Suffering from panic attacks can be a debilitating experience. Many sufferers hide away in shame, or are unable to cope with their jobs, social lives, or even leaving home. But there is good news. If you are a sufferer, you can learn how to treat panic attacks and start to get on top of the problem.
First of all, you should talk it through with your family doctor. He or she will run some health checks to find out whether another health problem is behind your panic attacks. If it is, it will be treated, and you will be fine again. If not, then you will be referred to a specialist who can do a lot of things to help you, including teach you how to help yourself.
If your attacks are severe, to the point where you cannot function normally, you will be prescribed some medicine to help you. Some sufferers are prescribed antidepressants, others, drugs that will help to control and manage the symptoms. When your symptoms are under control, you will be able to work through the problem with a specialist who will help you take control for yourself.
Cognitive behaviour therapy is a treatment that is very popular and effective in treating panic attacks. Therapy is usually combined with medication until your condition improves and you are managing things by yourself. The first part of the therapy process is to find the triggers, so you understand why you are having these attacks. The second part gives you tactics for dealing with the panic attacks when they start – to stop them, or at least reduce them. Then the medication can be reduced and eventually stopped because you are either managing your panic attacks alone or until you are free of them.
When you have cognitive behaviour therapy, one of the things you will learn is deep breathing and relaxation exercises. You can take this further and learn meditation or yoga if you wish. These have excellent health benefits besides helping you with your panic attacks.
Your therapist will also recommend some lifestyle changes such as exercising for about half an hour each day. This can be your yoga session, or a stroll in the park. Exercise helps because you breathe better (more deeply) and of course it will help you to sleep better too. You will be advised to reduce stimulants from your diet, such as sugars, caffeine, alcohol and drugs, and to replace them with fruit and vegetables.