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Coping With Panic Attacks

coping with panic attack

A panic attack is a sudden surge of mounting physiological arousal that can occur out of the blue or in response to encountering (or just thinking about ) a phobic situation. Bodily symptoms that occur with the onset of panic can include heart palpitations, tightening in the chest or shortness of breath, choking sensations, dizziness, faintness, trembling, shaking, sweating, and/or tingling in the hands and feet. Psychological reactions that often accompany these bodily changes include feelings of unreality, an intense desire to run away and fears of going crazy, dying or doing something uncontrollable.

Anyone who has had a full-fledged panic attack knows that it is one of the most intensely uncomfortable states human beings are capable of experiencing. Your very first panic attack can have a traumatic impact, leaving you feeling terrified and helpless, with strong anticipatory anxiety about the possible recurrence of your panic symptoms.

Many people experience panic attacks without further episodes or complications. There is little reason to worry if you’ve had just one or two panic attacks. However, some people who’ve experienced panic attacks go on to develop panic disorder. Panic disorder is characterized by repeated panic attacks, combined with major changes in behavior or persistent anxiety over having further attacks.

The good news is that you can learn to cope with panic attacks so well that they will no longer have the power over you. Over time you can diminish the intensity and frequency of panic attacks if you are willing to make some lifestyle changes. Cognitive behavioral therapy is generally viewed as the most effective form of treatment for panic attacks, and panic disorder. Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on thinking patterns and behaviors that are sustaining or triggering the panic attacks. It helps you look at your fears in a more realistic light.

When it comes to panic attacks, professional treatment and therapy can make a big difference. However, there are many things you can do to help yourself as well such as; learn about panic attacks, avoid smoking and caffeine, learn how to control your breathing and practice relaxation techniques.. yoga, meditation, acupuncture, exercise.

At the Hellenic Therapy Center, 567 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains, New Jersey, we have a team of licensed professionals who can help you manage your panic attacks. We are available day, evening and weekend hours. Visit us at or call 908-322-0112.

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