Panic attacks can be scary (really scary), but they are actually not life-threatening. Here are a few facts to remember about panic attacks that can help you navigate through them:
-Physiologically, a panic attack only lasts for about 20 minutes or less, with the more intense symptoms lasting around 3 to 5 minutes. The physical symptoms such as palpitations and shortness of breath will typically begin to subside after a few minutes.
-Panic attacks symptoms can be reduced by learning and using simple coping mechanisms such as deep breathing, meditation, and grounding exercises.
-Feelings of panic are often exacerbated by life situations and circumstances. Panic is your body’s physical response to emotional situations. It is important to be aware of and acknowledge what is going on in your life at a given time in order to better understand why feelings of panic may be more intense at certain times in your life.
-Panic is always about something that could happen not something that is happening. Learning to stay present and using mindfulness is a good way to keep yourself from panicking about possible future outcomes.
-Talk therapy or medication (or a combination of both) is a proven way to cope with feelings of panic. Just because you have had panic attacks in the past doesn’t mean you will always have them. Panic disorder is highly treatable, and many people successfully recover from their struggles with panic.
By Phil Lane, LCSW
This post is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical diagnosis or treatment. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
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