Skip to content
Controlling Panic
Viktoriya7588 posted:
Controlling Panic Attacks

Many people suffering from Panic Disorder try to control and/or reduce the uncomfortable symptoms (increased heart rate, sweating, dizziness, lightheadedness, depersonalization, etc.) through creative strategies including but not limited to cold showers, alcohol/drugs, breathing, distraction, medication, avoidance of caffeine, talking on the phone, significant other, etc. All these techniques appear to be effective short-term but in actuality only maintain and even increase the panic long term. These techniques are called safety-seeking behaviors. They provide a false sense of comfort and are used as a crutch to reduce anxiety. The reason they are so harmful is because the individual attributes the decrease of anxiety to these external forces rather than relying on themselves. This trains the body/brain to believe that they are not strong or capable enough to overcome the panic symptoms on there own which feeds the anxiety, making it worst. They are not giving themselves the opportunity to take credit for reducing the anxiety but rather become more dependent on the safety behaviors

Avoidance of situations to control panic usually starts small but quickly escalates to becoming debilitating where the person's world because smaller and smaller. Vacations, traveling, elevators, movie theaters, malls, driving, etc., are just some examples of situations that are avoided. The ability to convince and make excuses/justifications to oneself and to others becomes almost automatic. Without treatment a person can become more and more confined by the panic. Sometimes, the only place to feel "safe" is at home which is known as agoraphobia.

One way to reduce panic symptoms is to let go of the control. The harder a person fights having a panic attack, the more likely he or she becomes anxious. The paradox of panic is the more a person tries to control it, the less control he or she actually has over it and only when they are able to let go of that control do they actually gain it. The control is usually the underlying issue when it comes to panic disorder and the most difficult to treat, but through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy it becomes significantly easier.

Viktoriya Abramova
Clinical Director
Anxiety Treatment Clinic
Galleria Professional Building
915 Middle River Drive, Suite 320,
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
Was this Helpful?
3 of 3 found this helpful
TyleeWhoa responded:
Where does a person go to get Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Featuring Experts

Reid Wilson, PhD is an international expert in the treatment of anxiety disorders, with books translated into nine languages. He is author of Don...More

Helpful Tips

Dr. Farrell's WebMD TV videosExpert
Dr. Farrell has a series of 12 videos that cover everything from your need for sleep, inheriting anxiety disorders, positive self-talk and ... More
Was this Helpful?
68 of 85 found this helpful

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.