Kristen Stewart recently revealed that she suffered from anxiety and eventually learned to cope with the condition. The actress told Elle U.K. that although she no longer struggles with the disorder, in the past she would have panic attacks and it would physically affect her.
Although the star is no longer feeling debilitated by the disorder, not everyone is as lucky.
A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear and disabling anxiety, making you feel as if you are losing control. Here are five tips on how to stop panic attacks.
1. Be AWARE.
Therapist, Mark Tyrell from Uncommon Help suggests that people who suffer from panic attacks make an AWARE card for times when they are feeling panicky and follow the simple instructions. The acronym stands for:
A: Accept the anxiety. Do not try to fight it.
W: Watch the anxiety. Treat it as if it is something outside your body and you are just observing it.
A: Do your best to act normal. Go on as if nothing is happening.
R: Repeat the previous steps until you begin to feel relaxed again.
E: Expect the best. The attacks will pass more quickly the more times you practice the technique.
2. Talk to your doctor about your attacks.
Your doctor may prescribe you medication or refer you to a mental health physician for further evaluation.
3. Undergo Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT).
CBT is a type of psychotherapy that trains your brain and body to overcome panic attacks and gets you to a point in which they no longer happen at all.
4. Take prescription medication.
Those who have not found comfort in self-soothing methods may prefer to seek professional help which may result in a prescription. Common drugs used to treat panics attacks are classified as benzodiazepines include alprazolam, lorazepam and diazepam. These drugs can typically help relieve symptoms in 10 to 30 minutes.
5. Breathe deeply.
When suffering from a panic attack, people tend to breathe very quickly and the shallow breaths can cause them to feel even more stressed and helpless. It is important to practice taking deep slow breaths. Focus on your breathing, it will help you slow your panicked breathing and racing heart rate.
Everyone’s panic attacks differ and if you are struggling it is important to consult with a professional for further help.