How To Prevent Panic Attacks
The good news is you can prevent panic attacks from controlling your life! You might be surprised to learn that there is a right way and a wrong way to prevent panic attacks.
Let's look at two strategies most people typically try when it comes to trying to prevent panic attacks.
Strategy One - Avoiding Trigger Situations
Panic attacks happen so unexpectedly that you can feel like you have no control. A first panic attack is such a terrifying event that most people want to avoid ever having another one. Even thinking about the event or situation in which the panic attack occurred causes anxiety. You start to limit what you do in order to avoid another one. This is such a natural response, yet it can be so damaging in the long term.
Avoidance of possible situations that might cause a panic attack seems like a smart idea at first. You avoid crowds, or driving or enclosed spaces - whatever seems to be the factor that was causal. This is life limiting to some extent but often seems to be well worth the inconvenience. No one wants to experience another panic attack, and it makes you feel nervous even thinking about entering that situation again.
For some people their first panic attack is also their last. It was just a single experience that never repeated itself. For others, the first is followed by one or more others.
You can see that by just using the strategy of avoidance to prevent panic attacks, that your world will become increasingly limited. You try to protect yourself by desperately trying to figure out what the causes were. The list of possible triggers gets longer and longer. Soon, the number of situations you have to avoid gets larger and larger until it's bigger than the situations that seem safe.
This is how agoraphobia is thought to develop. Repeated avoidance actually increases fear over time.
Strategy Two - How To Prevent Panic Attacks
Yes, you probably guessed this. The other most common (and most effective) method to prevent panic attacks is to get professional help.
This method actually works as panic disorder is a very treatable condition.
Through a process of eliminating medical issues, modifying diet and lifestyle factors, possibly taking supplements or medication, relaxation techniques and cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy you can learn how to manage feelings of anxiety and prevent panic attacks from occurring.
Yes, this sensible method is actually the best method of preventing panic attacks and agoraphobia. The benefit is that your life is not limited, and you will learn how to confront those situations which you fear, and feel okay about them. What a relief!
The answer to the question on how to prevent panic attacks is a matter of not pursing what seems like the most natural response, which is avoiding things, but in finding the right treatment -- luckily there are many good choices!
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