How to Stop and Prevent Panic Attacks

How to Stop and Prevent Panic Attacks

In this post, I’ll be exploring a number of ways to stop and prevent panic attacks. I’ve written the following lines in the hope that they will help you answer the important questions – i.e. how to stop a panic attack, how to diminish its symptoms, and, ideally, how to prevent further panic attacks and stop having them altogether.

All the methods have been tried and tested by me because I have had the ‘pleasure’ to experience panic attacks a number of times. I am glad to say that since I have started practising these steps, my panic attacks have stopped. I hope it will be the same for you, if you are currently experiencing them.

Edvard Munch - The Scream

Why Do We Get Panic Attacks?

Those who have not (yet?) experienced a panic attack, might perhaps imagine it as some stronger form of nervousness or increased anxiety. This is all true, but only a person who has experienced it knows how dreadful it is to suddenly start losing control over everything. The intense surge of fear caused by thoughts like ‘These may be my last moments before death!’ is hard to describe.

Panic attacks can come as a complete surprise, especially when you think that everything is going fairly well in your life. They can happen as a delayed reaction to stressful events, various life challenges, over-worrying, thought-processes that we might not even be consciously aware of, or even just not enough quality sleep and too much caffeine!

A Number of Symptoms

Panic attacks are always overwhelming, and the symptoms can be both physical and psychological. They often manifest through a sudden breathing difficulty, especially when trying to inhale. The choking sensation can be terrifying.

Or, you may suddenly feel as if you can’t swallow. A wave of extreme weakness can overcome you, and your heart can start beating very quickly. The increased heartbeat is probably the scariest part of the whole experience, because how can you be sure that you are not having an actual heart attack?!

You may also start sweating, trembling, or feeling uncomfortably restless, with a strong urge to move, fidget, or run away. Some people even get sick.

What’s particularly scary is the unfamiliar sensation of becoming detached from your own mind. It can feel as if you are suddenly not in our body but disappearing from it. Or as if you are falling into a black hole. You may be overcome by a horrible sensation of going insane.

My Own Experience

I had a number of panic attacks in my twenties and thirties. One of them happened at home and completely out of the blue – when I was washing the dishes. All of a sudden, something was not right. And it was changing from ‘not right’ to ‘terribly wrong’. I thought I was beginning to lose my mind.