You need only experience a panic attack once to never want to experience such an attack again and to search for cures for panic attacks. While they cause no actual physical damage, during a panic attack victims often feel as though they are dying, feeling the first signs of a heart attack, or even suffocating. Fortunately, these sensations usually fade within an hour. A single episode, even if never repeated, can be the start of other problems; the fear of having another such experience can create other fears at phobic levels about the potential triggers of the first attack.
Symptoms to Watch For
Before considering possible solutions, it is best to ensure that what you experienced was such an event. It is medically defined as a limited time of extreme fear, nervousness, or distress with the victim experiencing at least four of the listed symptoms in an abrupt development which peak in no more than 10 minutes; the symptoms include shaking and trembling, sweating, rapid heart rate, nausea, smothered sensation or shortness of breath, chest pains, dizziness or faintness along with a light-headed sensation, a choking feeling, a detached or unreal sensation, numbness or tingling, chills or hot flashes, and fear of death.
Many cures can be self-administered at home. These can be started as soon as the first symptoms appear, to both relieve the symptoms and hopefully ward off the attack entirely. The first step is to loosen the shoulders, focusing on awareness of any remaining tightness in the muscles. Slowly and methodically go through the large muscle groups, focusing on each one in turn and tightening with a deep breath, holding, then relaxing both at a deliberate pace. Focus on slowing down your breathing by placing a hand on your stomach to become more aware of the rapidity of your breaths and by exhaling through pursed lips as though extinguishing a match. Vocally reassure yourself that you are not losing your sanity.
Due to a episode’s short duration, if the victim is capable of expressing the problem and seeking a doctor’s aid, by the time the doctor is reached the symptoms are usually over. Even when the doctor has seen the patient, prescription medications are not recommended after extensive further evaluations and tests to rule out other causes. The main cures for panic attacks are relaxation techniques and reassurance. Even if a medication is prescribed, psychotherapy is considered equally as important in treatment.
The best cures for panic attacks may lie in making lifestyle choices to prevent their ever occurring. If the triggers are known and can be avoided without harming or limiting the victim’s ability to live a full, functioning life, avoidance is a typical technique. Some substances that are known to worsen the effects of panic attacks are also best avoided, such as caffeine, drugs, and alcohol. Keeping up with psychotherapy can also help avoid panic crises. One of the best preventative measures is also one of the key cures of panic attacks: knowledge of relaxation and reassurance techniques to keep the symptoms at bay.