This article gives a good overview of some panic attack treatments. Its fairly basic, but for any anxiety attack sufferer it lets you know the mainstream “solutions” you will encounter. Sadly none will be guaranteed to work, as with any mental health treatments.
Panic Attacks Treatment
by Beth O’Connor
What are Panic Attacks?
An anxiety or panic attack describes what happens to you when fear or anxiety overwhelms you. People react in different ways and to varying extents, but it tends to cause your heart to beat fast, your breathing to increase and for you to feel, sick, dizzy or that you are losing control.
What is the Problem with them?
The frequency of panic attacks can vary from person to person, as can their intensity. But as a general rule, if left unchecked, they will at the very least stay the same and in the worst cases, completely spiral out of control. So it’s important to treat your panic attacks before they start to take over your life or worse, morph into a more serious condition such as depression or OCD.
In this article, I will discuss the latest panic attack treatments currently on the market so you can decide which is best for you to give you the right coping mechanisms so that you can take back control of your life.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive behavioural therapy or CBT has been a very effective treatment for many people. It is an area of science in its own right and basically deals with changing the way you think through a series of therapy sessions, negative thought processes are identified and the subject is then taught to think of them in a different way. Eventually, the patient will develop a series of coping mechanisms to rationalize an attack as or before it strikes.
It has been used to treat a variety of conditions apart from anxiety and panic attacks, including depression and phobias.
Exposure therapy in effect exaggerates the symptoms of panic attacks. During an anxiety or panic attack, there is a dramatic increase of adrenaline on the body, raising your heart rate and breathing, which gives rise to all the associated symptoms.
So the thinking goes, if you purposely cause yourself to replicate these symptoms in a controlled environment, it lessens their effects when a panic attack next strikes.
So in the case of a panic attack, the subject will be asked to exaggerate their breathing, to shake their head or even to hold their breath. The body is a great learner and the hope with this treatment is that such exposure will lessen the impact of any subsequent attack.
A number of medications can be prescribed to lessen the impact of panic attacks. These generally come under the umbrella of anti-depressants. They very widely in strength and side-effects, with the most extreme end being the benzodiazepines, which are extremely addictive.
Prescription medication does have a part to play in the treatment process, particularly in cases where the panic attacks are becoming so extreme as to stop you from functioning normally. However it’s important to realize that these medications merely mask the underlying symptoms and must not be relied upon as a magical ‘cure-all’. They can also be extremely addictive and have serious side-effects.
Another alternative that may be worth considering is natural and herbal remedies for anxiety. These include valerian, kava and passionflower. There are also non-prescription herbal remedies for anxiety that have no harmful side-effects that you can try.
Relaxation and Breathing
This area is very important as, once learned, it can not only lessen the chances of a full blown attack, but completely arrest the hyperventilation response that can bring about all of the many symptoms of a panic attack.
Relaxation techniques are outside the scope of this article and I don’t want to trivialize its importance by discussing all the various methods in a single paragraph. There are many books and programs to follow and there are many treatment programs available to train you to breathe and relax the correct way.
Self-Help Treatment Programs
There are a variety of books to be found on sites such as Amazon for coping with anxiety and panic attacks and many people, including myself, have found them very comforting and useful. However, I am very much a visual person and tend to respond better to practical video demonstrations and techniques. They helped me to banish my own anxiety attacks and heart palpitations and enabled me to take back control of my own life. I sincerely hope they will do the same for you.
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
Obviously there are many panic attack treaments on the market, some better than others, but there is no definitive “best solution”. Some would argue that a combination of treatments offers the best way forward – e.g. medication, relaxation and CBT. This tends to be how most panic attack sufferers end up – trying a new possible solution whilst still having a previous treatment.