How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jeremy Your Own Question
Jeremy, Doctor
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 35
Experience:  Expert
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Jeremy is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How do I prevent a panic attack when I feel it coming on?

This answer was rated:

How do I prevent a panic attack when I feel it coming on ?

Good evening! This is Dr. Jeremy Jinkerson, I'm a clinical psychologist, I've been in practice for over 11 years, and I've worked with a number of individuals who experience panic attacks. You're looking for how to prevent a panic attack; am I getting that right?

To prepare, it will help to know a bit more about your panic attacks and what lets you notice that they're coming on. Also, you may not always be able to prevent a specific panic attack in the moment. What you *can* do is work to notice the signs and bring down your general level of anxiety. Looks like that's what you're already starting to do! If you'll share a bit more as far as what you notice when the panic attack is coming on, we'll be in business.

Answering these questions will help.
1. What do you notice in your body?
2. What do you notice in your environment?
3. What goes through your head? (e.g., thoughts)

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Thank you! I begin to notice I feeling of unease, and then like I'm slowly losing control, like I'm leaving myself
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
I dont notice much about my environment, it can happen alone or with others
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Environment kind of fades like it not important
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
I start to think "no no breathe you are okay, you are fine" and then my heart starts beating faster until it's going so fast I think I'm going to fall over dead lol
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
I dont know how to stop it before reaching the palpitations

Oh, no -- that sounds really scary! The good news is that one thing you're telling yourself is true -- the part where you are fine/okay. The other thing you're telling yourself isn't actually true -- the part about going to die. It's okay, though. We all tell ourselves things that aren't all the way true

got it -- about to tell you about the palpitations

Okay, so the trouble with panic attacks is that they're not all the way predictable. They actually are brought on by stimuli, which can internal or external. We just don't always recognize them. That means that sometimes you can learn what triggers them, and sometimes you can't. In the meantime, you're stuck with palpitations that you can't predict. [more to come]

What you can do is change the question a bit. If you're willing to ride the palpitations out while using your slow breathing and reminding yourself you won't die, they really should decrease over time. You can actually track it. It's a bit more of a longer-term solution that trying to stop the panic attack right when it's happening. By then, it's too late.

Did that make sense and seem helpful?

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Yes it did, I've been trying to ride them out. I'll have to get better at it. Thanks :)

Your technique is good. You just want to focus more on the "I'm not going to die" because that directly conflicts your thought about dying. Also, the mindful breathing will help. Here's some more information you may find helpful:

This really should decrease them over time, but if it doesn't, I would suggest seeking professional support.

Okay, if this fully answered your question, I hope that you are satisfied and will leave a 5-star rating. Good to chat with you!

Jeremy and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

Hi, just checking in to see how you're doing. Do you need further assistance?