Pin Me

How to Get Rid of Panic Attacks

written by: Alicia Miller • edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick • updated: 12/17/2010

Panic attacks are debilitating bouts of intense fear accompanied by troublesome physical symptoms. Panic attacks can affect your overall quality of life. Learn how to get rid of panic attacks in this informative, instructive article.

  • slide 1 of 3

    What are Panic Attacks?

    Panic attacks are the key symptom of a mental health condition known as panic disorder. If you've ever suffered from a sudden, intense feeling of fear that causes specific physical and emotional reactions, you may have experienced a panic attack. According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the common symptoms of panic attacks include a rapid breath rate or difficulty breathing, a pounding heart, sweating, trembling, nausea, chills, headaches, chest pain and an overall sense of doom and intense anxiety.

  • slide 2 of 3

    How to Get Rid of Panic Attacks

    If you've been diagnosed with panic disorder or you think you may suffer from this debilitating condition, you've probably often wondered how to get rid of panic attacks. In fact, there are several steps you can actively take in order to decrease the likelihood of a panic attack and possibly prevent the occurrence of one altogether.

    Having an evaluation by a psychiatrist should be your first step, if you haven't already done so. Medication therapy is an important component of managing panic disorders. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are several helpful medications for treating panic disorders and panic attacks, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, also known as SSRIs, such as fluoxetine, sold under the brand name Prozac, and benzodiazpines, such as alprazolam, also known by the brand name Xanax.

    Ask your psychiatrist for a referral to a psychotherapist. Psychotherapy is often beneficial for patients suffering from panic disorder, as it can help you to understand the root of your panic attacks and provide you with education on how to deal with them more effectively.

    Educate yourself about panic attacks and their symptoms. Just knowing the basic information can go a long way towards alleviating your feelings of distress and worry.

    Learn specific relaxation techniques proven to help panic disorder, such as deep breathing, guided visualizations, and progressive muscle relaxation. You can purchase instruction CD's and audio programs for guided visualizations and progressive muscle relaxation online and in many bookstores. According to Help Guide, deep breathing techniques are often useful in alleviating the symptoms of panic, including hyperventilation, and feelings of tightness in the chest. You can perform deep breathing techniques at any time you start to feel panicked or anxious. If you can, sit in a comfortable chair, close your eyes and focus your mind on your breath. Try to take deep, slow breaths stemming from your abdomen. Allow your thoughts to pass through your mind as though they are floating on a river.

    Talk to your doctor about taking the nutritional supplement inositol. According to the Mayo Clinic, this natural supplement may help to alleviate the severity and frequency of panic attacks.

    If you smoke or drink a lot of caffeinated beverages, try to cut back or quit. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants that can increase your overall levels of anxiety.