This is a guest post by Ryan Rivera of Check out hiswww.calmclinic.com if you’re looking for more help.
Panic attacks are a mental health condition that occurs in cycles. Known as panic disorder, panic attacks involve severe bouts of uncontrollable fear, manifesting in such a way that most people that experience their first panic attack end up in the hospital believing themselves to be dying.
But it’s the cycle that is the hardest part of living with a panic attack. Panic attacks cause oversensitivity to your body’s physical responses. In other words, if some small change happens in your body, you notice it right away and feel it more strongly, so it feels like a much bigger change.
These small changes create new panic attacks. If your heart beat increases just a little bit or you feel a little bit short of breath, suddenly you fear another panic attack is coming, and the fear becomes self-fulfilling. The cycle is one of the reasons that panic attacks cause agoraphobia (fear of going outdoors). People with panic attacks do whatever they can to avoid being in a scenario that may cause a panic attack again.
Stopping the Cycle of Panic
There’s no one stop cure for panic attacks. If you really want to break the panic attack cycle, you need to be willing to suffer through more panic attacks. The worst thing you can do is avoid the problem, and there is no medicine that will provide you with a quick fix. What you should try is the following:
1. Expect a Panic Attack
Trying not to get a panic attack causes more panic attacks than anything else. That’s because when you try not to get one you are always thinking about them and worrying about them. Rather than avoid the places that cause panic attacks or try to fight them, you need to accept that you have panic disorder and wait for the panic attack to occur. Over time, not fighting it will reduce the severity of the panic attack as well. Wait for them to be over and then continue to go about your day.
2. Have a Distracting Habit
You also need a way to make sure that you are not too caught up in the panic attack. Find something that distracts your mind from the worry. Some people like to take a drink of water. Others take this time to pray (note: don’t pray for the panic attack to end – pray for family, friends, and positive things). Still others do something more inventive, like tap on their hands or try to sign the lyrics to a song. Look for something that will distract you as you wait for the panic attack to end.
3. Find a Supportive Friend
Panic attacks can cause a feeling of helplessness. Find a friend that is willing to take your call whenever you are suffering from a panic attack. With them on the phone, you will know that someone is there in case the panic attack gets worse – someone you can talk to so that you never feel like you are alone dealing with your panic attack crisis and anxiety symptoms.
Blocking the Panic Attack Cycle
Panic attacks are too self-fulfilling to expect to cure them all on their own. Many people have tried to suddenly quit having panic attacks only to find that they come more frequently than before. But if you learn how to better handle your panic attack in the moment, and accept that a panic attack is eminent, you will find that with each passing day the severity of your panic attack decreases, and ultimately the cycle of panic you experience will be broken.
About the Author: Ryan Rivera was stuck in an endless cycle of panic attacks exacerbated by his severe anxiety symptoms. He learned to control both his panic attack and his anxiety with time, prayer, and practice. He writes about his experiences and tips at www.calmclinic.com.