Here's how to deal with panic attacks when they happen, according to psychologists

This is how one can cope with panic assaults once they occur, in keeping with psychologists

By Cassidy Morrison Senior Well being Reporter for Dailymail.Com

Up to date: 19.04 14 March 2023

  • Psychological well being consultants suggest distractions, good posture, remedy and extra
  • Roughly 11 % of the inhabitants in the USA experiences a panic assault yearly
  • Anxiousness is the most typical psychological well being concern, affecting 40 million adults

Hyperventilation, chest ache, sweating and a pounding coronary heart are simply among the scary signs of a panic assault.

One in ten People will endure one this 12 months alone, in keeping with the Cleveland Clinic, and about one in 50 will endure extra.

Many victims say it seems like they’re dying, having a coronary heart assault or going insane, whereas others say it seems like they’ve misplaced management of their our bodies.

However spoke to a few psychologists about how one can forestall seizures naturally – with out treatment – and the way greatest to cope with them in the event that they do happen:

Psychological well being consultants Dr. Ian Stanley, Dr. Karen Lynn Cassiday and Dr. Carolyn Rubenstein (pictured left to proper) spoke to about some tried and true strategies of keeping off assaults. They embody figuring out a panic assault when it is really occurring, slowing your respiratory and distracting your self from bodily signs


Though it could sound trite for somebody experiencing a panic assault or nervousness dysfunction to be fed steerage reminiscent of taking deep breaths really works, in keeping with Dr. Ian Stanley, a psychologist from the College of Colorado.

He recommendsexhaling just a few seconds longer than inhaling. If you begin to stand up,strive inhaling for 4 and out for six.

Inhalation is related to the sympathetic nervous system, which prompts the battle or flight response. It’s, in a method, the gasoline pedal.

In the meantime, exhalation is linked to the parasympathetic nervous system, which is what impacts our physique’s skill to relax.

Lengthening the exhalation routinely locations extra emphasis on the facet of the nervous system that gives relaxation and leisure.

It simply trains the physique to decelerate after which present some physiological suggestions that the risk shouldn’t be as imminent as a panic assault makes somebody assume it’s, stated Dr. Stanley.


Dr. Carolyn Rubenstein, a Boca Raton, Florida-based psychologist, recommends sharpening your senses on one thing exterior to function a distraction from the bodily and emotional panic.

What I actually attempt to suggest individuals do, as a result of it is form of inventive, is consider the rainbow.

‘And keep in mind to search for three pink issues [in the room or your surroundings]three orange issues and three yellow, inexperienced and blue issues.

‘And you’ll even broaden it and search for gold and silver and white and black and simply actually have interaction it. It really works even when you’re driving a automobile or when you’re on a aircraft.

It is actually useful by way of de-escalation as a result of it can hold you engaged and it takes a while.

‘And it actually forces you to broaden your perspective and get out of your physique for a couple of minutes so you possibly can relax.

Different useful distractions might embody listening to feel-good music, dipping one’s face or palms in ice water, or getting some recent air.


For many individuals, merely figuring out the upcoming panic might be reassuring.

Telling your self very calmly and matter-of-factly that the physique’s response to a international stimulus is a miscalculation is sufficient to disarm the panic in lots of instances.

Dr. Rubenstein stated: You are feeling it, you take a look at it as an alternative of reacting from it. You come from a spot of management, slightly than signs controlling you.

It is a psychological trick that we use, it brings in some logic and never a lot simply the feelings which can be in management.

‘Feeling that’s actually necessary to get again in management, and it places you again within the driver’s seat for a second, which might be extremely useful while you’re feeling utterly uncontrolled.

READ MORE: Keep away from conditions that trigger nervousness … may cause nervousness!

Dr. Tracy Marks, a psychologist in Atlanta, Georgia, says that an individual battling nervousness can worsen their situation by avoiding sure triggering conditions.

Panic assaults will not be deadly in themselves, however experiencing one could make you wish to endure a coronary heart assault and even die.

Signs range broadly and rely upon the person, however a few of them embody chest ache, dizziness, nausea, tremors, sweating, speedy coronary heart charge and hyperventilation, and a deep worry of shedding management.

They usually come on rapidly and might final wherever from 5 to twenty minutes.

The interval after a panic assault, when the physique and thoughts are recovering, can really feel like a nasty hangover.


Dr. Karen Lynn Cassiday, CEO of the Anxiousness Therapy Middle of Larger Chicago, informed that individuals susceptible to panic assaults ought to preserve good posture and sit up.

Altered respiratory attributable to poor posture induces and worsens the extent of tension.

She stated: What people do, and animals too, once they’re in persistent stress, they get into this state of worry, and also you make it onerous to breathe naturally together with your physique, and instantly you are exhaling an excessive amount of carbon dioxide.

Standing or sitting in a assured place with chest puffed and shoulders broad offers a psychological increase, improves confidence, temper and power ranges and reduces stress, nervousness and melancholy.

Decrease your breath

Whereas the 4:6 methodology helps to step on the brake pedal in case of panic, warns Dr. Cassiday additionally cautions towards respiratory too deeply when in the course of a panic assault.

Many individuals who are suffering a panic assault will have the ability to keep in mind the often-given recommendation to take deep or deep breaths to stabilize their coronary heart charge. However while you hyperventilate, that is simpler stated than executed and truly makes the issue worse.

That is as a result of hyperventilation occurs when individuals breathe so quick and deeply that they expel an unusually excessive quantity of carbon dioxide, which in flip causes overwhelming signs such because the dizziness that characterizes a panic assault. These signs simulate the feeling of being suffocated, setting off a vicious cycle of breathless panic.

Dr. Cassiday stated: The worst factor you are able to do is take an enormous breath as a result of that solely serves to decrease the carbon dioxide degree even decrease. Breathe slowly and punctiliously by way of your nostril in order that it’s as quiet as potential and you’ll barely hear it behind your throat.


Anxiousness is a typical sickness, and psychologists and licensed social employees are skilled to educate individuals by way of it.

There are various therapy choices for panic assaults and panic dysfunction. Cognitive behavioral remedy, typically referred to as discuss remedy or psychotherapy, is the primary line of therapy for panic dysfunction and panic assaults.

CBT equips the affected person to raised change their thought processes and actions to confront and disarm intrusive ideas that result in panic assaults.

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Remedy can’t solely assist somebody higher perceive what to do when a panic assault strikes, but additionally how one can change their habits and thought patterns which will set off a panic assault sooner or later.

Dr. Karen Lynn Cassiday stated a panic assault is like that point while you had been a child and somebody’s huge brother held your head underwater within the swimming pool and also you did not assume you’d ever come up.

Having 4 or extra of those signs is absolutely overwhelming, that is why many individuals may assume, I am having a stroke, I am going insane, I am dying, one thing is very fallacious with my physique. And truly they’re right, it is simply not one of the issues I simply talked about.

Many individuals coping with panic assaults face a continuing worry of being caught off guard by one whereas performing regular life features, reminiscent of grocery buying or driving.

Some individuals won’t ever expertise a panic assault. Many individuals will expertise one or two of their lifetime. However an unlucky 4.7 % of People have panic dysfunction, persistent nervousness together with frequent panic assaults.

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