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Cure For Panic Attacks

Panic Attacks

CURE FOR PANIC ATTACKS

There are various procedures used as a cure for panic attacks. However, the reasons that trigger most panic attacks are unclear. This is the reason why cure and treatment vary for every person. Curing panic attacks as early as you can, is really important as panic attacks can ultimately affect you. When left untreated, this can lead to panic disorders and other serious problems.

The cure for panic attacks includes therapy procedures and medication treatments. Additionally, self-help strategy is also an effective way in treating panic attacks.

THERAPY

As viewed by experts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most effective treatment strategy against panic attacks and other panic disorders. This therapy is a combination of both psychotherapy and behavioral therapy. This means that it focuses on changing the patterns of thinking and behavior of an individual.

CBT is also a short-term procedure. This normally takes around 5 – 10 months. A person attends 1 CBT session per week. During this session, the therapist will help you fully understand what your problems are and develop a strategy how to handle it.

For instance, a person is always thinking that he’s about to crash his car. This triggers his panic attack every time he’s driving on the road. When you undergo a CBT, it will change the way how you think and respond to this kind of situation. You will be able to learn and understand that nothing tragic is going to happen. As a result, the experience of panic becomes less disturbing.

  • Exposure Therapy

Another therapy that is a cure for panic attacks is the so-called Exposure Therapy. In this therapy, an individual is being exposed to the panic causing stimuli in a safer and controlled setting. This allows you to learn more effective and comfortable ways of coping. For instance, you are experiencing a particular kind of phobia, the therapist will help you face the feared scenario until you learned how to control it and panic begins to go away.

Moreover, during this therapy, you may be asked to do some exercises like shaking your head and holding your breath. This causes sensations that are likely similar to the symptoms of panic. When you are exposed to these, you become less frightened of these sensations and feel a better sense of control over your fear.

MEDICATION TREATMENT

Medication doesn’t really treat and resolve panic attacks. However, it is a great help in temporarily controlling and reducing some of the symptoms of panic attacks. Moreover, it is more effective when combined with other cure for panic attacks like therapies and lifestyle changes.

  • Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines are anti-anxiety drugs. This works as quickly as around 30 minutes to an hour. This medication rapidly reliefs panic symptoms. Meanwhile,  this drug should be used with caution since it is highly addictive and can have serious side effects.

  • Antidepressants

Unlike benzodiazepines, antidepressants usually take several weeks before it actually begins to work. It is advisable that you should take it continuously and not just during your panic attacks.

SELF-HELP STRATEGIES 

Seeking for professional help for your panic attack is absolutely a great idea. However, aside from undergoing therapies and taking medication treatments for your panic attacks, you can also do something to help manage this condition. These are some of the self-help strategies that you can consider as a cure for panic attacks.

 Get Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep can result to worsen panic attacks. It is advised that you should have a sufficient and good quality of sleep. Always give yourself at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep per day.

  • Relaxation Techniques

Relaxing activities like yoga fortify your body’s relaxation response. This relaxation response is the opposite of the stress response that triggers panic attacks and anxiety. Moreover, these activities also upsurge the feeling of enjoyment and calmness. This is the reason why you should do these activities every day.

  • Learn more about panic attacks

Furthering your knowledge and idea of panic attacks and other related condition is an important step in curing your panic attacks. Through this, you’ll be able to understand what exactly is happening to you. Ultimately, knowing why this is happening to you will be a great start in overcoming your panic attacks.

  • Lessen smoking, caffeine, and alcohol

These practices provoke panic attacks. When you have panic attacks, these kinds of practices are extremely harmful. Because of this, it’s advised that you should avoid cigarettes, coffee, and alcohol.

  • Spend more time with your family and friends

Most of the times, panic attacks happen when you are feeling alone. This is the reason why you should regularly spend time with the people who care about you.

 

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All About Panic Attack Symptoms

 

Panic attack symptoms

 

Panic attack symptoms start when an intense, sudden feeling of incredible worry, fear and anxiety is experienced as if some unexplainable horror is about to occur.
Panic attacks along with their symptoms may last from few minutes to several hours. The duration of the panic attack is usually determined by the degree of fear a person is feeling and how he reacts to what makes him panic. Greater reaction to fear means longer and much-pronounced panic attacks and symptoms.
Aside from being more pronounced and frightening, panic attacks can also be beyond one’s control. That means, a person cannot tell how far the degree of panic will progress during the attack but even then, all these could be successfully managed and treated.

