Panic disorder is a type of anxiety characterized by short, recurring periods of extreme panic, referred to as panic attacks. A panic attack lasts between five to 30 minutes and includes the following symptoms: feeling as if you're choking, pain in the chest, a pounding heart, racing pulse, feelings of dizziness, shortness of breath, sweating, trembling, feeling nauseous, and a tingling in the hands or feet, hot flashes, feeling as if you are in a dream and a fear of losing control. There are several things a person can do to control panic attacks.
The first step necessary to control panic attacks is to learn how to control your worries. Instead of trying to stop worrying all together, pick a time of the day in which you will allow yourself to fret. When you feel a worry coming on, put is aside and tell yourself you will worry about it later. At your chosen time, spend 30 minutes only thinking about things that are occurring and how you can fix them, without dwelling on things that might occur. After the 30 minutes are over, let go of your problems and enjoy your day.
A majority of people with anxiety disorder don’t know how to relax, meaning that they are constantly worried, which leads to panic attacks. One of the best ways to control panic attacks is to learn relaxation methods. These may include, but aren’t limited too, yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises. To perform deep breathing exercises, lie down on a flat surface and place one hand on your stomach and one on your chest. Breathe in deep enough to make your stomach rise, hold it, then let it out slowly.
One of the most important ways to control panic attacks is to avoid abusing alcohol, drugs and caffeine. Although drugs and alcohol may have an initial calming effect, in the long run they make anxiety worse and cause other problems such as addiction. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system which makes anxiety worse. In addition to these three stimulants, you should also avoid over-the-counter diet pills, and cough and cold medications that contain decongestants.
If you have anxiety, with or without panic attacks, you should seek the help of your doctor. He can refer you to a therapist who can help you confront things that have made you anxious in the past, resulting in panic attacks. Your doctor may also prescribe you a medication that can help control panic attacks while you work through the underlying cause of your anxiety.