How To Deal With a Panic Attack

Most of us have had one. Some sort of bad news or looming deadline brings on a sudden, deep-seated feeling of fear and worry. By definition, if you experience physical symptoms such as sweating, shaking, shortness of breath or a pounding heart and mental symptoms like that sense of impending doom or excessive worry in response to a clear trigger, then you are likely experiencing a type of panic attack. One thing to be thoroughly aware of is that panic attacks usually end within 10 or 20 minutes and are not dangerous in and of themselves. One method for dealing with them is ‘5-2-5’ breathing: breathe deeply into your stomach for 5 seconds, hold the air for 2 seconds and then exhale for 5 seconds. This can help you divert your attention, since it can be impossible to remember that the symptoms will eventually subside. Additionally, it will help to ensure that you restore measured breathing. Once the panic symptoms fade, I have no doubt you’ll be more clear-headed and able to deal with the situation.

dr. uruj kamal

dr. uruj kamal

Dr. Uruj Kamal is a second year resident in Psychiatry at Baystate Medical Center/Tufts University School of Medicine. A Stony Brook native, she enjoys combining her knowledge of mental health and awareness with her passion for health, fitness and beauty. In her spare time, enjoys fashion, kayaking on West Meadow Beach, and creating westernized-Asian recipes.