What to do when you have an anxiety disorder and panic attack

Disease science

What to Do When You Have an Anxiety Disorder and Panic Attack


An anxiety disorder is a mental health condition that causes excessive fear and anxiety. Panic attacks are a common symptom of anxiety disorders. They are sudden, intense episodes of fear or discomfort that can be triggered by a variety of factors, such as stress, a perceived threat, or even no identifiable trigger at all.

Symptoms of a Panic Attack

Panic attacks can cause a variety of physical and emotional symptoms, including:

Chest pain or discomfort

Shortness of breath

Palpitations or a racing heart


Trembling or shaking

Feeling faint or dizzy

Nausea or abdominal discomfort

Feeling detached or unreal

Fear of losing control or going crazy

What to Do During a Panic Attack

If you experience a panic attack, there are a number of things you can do to help manage your symptoms:

1. Stay calm: This is easier said than done, but it's important to try to stay as calm as possible. Remind yourself that you are not in danger and that the panic attack will pass.

2. Deep breathing: Take slow, deep breaths. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Focus on your breathing and try to relax your body.

3. Grounding techniques: These techniques can help you to focus on the present moment and reduce your anxiety. Try counting to 10, identifying five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.

4. Positive self-talk: Talk to yourself in a calming and reassuring way. Tell yourself that you are okay and that you will get through this.

5. Visualization: Imagine yourself in a relaxing place, such as a beach or a forest. Focus on the sights, sounds, and smells of your chosen place.

6. Get help: If you are unable to manage your panic attack on your own, don't be afraid to seek help from a friend, family member, or therapist.

Long-Term Management of Anxiety Disorders

If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, there are a number of things you can do to manage your symptoms:

Medication: There are a number of medications that can be helpful in treating anxiety disorders. Your doctor can help you find the right medication for you.

Therapy: Therapy can help you to understand and cope with your anxiety. There are a variety of different types of therapy that can be helpful, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy.

Lifestyle changes: There are a number of lifestyle changes that can help to reduce anxiety, such as:

Getting regular exercise

Eating a healthy diet

Getting enough sleep

Avoiding caffeine and alcohol

Practicing relaxation techniques

Additional Resources

If you are struggling with an anxiety disorder, there are a number of resources available to help you:

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): https://www.nimh.nih.gov/

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA): https://adaa.org/

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): https://www.nami.org/

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