Valiant Living Blog

What is a Panic Attack?

Written by Valiant Living Recovery on Wednesday, February 17th, 2021

A panic attack is a sudden onset of overwhelming fear causing physical symptoms like rapid heart palpitations, sweating, vision changes, hyperventilation, headache, dizziness, and other symptoms. Some people report a feeling like “the world is ending” or a sense of impending doom. The cause of panic attacks is generally excessive anxiety. 

How to Manage a Panic Attack in the Moment

To calm down from a panic attack at the time of the incident, you can try deep breathing exercises, yoga exercises, or drinking a glass of water. If you are driving, you should find a place to calmly pull over to the side of the road to gather yourself and find some source of relaxation. Let others in your vicinity know that you need some space. Here are some additional tricks you can try to bring yourself down from the place of heightened anxiety:

  • Count backward from 100
  • Give yourself a hand or head massage
  • Find a place to lay down and close your eyes

How to Manage Panic Attacks Long-Term

Once you have had one panic attack, you may experience more in the future. To prevent these panic attacks from recurring, you should consult with a medical professional. Find a prescriber, from some of the options we listed in our prior post, who can help you find appropriate medications to manage your symptoms. Antidepressants are often utilized to prevent the heightened state of shock associated with panic attacks.

You can also find an appropriate therapist to decrease your level of overall stress. By talking through your issues and learning new techniques to manage life challenges, you may find yourself in a much better place with a decreasing likelihood of a second panic attack.

 

If you have experienced a panic attack before and are worried about experiencing the sensation again, you can consult with a trained medical professional. There are techniques to help manage the anxiety at the moment of the panic attack and additional interventions to prevent future panic attacks. You can try any combination of medications and therapy to help alleviate some of your stress. At Valiant Living, our men’s-only treatment facility in Denver, Colorado, we help with addiction and co-occurring mental illnesses. Contrary to some information, panic attacks are common in all age groups and genders. If this is something you’re experiencing, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. To learn more about our inpatient and outpatient services, reach out to us at (303) 952-5035.