At Washington Health Institute, we know how stressful life can be sometimes. From family, school and work, to learning how to live life during a pandemic, there are many factors in this world that contribute to our stress levels. Many people have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, which makes life just that more stressful. It is no wonder that panic attacks are so common. If you experience a panic attack, know that there are things you can do to get through it. You are not alone in this!

What is a Panic Attack?

A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear that can last for several minutes. Symptoms can include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, and feelings of unreality. For some people, the fear is so intense that it feels like they’re having a heart attack or losing control.

panic attack

What Causes a Panic Attack?

There is no one answer to this question, as the causes can vary from person to person. However, some common triggers include:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Stressful life events
  • Traumatic memories

How to Handle a Panic Attack

If you know what your personal triggers are, you can work to avoid them. Other helpful tips include:

  • Stay calm and try to focus on your breathing.
  • Remind yourself that the attack will eventually end.
  • Avoid any type of caffeine or alcohol, which can worsen symptoms.
  • Identify what might have triggered the panic attack in the first place and work on addressing those issues.
  • Speak with a mental healthcare professional.

Washington Health Institute offers behavioral health services that can help you process what you are going through and navigate anxiety and panic attacks. Our behavioral health services can help those with depression and anxiety, panic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and others, all of which contribute to panic attacks.

If you think you could benefit from speaking with one of our licensed therapists, request an appointment online.