Signs and Symptoms

 

Panic attack symptoms include the following:

• Feeling of incredible and overwhelming fear
• Feeling of losing control
• Feeling of passing out
• Feeling of impending danger is about to happen
• Overflowing feeling of fear
• Feeling of death is coming anytime soon
• Feeling the need to urgently flee from something
• Feeling of detachment from reality
• Dizziness
• Palpitations
• Faster heartbeat
• Shaking or trembling
• Difficulty in breathing
• Sweating
• Chest pain or pressure
• Hot flashes
• Pins and needles feeling
• Weak knees
• Tingling sensations
• Burning skin
• Turning pale

The above symptoms are usually accompanied by the following:

• Choking sensations
• Unsteadiness
• Light-headedness
• Emotional upset and distress
• Inability to calm down
• Tight stomach
• “Butterflies in the stomach” feeling
• Nausea
• Inability to focus
• Frequent urination
• Vomiting
• “Freaking out” feeling

Given the long list of signs and symptoms, panic attacks can affect one’s physical, emotional and psychological being. The next question is, are panic attack symptoms serious?
Even if the symptoms seem powerful, disturbing and odd, they aren’t harmful. Just like in anxiety attacks, panic attack symptoms usually abate with time.
What causes the panic attack and its symptoms to occur? The way people behave in a certain manner affects the physical, emotional and psychological state of panic. Whenever people feel more terrified, worried or anxious, the body dramatically releases stress-responsive hormones responsible for hyperstimulation, a state where the body equips the person to react with either “fight the fear” or “flee from fear” response.
With that being said, ongoing apprehensive worries are typically one of the causes of panic attacks. In addition, consistently elevated stress levels may also contribute to the cause of panic attacks.

How to prevent panic attacks and their symptoms from occurring?

Since overstress and overanxious thinking cause panic attacks, reducing the stress and anxiety levels in the body can help in eliminating the occurrence of symptoms.
For instance, once the scared feeling and anxious thinking start to appear, it’s recommended to change the thinking from worries to relaxing and calming thoughts. This will help in decreasing stress responses that affect one’s physical, psychological and emotional states.
When a person starts to calm himself down, the response of his body to stop the flow of stress-inducing hormones will also follow. Once the stress levels are completely used up, the panic attack and its symptoms will begin to subside.
Typically, it takes about 30 minutes or more for the major symptoms to go away, that’s why it’s essential to be patient in calming down one’s self from panic.

Are there any other ways to stop the panic attacks?

While panic attacks come with a variety of symptoms, there are a lot of ways to stop them from occurring. Cognitive and behavioral therapies along with medications could help in alleviating panic attacks. Apart from that, here are also some of the tips to do:
• Deep breathing. Slow and deep breathing from the stomach helps in relaxing the mind from too much panicking.
• Listen to music. Listening to soothing music allows the body and mind to relax from stress and panic.
• Go out for a walk. Leisure walking decreases stress levels in the body. In addition, exposure to direct sunlight produces enough Vitamin D levels in the body which can also reduce anxiety and panic attacks.
• Focus on something nearby. Changing the focus from panic can stop the attacks and symptoms from happening.
• Exercise. Doing simple stretching and cardio exercises allow the body to produce endorphins which are responsible for controlling one’s mood and cognitive functions.
• Healthy diet. Some foods contribute to the increase in anxiety levels such as chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, processed meats, and fatty foods. Refrain or cut down from eating them and replace them with healthy ones such as wheat, milk, oats, eggs, oranges and dark leafy vegetables.
Keep in mind that there is always an end to panic attacks. Calming down is the best way to counter the strong panic attack symptoms.

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Panic Attack Medication

Panic attack medication will help in reducing the frequency of attacks and lessen the severity of panic attack symptoms. However, there are no over-the-counter medications for anxiety or anxiety attack. It is best to consult a doctor and wait for the prescription. Nevertheless, listed below are effective panic attack medications along with its side effects. It is said that the most used medications are antidepressants and benzodiazepines.

  1. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). This is a type of antidepressant that is often recommended for treating panic disorder as well as panic attacks. Not having any risky side effects make it generally safe. Side effects may occur after having the first intake or skipping a dose. Stopping the medication in a sudden will make the symptoms worse for some patients who must take it on a long-term basis. While there are those who just need to stop frequent panic attacks. For this reason, the doctor’s order is of utmost importance.

 

The side effects indicated below are somehow similar to panic attack symptoms:

  • Insomnia
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach pain
  • Losing of appetite
  • Sweating

 

This panic attack medication increases the amount of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical responsible for the mood to maintain its balance. There are certain drugs under this group, which are suitable for panic attacks. The generic names are fluoxetine, paroxetine, and sertraline. The trusted brand names are Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft, respectively.

