ZocdocAnswersWhat's the best way to deal with an anxiety attack if I feel one coming on?

Question

What's the best way to deal with an anxiety attack if I feel one coming on?

I had an anxiety attack. Now that I know what it feels like I want to prevent another one. What should I do if I feel one coming on? Deep breaths? Something else? I just don't want to go through all of that ever again.

Answer

I am very sorry to hear that you recently had an anxiety attack. Panic attacks and anxiety disorder are very serious medical problems which can cause major disruption in your ability to function socially and on the job. Therefore, if you have not talked to a doctor about this issue, you really should do that as soon as possible. You can talk to either your primary care doctor or, if you have one, to a psychiatrist. Treatment for anxiety disorders involves both counseling and medications in most cases. Working with a therapist or counselor can be quite helpful, because they can help you identify triggers that bring on your anxiety and also mental techniques that you can employ to help reduce stress and anxiety symptoms. In addition, most patients with these conditions benefit from medications. On the on hand, there are medications that are taken every day which are useful for reducing over all anxiety symptoms. In addition, there are more rapid acting medications that are sometimes used in particular to help terminate severe symptoms or panic attacks. The first step is to get a formal evaluation and treatment plan from your doctor, so make an appointment as soon as you can.

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

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