ZocdocAnswersWhat should I do to prevent a panic attack?

Question

What should I do to prevent a panic attack?

I had a panic attack a little while ago and sometimes I feel like I am going to have another one. What should I do if I feel one coming on? Are there easy ways to calm yourself down if you are panicky?

Answer

Panic attacks are a serious medical problem, because they can lead to very serious problems with social coping and they can also lead to impairment in job and school performance and in relationships. For this reason, you should definitely talk to your doctor about this issue. I suggest that you either see your primary care doctor or a psychiatrist for help. In general, people who suffer from panic attacks or an anxiety disorder will benefit from regular counseling or therapy. These therapy sessions can help you identify panic triggers and can help you learn strategies for preventing and for dealing with stress and anxiety attacks. However, at the same time, most people who have an anxiety disorder should also be taking a medication for their symptoms. There are two main types of medication that are used for anxiety disorders. The first are medications that are taken daily to help reduce general anxiety and improve overall functioning. The second are medications that are taken in the middle of an acute worsening of symptoms to help alleviate the symptoms. Your primary care doctor or your psychiatrist will be able to talk to you about all of these options and help you come up with a good plan.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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