Q: How do you deal with a panic attack?
A: We’re so sorry to hear you’re experiencing panic attacks! We know they can be incredibly scary. First off, if you ever feel like you’re having a mental health crisis, you can call a hotline for assistance, such as 800-273-8255 or look into the resources here.
Secondly, connecting with a therapist to dive deeper into what could be causing your panic attacks on a regular basis will be the most effective way to improve your symptoms.
That being said, here are some other thoughts for you. During a panic attack, your body is flooded with adrenaline and goes into fight or flight as a response to the sudden onset of intense anxiety. You might feel like you’re out of control, but panic attacks can stop faster if you focus on your breathing rather than focusing on what’s happening in your body.
Try taking long, slow, deep breaths. Inhale for 6 seconds and exhale for 6 seconds, really paying attention to your breathing and trying to redirect thoughts that are associated with your body and the panic attack. Remind yourself that you aren’t in danger or out of control.
We also recommend checking in with your primary care doctor to discuss your panic attacks and general health. Hopefully, this information was a helpful start for you to begin improving your panic attack symptoms!
Emily Simonian, M.A., LMFT