How to manage panic attacks when they happen, according to psychologists
Mental health

How you can handle panic assaults after they occur, based on psychologists

By Cassidy Morrison Senior Well being Reporter for Dailymail.Com

Up to date: 15:54 March 14, 2023

  • Psychological well being specialists suggest distractions, good posture, remedy and extra
  • About 11 % of individuals within the US expertise a panic assault yearly
  • Nervousness is the commonest psychological well being concern, affecting 40 million adults

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

One in ten People will endure this yr alone, based on the Cleveland Clinic, and about one in 50 will endure a number of.

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

Nonetheless, spoke to a few psychologists about how one can stop assaults naturally – with out medication – and the way greatest to take care of them in the event that they do happen:

Psychological well being specialists Dr Ian Stanley, Dr Karen Lynn Cassiday and Dr Carolyn Rubenstein (pictured left to proper) spoke to about some actual and true strategies for warding off assaults. They embrace figuring out a panic assault when it really hits, slowing your respiratory and distracting your self from the bodily signs


Whereas feeding your self with arbitrary steering, akin to taking deep breaths, could sound trivial to somebody experiencing a panic assault or panic dysfunction, it really works, based on Dr. Ian Stanley, a psychologist on the College of Colorado.

Recommendsexhale for a number of seconds longer than inhaling. When one begins to emerge,attempt inhaling for a rely of 4 and out for a rely of six.

Inhalation is linked to the sympathetic nervous system which prompts the battle or flight response. It is the fuel pedal, in a manner.

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

Extending the exhalation robotically places extra emphasis on the aspect 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 will not be as imminent as a panic assault makes one assume it’s, Dr. Stanley stated.


Dr. Carolyn Rubenstein, a psychologist based mostly 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 suggest individuals do as a result of it is sort of artistic is to consider the rainbow.

“And take into consideration on the lookout for three pink issues [in the room or your surroundings]three orange issues and three yellow, inexperienced and blue issues.

“And you may even broaden it and search for gold and silver and white and black and simply get entangled. It really works even in the event 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 broaden your perspective and take you out of your physique for a couple of minutes so you possibly can relax.

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


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

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

Dr. Rubenstein stated: You label it, you take a look at it, moderately than reacting to it. You come from a degree of management, moderately 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 vital to regain that management and it places you again within the driver’s seat for a second, which will be extremely useful once you’re feeling utterly uncontrolled.

Avoiding aggravating conditions … may cause stress!

Dr Tracy Marks, a psychologist based mostly in Atlanta, Georgia, says that an individual battling nervousness could make their situation worse by avoiding sure set off conditions.

Panic assaults aren’t deadly in themselves, however when skilled they will really feel like they’re having a coronary heart assault and even dying.

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

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

The interval after a panic assault during which the physique and thoughts recuperate can really feel like a nasty hangover.


Dr. Karen Lynn Cassiday, CEO of the Nervousness Remedy Heart of Higher Chicago advised that individuals susceptible 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, after they’re underneath persistent stress, they go into this posture of worry and you discover it exhausting to breathe naturally along with your physique and all of a sudden you are exhaling an excessive amount of carbon dioxide.

Standing or sitting in a assured posture along with your chest puffed and shoulders open has a psychological enhance, enhancing confidence, temper and power ranges and lowering stress, nervousness and melancholy.


Whereas the 4:6 methodology helps to hit the brake pedal in a panic, Dr. Cassiday additionally cautions towards 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 accomplished 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 akin to 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 an enormous breath as a result of that solely helps to scale back carbon dioxide ranges even decrease. Breathe slowly and gently by means of your nostril in order that it’s as quiet as potential and you may barely hear it at the back of your throat.


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

There are lots of therapy choices for panic assaults and panic issues. Cognitive behavioral remedy typically known as discuss remedy or psychotherapy is the primary line of therapy 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.

Click on right here to resize this part

Remedy can’t solely assist somebody higher perceive what to do when a panic assault happens, but in addition the way to modify their habits and thought patterns which will trigger a panic assault sooner or later.

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

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

Many individuals who expertise panic assaults face a relentless worry of being caught red-handed whereas performing regular life capabilities, akin to 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *