Mental health experts Dr Ian Stanley, Dr Karen Lynn Cassiday and Dr Carolyn Rubenstein (pictured left to right) spoke to about some tried and true methods for fending off attacks.  They include identifying a panic attack when it actually hits, slowing your breathing and distracting yourself from the physical symptoms
Mental health

Find out how to handle panic assaults once they occur, in line with psychologists

Hyperventilation, chest pains, sweating, and a racing coronary heart are simply a few of the scary signs of a panic assault.

One in ten People will undergo this yr alone, in line with the Cleveland Clinic, and about one in 50 will undergo a number of.

Many victims say they really feel like they’ll die, have a coronary heart assault or go loopy, whereas others say they’ve misplaced management of their our bodies.

Nonetheless, spoke to 3 psychologists about how one can stop assaults naturally – with out medicine – and the way finest to take care of 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 for warding off assaults. They embrace figuring out a panic assault when it truly hits, slowing your respiratory and distracting your self from the bodily signs


Whereas feeding your self with arbitrary steerage, resembling taking deep breaths, might sound trivial to somebody experiencing a panic assault or panic dysfunction, it truly works, in line with Dr. Ian Stanley, a psychologist on the College of Colorado.

Recommendsexhale for a couple of seconds longer than inhaling. When one begins to emerge,strive inhaling for a depend of 4 and out for a depend of six.

Inhalation is linked to the sympathetic nervous system which prompts the struggle or flight response. It is the gasoline pedal, in a means.

In the meantime, exhalation connects to the parasympathetic nervous system, which is what impacts our physique’s skill to settle down.

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

It merely trains the physique to decelerate after which present some physiological suggestions that the menace isn’t as imminent as a panic assault makes one assume it’s, Dr. Stanley stated.


Have you ever tried any of those methods and are they serving to?

  • Sure 124 votes
  • No 100 votes
  • Solely typically 61 votes


Dr. Carolyn Rubenstein, a psychologist primarily based in Boca Raton, Florida, recommends sharpening your senses on one thing exterior to distract your self from bodily and emotional panic.

What I am making an attempt to essentially advocate individuals do as a result of it is sort of inventive is to consider the rainbow.

“And take into consideration in search of three purple issues [in the room or your surroundings]three orange issues and three yellow, inexperienced and blue issues.

“And you may even develop it and search for gold and silver and white and black and simply become involved. It really works even when you’re driving or on a aircraft.

It is actually useful in the case of de-escalation as a result of it should hold you engaged and it takes a while.

“And it actually forces you to develop your perspective and take you out of your physique for a couple of minutes so you possibly can settle down.

Different useful distractions may embrace listening to feel-good music, immersing your face or palms in ice water, or getting some contemporary air.


For many individuals, merely acknowledging the upcoming panic may be soothing.

Telling oneself very calmly and matter-of-factly that the physique’s response to some international stimulus is a miscalculation is sufficient to disarm the panic, in lots of circumstances.

Dr. Rubenstein stated: You label it, you take a look at it, reasonably than reacting to it. You come from some extent of management, reasonably than being managed by signs.

It is a psychological trick we use, it in some way brings logic, and never simply the controlling feelings.

“Noticing that it is actually necessary to regain that management and it places you again within the driver’s seat for a second, which may be extremely useful whenever you’re feeling utterly uncontrolled.

Panic assaults should not deadly in themselves, however when skilled they’ll really feel like they’re having a coronary heart assault and even die.

Signs are wide-ranging and rely upon the person, however a few of them embrace chest pains, dizziness, nausea, tremors, sweating, fast heartbeat and hyperventilation, and a deep worry of shedding management.

They often come on shortly and might final anyplace from 5 to twenty minutes.

The interval after a panic assault wherein the physique and thoughts get better can really feel like a nasty hangover.


Dr. Karen Lynn Cassiday, CEO of the Nervousness Therapy Heart of Higher Chicago instructed that folks liable to panic assaults ought to keep good posture and sit up.

Altered respiratory brought on by poor posture causes and worsens the extent of stress.

He stated: What individuals do, but in addition animals do, once they’re below power stress, they go into this posture of worry and you discover it arduous to breathe naturally together with your physique and abruptly you are exhaling an excessive amount of carbon dioxide.

Standing or sitting in a assured posture together with your chest puffed and shoulders open has a psychological enhance, bettering confidence, temper and power ranges and lowering stress, anxiousness and despair.


Whereas the 4:6 technique helps to hit the brake pedal in a panic, Dr. Cassiday additionally cautions in opposition to respiratory too deeply when in the course of a panic assault.

Many individuals within the throes of a panic assault will be capable to recall the recommendation typically given to take deep or deep breaths to stabilize their coronary heart price. However when hyperventilating, it is simpler stated than carried out and truly makes the issue worse.

It’s because hyperventilation happens when individuals breathe so quick and deeply that they expel an abnormally excessive quantity of carbon dioxide, which in flip causes intoxicating signs resembling dizziness that characterize a panic assault. These signs simulate the sensation of suffocation, which triggers a vicious cycle of breathless panic.

Dr Cassiday stated: The worst factor you are able to do is take a giant breath as a result of that solely helps to cut back carbon dioxide ranges even decrease. Breathe slowly and gently by means of your nostril in order that it’s as quiet as attainable and you’ll barely hear it at the back of your throat.


Nervousness is a typical sickness and psychologists and licensed social staff are skilled to information individuals by means of it.

There are lots of remedy choices for panic assaults and panic problems. Cognitive behavioral remedy typically known as speak remedy or psychotherapy is the primary line of remedy for panic dysfunction and panic assaults.

CBT equips the affected person to higher modify their thought processes and actions to confront and disarm the disturbing ideas that result in panic assaults.

Remedy can’t solely assist somebody higher perceive what to do when a panic assault happens, but in addition find out how to modify their conduct and thought patterns that will trigger a panic assault sooner or later.

Dr Karen Lynn Cassiday stated a panic assault is like whenever you had been a child and an older sibling held your head below the water within the pool and also you did not assume you’d ever come out.

Having 4 or extra of those signs is absolutely overwhelming, so many individuals would possibly assume, I am having a stroke, I am going loopy, I am dying, there’s one thing unsuitable with my physique. And truly, that is proper, it is none of these issues I simply talked about.

Many individuals who expertise panic assaults face a continuing worry of being caught red-handed whereas performing regular life features, resembling grocery purchasing 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 p.c of People have panic dysfunction, power anxiousness together with frequent panic assaults.

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