Panic attacks can be terrifying. If you have them regularly, you might fear having one in a public place or while driving. For this reason and many others, panic disorder can drastically affect your quality of life and fill you with anxiety every day. Here’s how to handle a panic attack, what to do after you’ve experienced one, and when to seek professional treatment.
Are you stressed and tired from dealing with panic attacks time after time? Contact Georgetown Behavioral Hospital today to learn about treatment.
How to Recover after a Panic Attack
Knowing how to recover after a panic attack can ensure you are safe, calm, and ready to go on with your day. The first step is recognizing that what has happened was actually a panic attack and not something else. Then, you need to know how to calm down after a panic attack.
Recognize You’re Having a Panic Attack
Recognizing you are having a panic attack won’t make it go away, but it helps you know what to do next. Here are some signs of a panic attack.
- Racing heart
- Rapid breathing or can’t catch your breath
- Feeling weak or dizzy
- Chest pain
- Nausea or stomach pain
- Feeling out of control
- Fearing death
- A feeling of impending doom
Many people with panic disorders describe panic attacks as feeling like they are having a heart attack. Each event usually lasts between 10 and 20 minutes.
Can You Go to the Hospital for a Panic Attack?
Panic attack symptoms tend to be intense. You can’t miss them. However, it could be that the symptoms were caused by a medical condition, such as a heart problem. If you haven’t had this type of experience before, can you go to the hospital for a panic attack? Yes. In fact, it is usually a good idea to go to be sure that you are not having a medical emergency that a physician needs to monitor or treat.
Another reason to go to the hospital for a first-time panic attack is that you don’t know how to recover after a panic attack. Since you have never had one before, you have never received treatment. You don’t have the knowledge, tools, or resources to help you get past it. By seeking help at panic disorder treatment facilities, you can get this help immediately. Then, you can decide what to do next.
Lengthy Panic Attacks
However, can you go to the hospital for a panic attack if it isn’t your first time? In some cases, you can. For example, panic attacks sometimes last much longer than usual. You actually might be having one panic attack after another. In that case, you may need help to stop the cycle.
Frequent Panic Attacks
In addition, if you have panic attacks often, you likely need to see a doctor for a diagnosis. Then, if you have panic disorder, your doctor might recommend you go to panic disorder treatment facilities. At the hospital, your doctor can prescribe medications while you explore issues surrounding the panic attacks and learn techniques for managing them.
How to Calm Down After a Panic Attack
If you know how to calm down after a panic attack, you may be able to avoid some of the fear people often have about having another one. Here are some of the ways you can help yourself get calmer after the storm has passed.
Sometimes, making a change can get you out of panic mode and back into a peaceful frame of mind. For example, simply changing your position might help. If you are sitting, stand up and walk around. If you are standing, you might lie down for a moment.
You could also change your environment. Suppose you are in a public place when it happens. In that case, you might be able to calm down better if you move to a more quiet, private place for a while. Or, if you are in your apartment, you might take a walk outside. Fresh air and sunshine, along with the change in scenery, might help you relax.
Take Care of Your Physical Needs
Because panic attacks are so intense, you may feel drained and weak after they are over. This is not just an emotional feeling, but it is a physical fact. Therefore, the first thing you might want to do is to have a healthy snack. You might also feel very tired. If so, take a nap if your situation permits. Set an alarm for a half-hour so that you will still be able to sleep that night. A brief nap could make you feel much calmer and more positive.
When you have a panic attack, your fight-or-flight mechanism kicks in. Unfortunately, a panic attack can be paralyzing, leaving you stuck in the inactive phase while this event simply happens to you. Therefore, after a panic attack, it often helps to get some light exercise. Take a leisurely walk around your neighborhood. You may feel less paralyzed and more in control.
What to Do After a Panic Attack
Once the panic attack is over and you are calm, you can reflect back on what happened. Think about what happened before the event. What were you thinking about? What environment or situation were you in? Who were you with? With this information, you might be able to identify your triggers. Recognizing what triggers you can help you deal better with the panic attacks or perhaps even learn to prevent them.
Also, after the panic attack is over, it’s important to be sure you are healthy and safe. See your doctor for a checkup. Finally, you might find it helpful to talk to a friend. Even if you don’t talk about the panic attack, just hearing a familiar, friendly voice could help you regain your calmness.
Should You Seek Treatment for Panic Attacks?
Not everyone needs treatment for panic attacks. Many people have one or a few in their lifetimes without having panic disorder. However, there are several reasons you might need to go for help at panic disorder treatment facilities.
- Panic attacks are significantly disrupting your life.
- You fear the next attack so much that you begin to avoid places you need to go or once wanted to go after having a panic attack there.
- You don’t know how to recover after a panic attack and have trouble learning on your own.
- The panic attacks continue no matter what you try.
- Panic attacks last much longer than 30 minutes.
- You have multiple panic attacks in a row.
Knowing how to recover after a panic attack can be very helpful. However, if the panic attacks become frequent or interfere with your life, it is an excellent idea to seek help. Then, you can work towards learning how to calm down after a panic attack, managing them better, and dealing with the related fears they cause.
Where to Find Panic Disorder Treatment Facilities in Ohio
You can find help for panic attacks at panic disorder treatment facilities. Near Cincinnati, Ohio, Georgetown Behavioral Hospital offers treatment for panic disorders, as well as for many other mental health disorders. We also provide dual diagnosis treatment programs for people with both substance abuse disorders and panic or other psychological disorders.
You can call and make an appointment if you choose. However, if you need help immediately, we welcome you to come into the hospital now. Either way, we help learn even better, more personalized ways of how to recover after a panic attack. In addition, we work with you to help you discover the issues behind your panic attacks so that you can address them positively. Panic attacks do not have to rule your life. With the Georgetown Behavioral Hospital team at your side, you can get past the panic to discover a more peaceful life.
Is it time to put panic attacks in the past? Contact us at Georgetown Behavioral Hospital for panic disorder treatment.