While panic attacks and panic disorder benefit from professional treatment, you can also help manage symptoms on your own. Some lifestyle and self-care steps you can take include:
May 19, 2015
- Stick to your treatment plan. Facing your fears can be difficult, but treatment can help you feel like you're not a hostage in your own home.
- Join a support group. Joining a group for people with panic attacks or anxiety disorders can connect you with others facing the same problems.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, smoking and recreational drugs. All of these can trigger or worsen panic attacks.
- Practice stress management and relaxation techniques. For example, yoga, deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation — tensing one muscle at a time, and then completely releasing the tension until every muscle in the body is relaxed — also may be helpful.
- Get physically active. Aerobic activity may have a calming effect on your mood.
- Get sufficient sleep. Get enough sleep so that you don't feel drowsy during the day.
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- Panic disorder: When fear overwhelms. National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/panic-disorder-when-fear-overwhelms/index.shtml. Accessed April 20, 2015.
- Answers to your questions about panic disorder. American Psychological Association. http://www.apa.org/topics/anxiety/panic-disorder.aspx. Accessed April 20, 2015.
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- Gaudlitz K, et al. Aerobic exercise training facilitates the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy in panic disorder. Depression and Anxiety. 2015;32:221.
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- Roy-Byrne PP. Pharmacotherapy for panic disorder. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 21, 2015.
- Clonazepam, alprazolam, venlafaxine hydrochloride, fluoxetine hydrochloride, paroxetine mesylate, paroxetine hydrochloride, sertraline hydrochloride. Micromedex 2.0 Healthcare Series. http://www.micromedexsolutions.com. Accessed April 22, 2015.
- Sawchuk CA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 8, 2015.
- Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 11, 2015.
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