Help! I Need To Know How To Cope With Panic Attacks Before I Go Crazy!

Posted on February 20, 2012
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Anybody who has suffered from panic attacks knows better than to say “only a panic attack”. In addition to causing shortness of breath, muscle pain and vomiting, a panic attack can mimic cardiac arrest and other serious health problems. Doctors in urgent care clinics and emergency rooms often are faced with patients who are unaware that their symptoms are caused by emotional upheaval, rather than a physical crisis. Being aware of the symptoms and learning how to cope with panic attacks will make it easier to stay out of the emergency room.

Before beginning to learn coping with panic attacks, it’s important to be able to recognize one. Knowledge of what is normal during one is critical in order to be able to make logical, informed decisions about whether there is any genuine life threatening danger. The endocrine system floods the body with adrenaline, triggering a fight or flight reaction to prepare for danger. This hormone increases heart rate, flushes the skin and can cause heavy perspiration. Chest pain and queasiness are also common signs of anxiety. Delusions of impending death or doom are often suffered during intense anxiety attacks.

In the event of an anxiety attack, it is important to take a moment to find a safe, quiet place to spend a few minutes. No matter what anybody has told you, your emotions belong to you. Acknowledging, accepting, or even welcoming them, will help you move on to the next step where you may begin doing something to make them go away. In the meantime, there is no reason for shame or guilt over anxiety and are not helpful for curing panic attacks.
Without having useful tools to know how to cope with panic attacks, many people react by imagining that increasingly unpleasant things are going to happen. For example, somebody afraid of public speaking may have concerns about perspiration and blushing in front of an audience. This fear may escalate to being afraid of being laughed at. Believe in your ability to ignore the “what if”, as these questions rarely lead you to useful information. Let logic safely guide you, even if the anxiety is giving you conflicting instructions. Acknowledge that the chances of a seated audience member many feet away is unlikely to see your flushed cheeks and moist palms, even if it seems glaringly obvious to you.

Ask a trusted friend to help you explore your fears. If your friend reassures you that your triggers are harmless, choosing to expose yourself to these experiences in small, controlled amounts can help you to become more desensitized to their hold over you. Acknowledge your fear while keeping in mind that the emotions are not based on facts. Learning some new methods for facing your particular triggers can help you get through difficult moments. For people struggling with claustrophobia, a small fan blowing air directly toward the face can help relieve the overwhelming sensation of being trapped and running out of air.

While breathing exercises will not work for curing panic attacks by themselves, they may aid the body in reducing the endorphin rush that triggered the attack in the first place. Controlled diaphragmatic breathing that fills the lungs completely can undo some of the damage caused by hyperventilation. There are many red face causes and most of them can be helped with these breathing exercises. Close your eyes and imagine your body being filled with life giving oxygen, filling your lungs and spreading to your extremities and relaxing your limbs. An added bonus of controlled breathing is to distract you from falling into the trap of dwelling on what else can go wrong, accidentally adding to the list of things you are feeling afraid of.

In order to be able to work on curing panic attacks, you need show patience for yourself. You didn’t develop this disorder overnight and you’re not going to learn how to cope with panic attacks quickly either. Rejoice in every small step forward and accept that there will be steps backward along the way.

Please visit our website to learn more about coping with anxiety issues such as panic attacks, blushing, fear of public speaking and more.

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