How to control panic attacks?

In some cases, to overcome panic disorders, even during therapy, time is needed. Gradually, week after week, panic attacks become rare and weak. But it is very important that they can be controlled. Here you need to have some more information and skills. I’ll try to briefly state.

The most serious suffering with such neuroses is to go through another attack of panic attack. Everyone who encounters such a thing should know that no matter how eerie and sinister the manifestations of the “adrenaline explosion” are, it always passes, it is a matter of time. Agree that only knowing that an attack is just a “wave” that covers, but soon rolls back, a person can begin to control this condition. Because it makes sense, “if it’s temporary, why do not I get over it quicker and easier?” Indeed, I do not even know one sound argument.

A lot of materials are devoted to the control of panic attacks (more precisely, manifestations, symptoms of panic attack), but I would like to highlight the most obvious by the mechanism and the effective in practice approach – BREATH CONTROL. This allows you to regulate hyperventilation and, due to self-induced hypercapnia (increase of CO2 in the blood) – to interrupt the vicious cycle of panic and vegetative crisis. I advise you to practice in advance, at home, in a calm atmosphere, then fix it in any situation, as soon as you can remember about your training, even several times a day – it will only be better!

The principle is simple enough: you need to slow your breathing. I recommend a breathing rate of 4 inhalations / expirations per minute. Usually, right at the session, the therapist teaches breathing, and when suddenly or after a stress panic attacks occur, you will not lose your head, but will try to cope and overcome the attack.

The attack can not be avoided, it must be prepared at any time, and even want it to happen, because it is the experience of overcoming a panic attack, the absence of fear of it as something dangerous, is the key to success.

When you notice the initial manifestations of a panic attack (no matter where it happens), for example chest discomfort and palpitations, or anxiety, start a simple exercise. Make a very slow and smooth, about 5 seconds breath, and, after a short 1-2 second pause – begin a slow gradual smooth exhalation. The duration of exhalation is 10 seconds. Hands can be placed on the upper abdomen to better sense the amplitude of inhaling / exhaling. Imagine that your lungs are a filled balloon that has been unleashed, and it must be very smoothly lowered to the end.

In this case, it is better to close your eyes, instruct your muscles to soften, as far as possible, and imagine your breathing, to “join” this act, usually uncontrollable. It’s easier to do this at the expense of counting down seconds, from 1 to 10, while trying to completely exhale and relax only by the last seconds. After exhalation, everything repeats again. After a few breaths, the body relaxes even more, and the panic attack begins to subside. Usually, I recommend repeating such “exhalations” for a long time, about 15 times. You can do micro-breaks, after a few such breaths-exhalations. This is very effective, the panic attack quickly weakens and ends. And at the end of each exhalation it is necessary to try to relax the muscles, listening to the tension in the body. For example, we can try to loosen the shoulders, jaws, lump in the throat.

Everyone heard, for example, on television or in the cinema, when they give advice – “calm down, take a deep breath !!!”. Now you understand that this is not a full-fledged advice, because to really reduce the level of stress / anxiety, it is necessary after the inhalation to make a full, as slow as possible exhalation, and repeat it many times! Another variant of the breathing exercise I describe here is “breathing by the square.” Both variants of the exercise are similar in principle.

In terms of self-education, or when really at this time there is no way to fully work with a therapist (usually treating a panic disorder takes 10-20 meetings), it is useful to study a detailed guide for self-help. Here, to the best of detail, in a clear language, all aspects of the problem of panic attacks and related agoraphobia are covered (agoraphobia is an obsessive fear that develops when an unconscious waiting for an attack occurs). There are consistently recommendations and exercises for coping with panic attacks and anxiety control. Neurosis-related autonomic dysfunction, panic attacks, symptoms, are also described in detail in simple language.

The goal of therapy is always complete remission, that is, a complete absence of attacks, panic attacks and a qualitatively different level of psychological state. You set yourself the goal of completely experiencing a difficult episode in life, and – achieve this. It is irrational to doubt one’s own strengths, because neuroses are completely surmountable. Panic attacks and their treatment at the present stage of development of medicine are well studied, and panic.

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