Panic Attacks and How to Cope with Them

If you’re reading this, then you or someone you know may be struggling with panic attacks. These can be incredibly frightening and debilitating experiences, but thankfully, there are ways that might help to cope with and manage them. In this post, we’ll explore what causes panic attacks, how to identify the symptoms and discuss some effective treatments. Hopefully, our article will bring you some relief and help you on your road to recovery.

What Are Panic Attacks and What Causes Them?

Panic attacks are sudden episodes of intense anxiety that can cause physical and mental distress. Scientists believe that the root cause of these episodes is a combination of psychological and biological factors. Psychological influences may include unresolved childhood issues like trauma or a high-stress lifestyle. However, natural components such as genetics or an imbalance in neurotransmitters can also play a significant role in triggering such bouts. 

While these attacks are frightening, rest assured that there are treatments available to relieve the symptoms associated with them.

Physical Symptoms 

Experiencing a panic attack can be very overwhelming and frightening. During such an occasion, physical symptoms can often be the most distressing. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Tightness in the chest area
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations or rapid heart rate
  • Trembling
  • Feeling weak or dizzy
  • Nausea and sweating.

These physical symptoms are the body’s natural response to fear or perceived danger, and while they can feel terrifying, they are harmless and will pass in time. Most individuals report that their symptoms start to decrease after 10 minutes, although it is essential to speak with your doctor if you experience frequent attacks.

Mental Symptoms 

Feeling anxious in the midst of a stressful situation is normal. It is the body’s way of alerting us to possible dangers and preparing us to respond. However, when anxiety becomes overwhelming, it can result in a panic attack. The most common mental symptoms experienced during such a bout can include the ones listed below:

  • Severe fear or terror
  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Intrusive, unwanted thoughts
  • Extreme sense of helplessness. 

All these symptoms will make an affected person feel extremely out of control. If left untreated, it can develop into a state of chronic anxiety, so if these feelings begin to arise, a person should definitely seek professional aid to get to the root cause of the problem and deal with it effectively with the help of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

How to Cope With a Panic Attack

Panic attacks can be a severely distressing experience, but fortunately, there are some practical measures one can take to get them under control. It is important that those experiencing the attack focus on slow and deep breathing and look for positive sensations in their body. Grounding yourself with specific mental or physical activities, such as naming objects in one’s vicinity or focusing on the sensation of your feet on the ground, can also help to bring you back to the present moment. 

If possible, it can also be useful to find a safe space away from any triggers and talk yourself through reality-checking statements like “I am safe,” “This is temporary,” and “No harm will come to me.” With these strategies in mind, it’s important for patients to understand that panic attacks may persist for a time but will eventually pass.

Long-term Coping Mechanisms for Dealing With Panic Attacks

Dealing with recurring panic bouts can be difficult and nerve-wracking. While there are medications available to help with acute cases, they may not be effective in dealing with frequent or long-term recurrences. However, long-term coping mechanisms, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness meditation, can be incredibly effective in this respect. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps not only to manage symptoms but also to explore the person’s underlying negative thought patterns that may be contributing to their anxiety.

Mindfulness meditation encourages people to be present and observant of their surroundings as well as their own thoughts and feelings without judgment or fear. Ultimately, learning how to cope with one’s own mental health means finding what works best for an individual — whether it is medication, therapy, or a combination of both — and committing to building sustained habits for self-care.

How to Effectively Help Someone Who Is in the State of Panic?

To effectively aid someone who is in a state of panic, first and foremost, you should try to remain calm yourself. Then, encourage the affected person to speak about what is causing their anxiety so that you can better help them. 

During this bout, be sure to actively listen to the patient and refrain from offering any quick solutions; instead, offer them solace by showing empathy and understanding. Acknowledge their feelings by repeating what they’re saying back to them and suggest taking it step-by-step if the source of worry is overwhelming. 

Additionally, employing mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing or walking in nature can help manage their spiraling thoughts. The objective is to make them feel heard without minimizing the gravity of their troubles. 

Ultimately, assisting someone in this condition includes equal parts listening and validating their emotions so that they can eventually battle the suffocating feeling of anxiety caused by that panic attack.


In conclusion, panic attacks and their associated symptoms create an intensely uncomfortable experience that can be difficult to cope with. In addition, physical symptoms such as raised heart rate, shaking, sweating, and nausea make the experience more taxing on the body. 

Simultaneously, the mental dismay that comes with a panic attack makes it hard to think clearly or maintain a sense of normalcy. To effectively handle these episodes, try techniques such as focusing on your breathing or being mindful of your environment. And for long-term management of the disorder, seek comfort through hobbies or talking to friends and family. 

Additionally, during panic attacks, it is important to remember not to push away the person who is currently in a state of fear or uncertainty; instead, focus on providing physical contact and understanding. Finally, if you are seeking help for yourself or someone else, contact a professional rehabilitation center that specializes in psychiatric disorders for additional assistance.