 

 

 

  1. Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). This is another type of antidepressant that increases the amount of both serotonin and norepinephrine. Known as the stress hormone due to its use as a response to stress, norepinephrine or also known as noradrenaline is responsible for a person’s mood and concentration. The common side effects include:
  • Nausea that may lead to vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Vision changes
  • Having a dry mouth
  • A headache accompanied by dizziness
  • May increase anxiety for awhile
  • Insomnia or occurrence of unusual dreams
  • Heart palpitations
  • Frequent sweating or increase of sweat
  • Change of appetite that leads to weight changes
  • Trembling or shaking

 

Like the first medication, these side effects are somehow similar to panic attack symptoms. If it worsens, seek medical attention immediately. Follow the doctor’s instructions about the medication intakes to avoid danger. The generic name of the drug under SNRI, which is appropriate for the case is venlafaxine hydrochloride and the known brand name would be Effexor XR. However, this medication is only for people who have severe cases of panic attacks, like the disorder itself.

 

  1. Known as tranquilizers, benzodiazepines are sedatives. It acts on the nervous system and is said to lower anxiety levels. However, making a habit to take this medication can make a person become dependent on it that could turn into an abuse. Strictly following the doctor’s prescription can prevent one from becoming addicted to this kind of drug. The side effects vary from the other panic attack medications and only appear after withdrawal or during the abuse. Some of these are:
  • Vision changes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slow heart rate
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Hypotension
  • Skin rashes

 

Alprazolam, lorazepam, diazepam, and clonazepam are the generic names of the approved drugs, which can be used for panic attacks. While the trusted brand names (in order) are Xanax, Ativan, Valium, and Klonopin. These will bring relief to panic attack symptoms.

  1. Tricyclic antidepressants. Similar to SSRIs, this medication is a cyclic antidepressant that increases the amount of noradrenaline and serotonin in the brain. Although it can act as a sedation, unlike benzodiazepine, taking this is not addictive at all. The side effects listed below may slightly vary from the other medications.
  • Vision changes or having a blurred vision
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dry mouth
  • Weight changes (gain and loss)
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty when urinating
  • Tiredness
  • Skin rashes
  • Significant drop in blood pressure may occur in some cases

Keep in mind that higher doses will most likely increase the number of side effects. The generic and brand names of the drugs often prescribed to deal with panic attacks are imipramine (Tofranil) and clomipramine (Anafranil).

  1. This is an anticonvulsant that is most commonly used for treating epilepsy. However, it can also cure panic disorder and has the same side effects as SSRIs excluding nausea.

Medications affect an individual differently. This is why there are different kinds of medications to choose from, depending on which is best for the patient. If none of these worked for you, there are other medications for panic attacks that your doctor may suggest. Aside from drugs, an alternative treatment is undergoing psychotherapy.

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Help for Panic Attacks

Help for Panic Attacks

panic attacks

Finding help for panic attacks is always a more fruitful endeavor if you do it before the situation gets out of control. Of course, no matter how severe the symptoms may be, there is no wrong time to seek out help for panic attacks. This can be a downright debilitating and hellish experience, and learning how to not only cope with it, but how to actually take the necessary steps to eradicate it altogether is very powerful, indeed.

The most frightful thing about panic attacks is their self-perpetuating nature. Extreme anxiety leads to physical symptoms which leads to greater anxiety which leads to more intense physical symptoms... and this cycle can continue until the afflicted individual hyperventilates, passes out, “rides it out,” or actually makes a trip to the ER, which is not rare by any means.

The good news is that there are many ways to handle panic attacks, and they have all been proven effective to some extent. The most obvious ways to find help for panic attacks is to seek medical or psychological assistance. There are numerous prescription anti-anxiety medications designed to balance out the activity of neurotransmitters in your brain. These drugs will usually have a therapeutic, calming effect on the individual.

There are also psychological therapies that which include gestalt therapy, group therapy, hypnotherapy, and NLP (neuro-linguistic programming). These therapies are designed to not only help you cope with your own thought patterns and lessen your symptoms, but to also help you reprogram your mind so that the coping process becomes automatic and unconscious.

Perhaps the most effective treatment option of all is a lifestyle change. Aerobic exercise combined with strength training will allow you to work the tension out of your joints and muscles, oxygenate your body, and release endorphins and other natural, “feel good” chemicals throughout your body and mind. Likewise, a diet consisting of mostly raw, organic produce and whole grains will feed your brain, balance your hormones, and restore your body to optimal functioning.

One more note about diet: When you eat chemically processed, prepackaged, high-sodium, high-sugar, trans fat laden “foods,” you don't do yourself any favors at all. This includes hormone-pumped meats, fast food, microwave meals, chips, candy, soda, caffeine, and anything else that our bodies don't recognize as natural. Many of these foods mess up your hormones and give you a mild form of insanity, while others are viewed by the body as poisons. When your body feels like it's being poisoned, it panics... and therefore, YOU panic!

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