A panic attack is a sudden feeling of disabling anxiety and intense fear. It causes acute distress to a point where one feels they are dying or losing control. People who experience symptoms of panic attacks should learn how to prevent a panic attack. In most cases, anxiety and stress may lead to these attacks. Symptoms of panic attacks include difficulty catching breath, a racing heart, and sweating. The attacks often last between 10 to 20 minutes and are barely life-threatening.
Preventing a Panic Attack
Panic attacks happen suddenly and maybe scary. Below are some ways on how to prevent a panic attack whether it happens to you or your loved ones:
- Use deep breathing: Hyperventilating worsens the attacks. Controlling your breathing reduces the chances of experiencing hyperventilation. Take deep breaths in and out through the mouth
- Close your eyes: Panic attacks may occur if one is an environment with a lot of triggers that may overwhelm them. Closing your eyes ensures you focus on breathing and blocks extra stimuli
- Find an object to focus on: If you feel that a panic attack is coming, focus on an object and note everything about it. Describe the size, shape, and color of the object. The panic symptoms are likely to subside if you focus all your energy on one item
- Utilize muscle relaxation techniques: These techniques control the responses of your body which help to stop a panic attack. Relax your muscles one at a time starting with your fingers to other parts of the body
- Take part in light exercise: Swimming and walking are gentle to the body. Light exercise is relieving for people with stress. If you are experiencing problems breathing, ensure you do what you can to catch your breath
- Picture your happy place: Imagine yourself in your most favorite place in the world. Choose a relaxing, quiet, and calm place
The Relationship Between Drug Addiction and Panic Attacks
Panic attacks tend to be more frequent and severe among people who use drugs and alcohol. If one quits using drugs, the symptoms of a panic attack may worsen.
Alcohol and Panic Attack
Alcohol is one of the most abused substances. It is legal in most places and acceptable in most social settings. Alcohol abuse disorders and panic attack symptoms often co-occur. Some individuals increase their intake of alcohol to avoid anxiety feelings that come with panic attacks.
Marijuana and Panic Attack
In most cases, people use marijuana to prevent panic attacks. But self-medicating with marijuana increases anxiety and panic attacks.
Stimulants and Panic Attack
Some of the commonly used stimulants include caffeine, cocaine, and nicotine. Using stimulants brings about changes in the body that have similar symptoms to a panic attack.
Co-occurring Disorder Treatment at The Washburn House
A panic attack is a disorder that occurs in connection with substance abuse. People struggling with drug addiction and panic attacks are less likely to follow treatment recommendations. The dual diagnosis treatment center at Worcester Massachusetts addresses both co-occurring disorders at the same time. The facility offers inpatient, detox, and outpatient programs. The mental health and medical professional team at the facility assess your condition and come up with the best treatment for you.
The programs involve:
- A treatment plan that fits the needs of the patient
- Comprehensive assessment of the panic attack and how severe the condition is
- Psychiatric evaluation and medication management
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy and mindfulness: This help cure mental health disorders and foster addiction recovery
- Inpatient rehab center: This involves individual therapy with a health expert to help in navigating the symptoms
- Group therapy; This entails topics on anxiety disorders and other mental health issues
The Washburn House Has the Solutions
If you are wondering how to prevent a panic attack, visit or call the Washburn House in Massachusetts for guidance. Don’t allow drug addiction to worsen your panic attack symptoms. Learn more today at 855.298.3104 and contact us for quality care by certified health experts to begin your recovery journey.