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The stigmas surrounding mental illness can deter many people from getting the help they need. When panic attacks start becoming part of a person’s life, they can begin to feel hopeless and uncertain about why they are occurring. In fact, some people do not even know that they are having a panic attack and really think that they are dying or that something is seriously wrong with them. They might believe that they are being overly dramatic and overreacting, but the truth is that panic attacks are challenging to endure.

Symptoms of a Panic Attack

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), “A panic attack is the abrupt onset of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes and includes at least four symptoms.” These symptoms can include pounding heart, palpitations, accelerated heart rate, shortness of breath, smothering, or fear of losing control, which can ultimately make someone believe they are having a heart attack.

Treatment of a Panic Attack

The best way to treat panic attacks is first by attempting to make some healthy changes in a person’s life. Make sure that a person’s basic needs are being met through a healthy diet, restful sleep, drinking water, and avoiding cigarettes, caffeine, drugs, and alcohol. Through a healthy lifestyle, a person can also start using therapy to gain more knowledge about what panic attacks are and how to recognize the onset of them. Therapy can also relieve distress by offering some techniques to use to keep panic attacks at bay. Relaxation and breathing exercises can be instrumental in helping an individual to work through the fear and stop the flight or fight response to their panic attacks. A person should also let friends and family support and encourage them to get through the episode when attacks occur. Having a positive connection with loved ones can help a person feel safe and secure in their environment and their overall lives. 

Although a panic attack is not typically listed as a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), someone can have an intense physical reaction to emotional distress when they are reminded of a traumatic event. For example, loud noises can remind a soldier of combat, or watching the news can provoke memories of abuse that a person has once experienced. Rather than live with the uncomfortableness of your panic attacks, stick to your treatment to help you cope with PTSD symptoms and stay on track for your recovery.


At The Guest House Ocala, our recovery programs include many experiential modalities, including traditional therapy, conscious connected breath-work, equine therapy, somatic experiencing, art in healing, grief therapy, mindfulness, and other forms of therapy. Call us at (855) 483-7800 today for more information.