I know few people who have suffered from panic attacks in the past. Recently one of my friends Vishu suffered from such attack while he was he was driving back from his work. Suddenly he felt that he was just losing control of himself and had a feeling that he might not survive the attack.
Vishu felt that he was suffering from cardiac arrest since the symptoms were little similar which included pain in the chest, breathlessness and pounding of the heart. After around 15 minutes or so the panic attack subsided and Vishu slowly able to recover from it. Luckily for him he had pulled over his car to the side when he started feeling uneasy and was safely able to return home.
When he went to doctor, the doctor did not provide any medicines to him saying that if that happens to him again then he would prescribe some drugs. This made him anxious about what to do in case it happened to him again. I had also faced panic attacks long time back and done some research on what should be done in case of facing such attack again and not having any medicines with me. Here is what I found which I shared with Vishu and also want to share with you.
What Should be Done In case of Sudden Panic Attacks
Firstly remember that you are not going to die or have any serious health risk because of panic attacks. This itself should provide some comfort. Also remember that most of times the panic attacks are not going to last very long time. Usually it should be over within 10 to 15 minutes.
Try to slow down your breathing. There are two things you can do to slow down your breathing rate. Start concentrating on the stomach and start observing you the breathing affects the movements of the stomach. When you inhale the stomach will move up and when you exhale it will go down. This itself willloosenthe tension in the stomach region and slowdown your breathing.
Another thing you can do is concentrate on slowing down your exhalation. Try to hear the sound when the breath hits the upper throat while it is going out or your body. This technique is also very useful in slowing down your breathing.
Try to loosen up your body. If it is possible lie down at a safe place, else you can sit down and try the breathing techniques mentioned above.
Slowly you would see that you are getting more comfortable and the attack would fade away, and use this experience to learn how to face your anxiety. You will also learn that remaining calm and facing this challenging situation will really make you emotionally and mentally stronger. You would also be able to reducing your dependency on medication and be better prepared next time in case there is another panic attack.
However if your doctor has recommended taking medication remember to carry it with you since many times having the medication itself gives you a psychological safety net and you remain much more comfortable. In case you regularly suffer from panic attacks you can get more tips on how to deal with it at my sitewhich will help you avert future panic attacks.