At Wellness Counseling and Residential Detox, we treat clients with substance abuse disorders. Some of our clients have co-occurring disorders such as depression or anxiety. If you suffer from extreme anxiety, it’s a good idea to know how to prevent a panic attack. This is one of the skills you may gain at our drug and alcohol detox center in Stuart, FL.
What Is a Panic Attack?
First, it’s helpful to know the symptoms of a panic attack. During a panic attack, you may experience intense fear that brings on physical reactions. Often, there’s no apparent cause. Additionally, you may feel like you’re having a heart attack.
Here are other features that apply to panic attacks:
- Panic attacks happen quickly. One minute you feel fine and the next you are consumed with dread.
- There isn’t always an observable trigger. Your body reacts to a perceived, perhaps unknown, threat.
- These attacks peak within 10 minutes or less and may fade just as quickly.
- People often describe it as feeling like a heart attack or dying.
If you have ever felt this way, it’s time to learn how to prevent a panic attack.
How to Prevent a Panic Attack
Our suggestions on how to prevent a panic attack include:
- Controlling your breathing
- Visiting the doctor
- Talking about it
- Exercising and living a healthy lifestyle
- Adapting to triggers
Learning more about what causes your panic attacks can help you focus on recovering from alcohol and drug abuse during your time with us. We also have a continuing care program to help you after recovery.
Controlling Your Breathing
Start by controlling your breathing during hyperventilation. Practice this skill before having an attack. Healthy breathing takes 14 seconds. Take five seconds to breathe in through your nose, hold it for 2 seconds, then exhale for 7 seconds. It may take time to master the technique. However, by concentrating on your breathing, you can calm yourself down a great deal.
Visiting Your Doctor
To find out how to prevent a panic attack, visit your doctor. Panic attacks aren’t caused by any particular health issue. However, your doctor can rule out heart and respiratory conditions, so you can focus on the psychological aspects of the attacks.
Talking About It
You shouldn’t feel embarrassed by having panic attacks. First, you can’t help it. When the anxiety starts to build, talk about it with someone you trust. By getting out of your thoughts, you can reduce the severity of the attack and get out of your head.
Exercising and Living Healthy
When you talk to your doctor about your attacks, ask them about any exercise regime you choose before you start it. Exercise improves your overall health and may reduce anxiety — and that’s a positive thing if you get panic attacks. However, raising your heart rate too high could make you feel like you’re in the beginning of a panic attack. So, choose your exercise sessions with the help of your medical professional.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle plays an important role in controlling anxiety. Make sure you get the daily recommended allowance of vitamins and minerals. Also, try to get at least seven hours of sleep each night.
Adapting to Triggers
Known as desensitization, adapting to triggers with the help of a therapist can help you reduce or eliminate panic attacks. For example, if dizziness triggers your attacks, you may spin around and around to bring on the trigger. You can also hyperventilate purposely. The idea is to get used to the trigger so that it doesn’t bring on such as intense response.
Treatment for Substance Abuse in Stuart, FL
At Wellness Counseling and Residential Detox, we understand that depression, anxiety, and even panic attacks may accompany your substance abuse disorder. As part of our commitment to your full recovery, our therapists can help you learn to accept your mental health disorders and deal with them accordingly. Contact us at 772.324.4130 today to learn more about how to prevent a panic attack or to discuss what our substance abuse detox center programs can do to improve your wellbeing.