Talk:Panic Attacks

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[edit] 10 tips for coping with panic attacks

One: If you feel a panic attack coming on and find you are breathing rapidly, breathe slowly in and out of a brown paper bag or cupped hands.

Although you may feel you can't catch your breath, you are probably over breathing and taking in too much oxygen - making you feel giddy. A paper bag will help your oxygen levels return to normal.

Two: Change your lifestyle. Take regular exercise - this helps to burn off excessive adrenaline. Avoid cigarettes and alcohol. Eat regular meals and avoid processed foods and drinks, to keep blood sugar levels stable.

Three: Don't attempt to fight your way out of a panic attack - this will simply increase the adrenaline. Instead accept the feelings will come and go and allow the symptoms to play their tricks as they will. Practise imagining yourself floating over them. Eventually the panic will subside.

Four: Don't bottle up your emotions. Find someone to confide in, such as a family member, friend or counsellor.

Five: Focus outside of yourself during an attack. Listen to some music or do a pleasurable task while waiting for the panic to subside.

Six: Learn a relaxation technique. First close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply. Locate any areas of tension and imagine them disappearing. Then, relax each part of the body, bit by bit, from the feet upwards. Think of warmth and heaviness. After 20 minutes of doing this, take some deep breaths and stretch.

Seven: Firmly tell yourself that your symptoms are nothing more than an over-sensitised nervous system. They are temporary feelings and are not medically harmful or dangerous.

Eight: Reduce your exposure to unnecessary stress. Be prepared to express your needs to others and assert yourself.

Nine: Look into cognitive behaviour therapy or other "talking treatments". You can find a list of practitioners on the website for the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (

10: Join a self-help group. You can find details through the No Panic charity freephone helpline on 0808 8080545. Also check the Mind charity website ( and the NHS Best Treatments website for further help. Also visit for more information on anxiety disorders.

Sources: Mind charity, NHS Direct, No Panic charity.

[edit] why aren't the tips part of the main article?

There are some useful tips for preventing/negotiating a panic attack. Why aren't they part of the main article?

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