What To Do During A Panic Attack

Experiencing a panic attack can be terrifying. It’s not only a mental thing either. An attack has physical symptoms as well, including shaking, disorientation, nausea, irregular heartbeats, dizziness and others signs.  These symptoms aren’t dangerous, but they certainly feel like they are. Some people when they first experience a panic attack mistake it for a heart attack, believing they are going to collapse or even die.

Understanding panic attacks, and knowing what to do when you’re having one, is the best way to manage them.


What is a panic attack?

Symptoms of a panic attack can vary depending on the individual. A person might feel a few or all of the common symptoms. Each attack can bring on different symptoms too. That makes it difficult for people to always identify when they’re having on. Here are a few of the most common symptoms people report feeling:

  • Racing or irregular heartbeat
  • Feeling weak, dizzy, and/or faint
  • Tingling or numbness in hands or fingers
  • Sense of terror
  • Sweating or chills
  • Chest pains
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of control


Psychiatrists, researchers, and doctors still aren’t entirely sure what causes panic attacks. They are linked to panic disorder, but not always. Some possible causes could be biology, life changes, or stress. Panic attacks can run in families too. Women are twice as likely to get then compared to men. Psychiatrists also say that once you experience one you are at higher risk of having another.


What to do During a Panic Attack

There are a few things people can do to calm themselves during a panic attack. This can help stop or reduce the length of the attack.


Tell Yourself It Will Pass: All panic attacks pass eventually. Knowing that what you are experiencing will be over eventually will help calm you down.


Don’t Distract Yourself: It’s important to ride out the panic attack. Looking for distractions or leaving a situation won’t help. In fact, it will only give into the anxiety and panic. Let yourself feel the fear and then come through it. This will let you discover nothing will happen.


Try Breathing Exercises: Controlling your breath can be extremely helpful in lowering your heart rate. Breath as slowly, gently, and deeply through your nose as you can. Counting can also help. Some people find it better to close their eyes and focus on their breathing. You will find that after a few minutes of breathing exercises you will feel better.


What to do after

After the panic attack has subsided, there are a few things you can do. Some psychiatrists recommend people carry on with the task they had been doing previously. This prevents you from giving complete control to the fear. Other doctors recommend going somewhere quiet to recuperate.

There is no physical danger from having one, however, if you experience them regularly, look into seeking the assistance of a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist will be able to identify what is causing them and help you manage them. Contact our team today to discuss how we can yelp with panic attacks and anxiety disorder.

Dr. Raul J. Rodriguez

Dr. Raul Rodriguez