Panic attacks occur as short bursts of heightened anxiety or fear. Usually, these happen as a reaction to distressing stimuli or even if there’s the absence of imminent or apparent danger.
When a person suffers from a panic disorder, they can experience frequent attacks that interfere with daily life. The sensation of fear is normal, but it becomes a serious problem if a patient manifests certain symptoms even when there are no stressors around to trigger them.
The symptoms may vary from person to person, but panic attacks are characterized by the following:
- Increased heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Paranoia and irrational thinking
To treat these symptoms, mental health practitioners would prescribe a range of drugs that aid other forms of therapy.
Can medication help ease panic attacks?
Much like any other anxiety disorder, a panic disorder can be treated using certain drugs. Most of these are also prescribed for treating anxiety. Beta-blockers and Vistaril are great for treating short-term anxiety.
For severe symptoms, Xanax can be administered. However, this heavily regulated drug is known to develop addiction and cause an accidental overdose. Patients who are prescribed Xanax are required to consult with their doctor prior to taking the drug.
There is no perfect medication for treating severe anxiety, but patients can reduce their exposure to the risks and side effects associated with certain drugs. The right mental health clinic can prescribe the safest and most effective medication for patients based on their needs.
Still, medication is only a part of the process of coping with panic attacks. For individuals who are sensitive to certain drugs, there are ways to bring the mind and body at peace.
Four ways to treat panic attacks without medication
1. Keep yourself occupied
During an attack, your mind will focus on a situation or object that causing the sensation of fear. And because you are focusing on this sensation, the symptoms become more severe and extensive. The best you can do at this point is to distract your mind. You can do something creative like writing or drawing. In addition, you can go biking or play your favorite sport with a friend.
2. Follow an exercise
What’s the connection between panic attacks and exercise? For one, physical activity helps in the production of hormones that counteract the symptoms of anxiety or depression. Activities like jogging or lifting weights release hormones like dopamine, serotonin, and endorphin which are known to improve mood.
3. Regulate your caffeine and sugar intake
Caffeine and sugar can amplify the effects of a panic attack. Consuming too much of these can put your body on overdrive and worsen palpitations. It also causes hypersensitivity which can increase the frequency of attacks. As much as possible, be mindful of the amount of coffee or sweets you are eating each day.
4. Talk to someone
If you are going through a difficult anxiety episode, it’s always best to talk to someone who represents security and peace of mind. It can be a loved one or a friend. Whichever the case, opening up about how the attack is affecting you can help lessen the symptoms.
Panic attacks are treatable so long as the right approaches are applied. If you or someone you know is experiencing frequent episodes of anxiety, it helps to have a reliable psychotherapy specialist to diagnose and treat your condition.
Reach out to us at MidCities Psychiatry and view our range of treatment options that take your needs into account.