How to Cope With a Panic Attack on Your Own



Just a minute ago, nothing foretold trouble and you were in a good mood, and now you feel as if the world has collapsed. A panic attack is always unexpected and very distressing. This condition is associated with a sudden onset of fear, panic and anxiety. And it occurs all of a sudden – against a background of complete health and well-being of the person.

How a Panic Attack Manifests Itself

Panic attack is always accompanied by autonomic disorders, which include such symptoms as:

  • Chills.
  • Feeling cold or hot.
  • Shaking of the whole body,
  • Dryness or moistness in the mouth.
  • Visual impairment.
  • Abdominal pain or cramps.
  • An increase in body temperature.
  • High or low blood pressure.
  • Increased or decreased heart rate.


The set of kinesthetic manifestations is supplemented by psychological characteristics corresponding to the condition, such as fear of death, anxious thoughts, bulimia or aversion to food, shortness of breath, “lump in the throat”, rapid heartbeat and rapid breathing.


A key variation of panic attack is an acute, sudden onset condition accompanied by fear of death, anxiety, and increasing anxiety.


Panic attacks are dangerous because they can escalate into illnesses-not fragmented or acute disorders, but chronic illnesses that form panic, fear, and other anxiety disorders.

What Can Cause a Panic Attack

Panic attacks are divided into spontaneous, situational and conditioned.


Spontaneous, as you can understand from the name, occur unexpectedly against a background of perfect health and have no prerequisites, reasons or circumstances for the appearance.


Situational panic attacks are found in the conditions of a certain emergency situation or unfavorable circumstances for the person (there is a clear provoking situation, expectation of this situation or inherent provocation).


Conditional-situation attack is characterized by occurrence against a background of complete health, but under the influence of chemical or physical factors (alcohol, toxic substances, certain ingredients, some pharmaceuticals), which in turn trigger a panic attack process.


The common premise for all the above categories of panic attacks is exposure to traumatic factors: the reproduction of unpleasant life experiences and painful memories of fear. For some, even losing at an online casino can be a reason for panic attacks.


Taking drugs, medications and alcohol, or being poisoned by various chemicals can be the trigger for a panic attack.


A group of such diseases includes endocrine disorders (adrenal and thyroid disease), diseases of the cardiac conduction system (heart disease).

Who Is Susceptible to Panic Attacks

Panic attacks are most often suffered by people who are impressionable, emotionally unstable, have endocrine system dysfunction, heart muscle disorder, heart and adrenal gland disorders.


The image of such people is “obese”, emotional, with high blood pressure. If you look at the situation from a gender angle, as a rule, these parameters correspond to women, since it is women who are more likely to experience endocrine system malfunctions.

How to Determine That a Panic Attack Is About to Begin

In some cases, it is possible to catch the moment and determine that a panic attack is about to begin in the near future. This can be done by focusing on the signs of the condition:

  • Visual disturbances.
  • Auditory or visual hallucinations.
  • Inappropriate sensation and taste disturbances.
  • Rapid heartbeat.
  • Feeling of increasing anxiety and restlessness.
  • Occurrence of pulsatile blood vessels.
  • Increasing rate of breathing.
  • The emergence of a feeling of lack of air and fear.

What to Do if a Panic Attack Occurs

If a panic attack does occur and it cannot be prevented in any way, there are a couple of things you can do to help yourself or another person who finds themselves in this difficult situation.


The first thing to do is to try to balance your breathing – you should breathe into a paper bag.


One should breathe deeply: one, two, three short breaths are taken, and then in accordance with the score a systematic long exhalation is carried out – one, two, three, four, five. You can practice your breathing by using the best breathing app to help you with your panic attack.


Divert the attention of the person who is in a panic attack. You can count the objects around, the number of people around, the number of cars by color. In general, do everything.


There is an opinion that a sharp change of the situational picture (putting a person into a state of shock, for example, by dousing him or her in cold water) is an effective way to overcome a panic attack. Despite assurances in the effectiveness of such techniques, they do not lead to desirable results, and quite often aggravate an already unenviable condition.


Of course, if a panic attack has developed and has reached the point where home help has no result, then a medical professional should be called in.


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