressed anxiety in a person’s life. It may be anxiety related to one situation or an ongoing accumulation of stress.
Adults in the U.S. experience panic disorders each year at a rate of 2.7% of the population. Of this group, almost 45% are considered severe cases.
Signs of Having a Panic Attack
The first time someone has a panic attack, they may be frightened and unsure of what is happening. Even if the person has had several panic attacks, they may feel disoriented or not aware of if they are having another one or something else is wrong. Common signs of having a panic attack include:
- An overwhelming feeling of anxiety
- Rapid or shallow breathing
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat
- Numbness in hands or feet
- Feeling light-headed
- Dry mouth
- Feeling like the person is about to pass out
- Fear they are having a heart attack
- Afraid the person is about to die
- Fear that the person is going crazy
How To Stop a Panic Attack
As overwhelming as they may be in the moment, there are definite tips for how to stop a panic attack. One method highly recommended by many treatment professionals involved breathing exercises. When a person focuses on their breathing and slows it down, this helps calm anxiety. Several types of methods can be used, but each breathing exercise is about two things. One is engaging in breathing in and out slowly and deliberately, often to a count of four to six beats. This helps calm the body naturally. The other point is to provide the person with an activity to focus on that brings them results that help them feel calmer.
Speaking out loud to themselves can help a person having a panic attack. Reminders delivered in a calm voice can help center the person. Reminders can include saying things like:
- This is temporary and will pass
- Panic attacks always end and I will be okay soon
- I am not going to pass out or die. This is my anxiety.
A person can also try performing a safe routine, such as opening a drawer and naming the items in it or brushing their teeth. Simple tasks that are easy to complete can help refocus the mind.
Once the panic attack ends, it can be important and impactful to continue with what the person was doing beforehand. This signals to themselves that while anxiety may make an unwelcome visit in their lives, it does not mean it has to control them. Instead of running from a scene or giving up on an activity, return to it. This can help remind a person of the power they have, which can help them to reduce the severity of future panic attacks.
Grounding techniques can also help stop a panic attack. When having one, the person can focus on what they see, hear, smell, see, and can touch. Reciting these items out loud can focus the mind on a simple task and help them feel more grounded.
How Are Panic Attacks Treated?
Anxiety disorders and panic attacks can be treated with multiple types of therapy. A quality anxiety treatment program includes approaches such as individual therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and other therapy modalities. Therapy can help teach a person how to stop a panic attack when it’s happening and prevent others from developing.
Talk therapy combined with activities like holistic therapy can also help a great deal. They help the person discuss what might be contributing to their feelings of anxiety. From there, the individual learns to address parts of their lives that feel out of balance. The development of healthy coping skills begins to replace the panic attacks.
As well, medications can play a huge part in helping someone overcome an anxiety disorder In fact, therapy combined with the right med can provide wonderful, long-lasting results. Medical clinicians can recommend an FDA-approved medication and monitor the individual for the results.
Find Treatment for Panic Attacks and Anxiety in Atlanta, GA
When you experience a panic attack, it can feel like it will never end. Life with a panic disorder can feel overwhelming but you do not have to go without treatment. New View Wellness in Atlanta offers a highly effective therapy program that treats anxiety disorders and panic disorders. We help you understand the root cause of your panic attacks and how to move past them. With our support, you can greatly improve your mental health and learn to rely on impactful relaxation methods. If you would like more information about how to stop a panic attack and overcome anxiety, visit our admissions page now.