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Symptoms, Signs, and How to Stop Panic Attacks

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By: Dr. Amit Mehta

Learning how to stop panic attacks is a priority for the majority of those who have ever experienced them. This is because panic attacks are emotionally, mentally and physically draining. Some have gone so far as to describe panic attacks as emotional nightmares.

Panic attacks are episodes of intense fear that begin abruptly for no apparent reason. Physical discomfort like a rapid heart beat, sweating, trembling, hot flashes and trouble swallowing regularly accompany the attacks. Panic attacks usually peak within ten minutes but last 30 minutes. Sometimes panic attacks can last as long as a day. Many feel very tired and worn out after the attack subsides.

If panic attacks aren't stopped and effectively treated, they can severely restrict a person's life. Those who experience panic attacks become afraid to do the everyday tasks, like grocery shopping or walking in a park, that many other people do. Some will be so afraid of the panic attack that if they do these things, they'll only do them with the help of a trusted friend or family member.

It's very important that those who experience panic attacks learn how to stop the panic attacks so that they can live happy, healthy, normal lives. Those who get the proper treatment and stop their panic attacks have a very high chance of living a complication-free life. Studies have shown that on average, 70 to 80 percent of those who learn how to stop their panic attacks lead average lives and are able to resume everyday activities.

To stop panic attacks, the person suffering from them should first see a doctor. The doctor will ask the patient a series of questions and give him or her a physical examination to make sure that health conditions are not causing the panic attacks.

Then the doctor will likely put the patient on a combination of medical and behavior therapy. Medications include antidepressants like Zoloft, Paxil, or Prozac. Anti-anxiety medications like Xanax might also be prescribed. Behavior therapy will teach the patient to better understand the panic attacks, learn to recognize triggers, and how to cope with both the triggers and attacks. These ways of coping include breathing and relaxation techniques.

Relaxation techniques are a very effective way to stop panic attacks. Here is one relaxing technique for you to as a way to stop panic attacks.

Grounding Exercise

? Sit on a chair with armrests making sure both feet are flat on the floor. Grip the armrests gently and sit straight with your back flat against the chair. Focus on one spot in front of you that's at eye level. Do not look anywhere else. Breathe in and out slowly and evenly. Pause between breaths.

? Say out loud
1. I see (name five things).
2. I hear (name five things)
3. I feel (name five things)

? This exercise should help you become more aware of your surroundings. You should feel calmer and can congradulate yourself on stopping your panic attack.

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