How to Stop an Anxiety Attack

An anxiety attack, which can involve symptoms of panic, can be a distressful–even debilitating–experience. Some people are prone to anxiety attacks such as those people who are diagnosed with generalized anxiety or panic disorders. Anxiety attacks are caused by intense fear or worry. Overwhelming anxiety can result in an anxiety attack that may involve both physical and psychological symptoms. Even though such attacks are not typically life-threatening, they can sometimes mimic life-threatening conditions such as difficulty breathing or rapid heart rate. Some people might mistakenly believe they’re having a heart attack, which can serve to add to their agitation. 

While anxiety attacks often begin with intense worry or fear, they can result in a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms, including heart palpitations, hyperventilation or shortness of breath, chest pain, increased sweating, and more. At WhiteSands, we offer a wide range of behavioral and mental health treatments. Learning to cope with anxiety can shorten anxiety attack duration and, ideally, even help prevent it. 

WhiteSands features licensed and experienced clinicians. With treatment, people who have anxiety-related disorders can learn to manage their condition effectively. Often, psychotherapy and medication can lead to successful condition management. If you have experienced anxiety attacks and want to reduce their occurrence or learn steps to stop them, contact WhiteSands for our help. 

What Triggers an Anxiety Attack?

Even though an anxiety attack may seem to occur out of the blue for some, they are often triggered by stressors or certain types of situations. Certain circumstances, for example, may cause anxiety attacks in some people. Identifying triggers of anxiety is the first key step in managing them. Stress may be a common aspect of life, but it can be especially challenging to manage. Some of the most common triggers of anxiety attacks are:

  • Major Stresses (i.e. loss of a loved one, job loss, illness, or moving)
  • Traumatic Accident or Injury (i.e. car accident, abuse)
  • Social Situations (particularly for people who have social anxiety)
  • Substance Abuse (substance use disorders are often associated with anxiety)
  • Financial Concerns
  • Insomnia
  • Hormonal Changes
  • Relationship Conflicts

It’s not always possible to prevent these triggers, but it is possible to find ways to cope with them in helpful ways. Learning what triggers most affect you is important. When you understand what types of situations precipitate your anxiety attacks, you can better prepare yourself to cope. 

During treatment at WhiteSands, therapists work closely with clients to identify the factors that have led to their anxiety and panic attacks. An escalation of worry, a characteristic of anxiety, maybe the main driver for anxiety attacks. Therefore, learning to manage the worry can help prevent the attacks from occurring. 

Signs You’re Having an Anxiety Attack

There are many signs of anxiety attacks. A person may only experience one or two during an attack episode. Often, people will experience excessive or seemingly uncontrollable fear. This fear may include feelings of dread or intense panic. While some symptoms may be psychological, anxiety attacks are often accompanied by physical symptoms like increased heart rate and heart palpitations. Some people find it difficult to breathe because of shortness of breath. Hyperventilation is a common feature of anxiety attacks. 

Other physical symptoms of anxiety attacks include profuse sweating, which is often an initial symptom. People may notice increased sweating or may experience a sudden chill or hot flash. Trembling and shaking are also common signs of an anxiety attack. Tingling sensations and gastrointestinal complaints like nausea may accompany an anxiety attack too. 

The psychological discomfort of these attacks is difficult to cope with. Some people may fear that they’re going crazy or that they might die. Getting these feelings ‘under control’ can be hard without any treatment designed to train individuals how to cope with such powerful emotions and thoughts. Anxiety is characterized by a racing brain that often catastrophizes–and jumps to the worst conclusions. These feelings can peak to result in an anxiety attack that is so severe that the individual needs medical attention. 

How Meditation Can Help During an Anxiety Attack

signs of anxiety attack

At WhiteSands, we help clients determine what triggers their anxiety attacks. Then, they can develop strategies to effectively cope with them. One way that many people find helpful for managing anxiety attacks is with meditation. There are various ways to meditate; some people meditate on their own while others may attend formal meditation sessions that are guided by a professional. 

Meditation can calm agitated minds and soothe the physiological symptoms of anxiety. Ideally, people should meditate at the onset of their anxious thoughts to get a handle on them. However, meditation may help even during a full-blown anxiety attack. If you begin to experience an anxiety attack, you should attempt to meditate. 

Fortunately, there are many online apps and online resources that can help people learn how to meditate. However, no matter what type of meditation you practice, you may benefit from the calm it provides. Initially, people may find it hard to meditate, but with some training and practice, people can master meditation techniques so that they find relief and can rely on meditation going forward. 

Professional Solutions from WhiteSands Treatment

Are you looking for help coping with your anxiety? Keep in mind that anxiety is a mental disorder. Though most people will experience some anxiety from time to time, when it reaches a clinical level, it may require mental health treatment. People who have anxiety can benefit from evidence-based therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy, alternative therapies like art therapy, and holistic treatments like meditation or yoga. 

Many people with anxiety also require medication to manage their condition. Some medications specifically treat anxiety; benzodiazepines are highly effective for treating anxiety disorders; however, these prescription drugs have a high rate of abuse and are particularly suited to short-term use. Fortunately, long-term anxiety management with certain antidepressants can be highly effective too. 

People with anxiety or who experience anxiety attacks should visit WhiteSands for an evaluation of their condition. Our experienced clinicians can assess each client to recommend the ideal course of treatment for them. Treatment can help clients manage their condition in the long term. Even though anxiety tends to be a chronic mental health disorder, it can be effectively managed with both therapy and medication. 

Support and Resources from WhiteSands for Those Facing Anxiety Attacks

If you experience anxiety attacks, visit WhiteSands for a diagnosis. You may have an anxiety-related disorder. Proper diagnosis is crucial for effective treatment. Our clinicians have years of experience treating anxiety and other mental and behavioral health conditions. We offer empathetic care that’s based on best treatment practices. 

Call WhiteSands to learn more about our therapies and mental health treatment plans. Even though treatment may not cure anxiety attacks, it can help prevent them and provide clients with the strategies they need to manage these attacks successfully. There are many ways to cope with anxiety, including ongoing counseling, exercise, and more. 

Don’t ignore these attacks. If you’ve experienced them, get support. Treatment can reduce your discomfort and lead to improved management of the specific anxiety-related condition you have. Contact us to discuss our enrollment process. We can discuss our accepted insurance plans and how treatment can help you achieve your recovery goals. 

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

Jackie has been involved in the substance abuse and addiction treatment sector for over five years and this is something that she is truly eager about. She has a passion for writing and continuously works to create informative pieces that not only educate and inform the public about the disease of addiction but also provide solutions for those who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse.