Panic attacks are intense surges of fear, panic, or anxiety that can come on very suddenly. For those who experience panic attacks, they can be overwhelming, and come with both physical and emotional symptoms. During a panic attack, you might have difficulty breathing, you sweat and tremble, and you feel your heart pounding.
A panic attack can occur for a number of reasons, and sometimes for no apparent reason at all. In most cases, panic attacks happen after exposure to a trigger, though triggers vary from person to person.
You may experience a panic attack if you:
- have panic or anxiety disorder
- use certain substances or medications
- have an overactive thyroid
- have a condition that involves psychosis
- social events and public speaking
- situations that remind you of past or current stress in your life
Can you prevent a panic attack from happening?
You can’t always prevent a panic attack from occurring, but there are certain things that can soothe and help:
- do breathing exercises every day
- get regular exercise
- follow a diet that is low in added sugar and eat regularly to avoid glucose spikes
- avoid caffeine, smoking, and alcohol, as they may make anxiety worse
- seek counseling and other professional help
- ask your doctor about local support groups
Another way to help prevent a panic attack is to avoid specific triggers but it’s not always possible or appropriate to do so. It’s best to wait until you’ve worked with a professional to develop skills and strategies to help you cope.
Princeton Medical Institute is currently seeking participants for a wide range of research studies. All study related visits, lab work, medications, and procedures are provided at no cost to those who qualify for the study. Qualified participants will receive compensation for time and travel. Contact our staff today and see if you’re eligible to join a research study.