7 Tips for Dealing with Panic Attacks

Photo by Ethan Sykes / Unsplash

Many people who have a panic attack are also struggling with anxiety and the whole process feels like they are suffering from a health crisis. A panic attack is usually manifested by sudden bouts of fear that can cause physical responses without a real cause for panic. People who have panic attacks feel like they are losing control and may die instantly because of a heart attack. 

The most common mental illness in America are anxiety disorders, the National Institute of Mental Health reported. “Symptoms of anxiety disorder range around mood, cognitive, and physical symptoms,” explains Joel Sherrill, Ph.D., deputy director of the Division of Services and Intervention Research at the National Institute of Mental Health.

Thus, panic attacks are symptoms of anxiety and many people who have these symptoms do not realize that they suffer from anxiety. 

“They seek treatment because they can’t sleep or they get a massage or go to the doctor because they can’t relax. Worry itself seems like the right thing to do so they don’t seek help for the worry,” says Karen Cassiday, Ph.D., ACT, president of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

“With panic, you have unexpected, sudden attacks of intense fear. You feel out of control like you are going to die, and the physical symptoms – tightness of chest, difficulty breathing – can be alarming,” says Dr. Sherrill.

So, read on for more about panic attacks and how to protect yourself from it. 

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  1. Yolanda says

    This article was very helpful to me. Although I don’t exactly have “panic attacks” I do have a lot of stress and it is making me have anxiety. My son approached me the other day just to say something to me, and I practically jumped out of my skin. I know, you’re probably thinking that he surprised me, but this has happens all the time and he tells me “Ma, calm down” and I say to him “why do you keep creeping up on me like that” and he says, I’m not and apologizes every time and I feel really bad about that cause deep down inside I know it’s not his fault and then of course I apologize and tell him it’s not his fault. I’m very jumpy, it’s hard to explain.

    I read this article and hope that this will not be the next symptom that I will experience. First it was the stress, then my anxiety levels are off the charts so of course I hope that I won’t get “panic attacks.” After reading this article, and knowing why I’m so darn jumpy all the time, I’ll at least be prepared if something like that should happen to me. I do have a lot of stress, I do worry too much and I really do not get enough sleep but it’s because I’ve been thinking too much about my monetary problems and I am doing the best that I can and I know this, but I still get stressed and then the anxiety takes over. Sometimes I get so angry with myself because I know that this is why I’m feeling like this but I cannot control it, even though I do try, it becomes a little overwhelming. I’m going to try harder and be more aware when it tries to take control of me again.

    You know what, actually, just writing to you about this I feel a little better, getting it off my chest (like therapy if you will). It’s as though it’s “written in stone” for me since I’ve taken my time to write this and I can actually see the words that I’ve written. For me, something visual always stays on my mind much longer if that makes any sense to you.