SolveYourProblem Article Series: Stress, Anxiety & Panic
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How To Get Help For Panic Attacks

The symptoms of panic attacks are: increased heart rate, shortness of breath, a feeling of panic, a feeling like you are losing control, or even a feeling like you are dying. This panic feeling can occur from a period of 5 minutes to about 20 minutes.

Panic attacks treatments are: get evaluated by and get help from your health care provider; take medications if necessary; get help from a psychiatrist or psychologist for treatment; practice calming techniques at home such as meditation; seek advice from your religious leader; pray; get help from someone close to you who you trust; exercise daily; listen to music to calm your mind; do yoga, etc.

When you feel that you have symptoms of panic attacks, try to get some type of help immediately. You do not want to deal with panic attacks by yourself with no help; otherwise, the panic attacks may get worse or more frequent. Panic attacks can appear similar to other serious health problems, such as a heart attack. Therefore it is important to find out why you are having such attacks so that you can seek the proper treatment.

Your health care provider may give you a physical exam and have you do laboratory tests to determine the condition of your health.

Your doctor will need to rule out other conditions such as a heart condition or thyroid problem that could be the source of your problem which may resemble symptoms of a panic attack. A physical exam by your doctor may include checking vital signs, such at heart rate, blood pressure and temperature; using the stethoscope to listen to your heart and lungs; examine your abdomen; measure your height and weight; and do an electrocardiogram to test how your heart is working.

And your doctor may have you do a blood test to be analyzed at the lab according to blood count, thyroid tests, cholesterol levels, and other blood tests to check on your health.

If it is determined that the panic attacks symptoms are attributed to a mental cause rather than a physical cause, then you will be referred to a mental health professional for evaluation and treatments, such as a psychologist. Your psychologist will probably ask you to fill out a questionnaire. The questionnaire may ask you:

  1. What are your panic attack symptoms
  2. How often do the symptoms occur
  3. How often do you have panic attacks
  4. Is there anything that is stressing you in your life right now
  5. What are your fears at the present?
  6. Do you have relationship problems
  7. Is someone ill in your family or has someone died who is close to you
  8. Has a tragedy, event, or crime happened to you recently
  9. Is there any drug or alcohol problem with you or someone you love, etc.

These kinds of questions will enable your mental health provider to evaluate you more easily for panic attacks.

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