How to handle panic attacks?

People suffering from panic attacks try to avoid situations where attack occurs; they may refuse to use a subway, avoid crowded places, avoid flying on an airplane, etc. But it is worth remembering that you can’t be tied to the chariot of fear, because it tends to solidify and entrap you forever. For example, a man is afraid of elevators and he decides to refuse using them, but the fear will sooner or later “find” him, and he will be afraid to bathe in a locked bathroom. Exclude subway – begin being afraid of cars. Unresolved problem will always show up somewhere else. Do not let your fear run your life – you need to get rid of it.

And what can be done if there is no immediate possibility to see a health professional? Is any kind of self-help possible? Of course it is, though it will take much more time, and becomes a way of “trial and error”. But it is worth doing!

How to handle panic attacks the right way?

Step One: imagine that you do not suffer from panic attacks, and your life is not in a danger. Once a person understands the real mechanism of such attacks and realizes that it is not a disease but a normal reaction of a frightened organism preparing either to run, or fight, it becomes easier to go on. Once you realize this, the attacks become less frequent and shorter, and your attitude toward them will change too.

Step Two: stop being afraid. We need to understand that the more you are afraid of the panic attack, the more likely that it will occur. The habits of fear, anxiety and concentration on your inner world will lead to re-enforcement of panic attacks. Suppress such thoughts at the beginning. Especially now, when you know already, that you don’t need to be afraid for your health.

Step Three: Write down the answers to these questions:

  • Remember when a panic attack occurred for the first time?
  • What events took place shortly before this moment? What real-life situation happened to you then? This will be the “trigger”, which is still pulled by your subconscious mind.
  • In what cases attacks repeat more often?
  • What has changed with the emergence and establishing of the panic attacks in your life (negative side)?
  • What have you gained with the emergence and establishing of the panic attacks in your life (positive side, a profit)? This question is one of the most difficult, but it is one of the most important in the same time. Without understanding how you benefit from your panic attacks (yes you do, even if you don’t realize it!), it will be difficult to get rid of them.

Step Four: “Let’s go the other way.” Once you’ve identified the benefits of the panic attacks, you should consider how you can get this by other means? In general, you need to decide how to make a “profit”, but not “paying” for it with a panic attack.

Step Five: go for it! And then you need to come into play. Mentally prepare yourself for the fact that the problem that led to the panic attacks will be aggravated. This problem needs to be solved. It is useless to fight with the consequences (attacks) without fighting the cause (the original of the problem). Try to act differently, in order to gain “profits” in other, positive ways.

The less time has passed since the occurrence of the first attack, the easier will be to “expose” the real cause of the problem and to cope with the attacks themselves. But even if a person is living with this for years, nothing is lost, just do not expect the quick results. When panic attacks get more and more rare, it will indicate the fact that you are on the right way. And if the problem is solved, the attacks will disappear altogether. So, if you want to know how to handle panic attacks, the answer is simple: by actively working with your problems and solving them. It can be done and you can do it too!