Managing a panic attack – what to do when it happens


Managing a panic attack – what to do when it happens

What is a panic attack and its symptoms?

A panic attack is a sudden onset episode that can be described as the feeling of overwhelming fear or discomfort. Panic attacks are not immediately physically threatening. They can be extremely frightening, as they begin abruptly and are hard to identify especially for first-time sufferers.

The intense fear or apprehension felt is also accompanied by an array of physical symptoms. Hyperventilation, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, and chest pains, trembling and nausea are associated with panic attacks. Factor in that the average panic attack peaks within 10 minutes, but it can take hours to completely recover. It’s no wonder that the first reflex for many people is to call for emergency services or to contact a doctor for fear of a heart attack or a nervous breakdown when these episodes occur.

Managing a panic attack

Being aware of what is happening is the first step when managing a panic attack. Recognizing the symptoms and feelings can do a world of good. Once you accept what is happening, you can acknowledge that it will be over soon and you can wait it out, while also taking further steps to be more comfortable.

Regardless of how you decide to deal with it, not being alone helps when managing a panic attack. Having someone else to take care of you will allow you to focus all your energy on keeping calm and getting through this terrifying experience.

That is why having a Panic App on your phone can be immensely helpful. It allows you to broadcast your exact position to your loved ones and they can assist and comfort you as soon as possible.

Managing a panic attack

The Red Panic Button is a handy solution to alert your family or your friends about your psychological state. All you have to do is press the button on your smartphone’s screen and send your distress call via SMS or Twitter. Thus, your loved ones will instantly know where you are, being able to offer you their support.

Focus on your breathing rhythm

While you wait for backup to arrive, controlling your breathing should be your next priority, as it can alleviate a lot of the symptoms. When you hyperventilate, it often feels as though you aren’t getting enough oxygen. But the reality is that you are actually getting too much oxygen, and your carbon dioxide levels are too low. This is where a small paper bag can come in handy as it prevents the expulsion of carbon dioxide, thus regaining the balance of CO2 in your system.

This last exercise is also helpful because it is recommended to try and distract you when a panic attack occurs. Counting your breaths is a good start for a distraction. You should also try to find something else that can capture your attention. Play a relaxing song in your headphones and try to sing along in your head or find a favorite image you can look at.

Don’t let panic rule your life! Odds are it won’t happen to you, but you can be prepared and aware when it happens. Knowing the tips above and having the Red Panic Button app will bring help in your moment on need!


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