Q. I had a horrible panic attack two weeks ago. My arms and legs went numb. What can I do to stop this?

Answered by
Dr. M K Rathore
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 16, 2014 and last reviewed on: Dec 08, 2018

Hello doctor,

I had a horrible panic attack two weeks ago. My arms and legs went numb. Even now, I am having trouble with them and my balance. What can I do to stop this?



Welcome to icliniq.com.

The treatment includes some medicines and psychotherapy.

  1. Medication includes antidepressants (SSRI's, TCI), antianxiety drugs. It is better to see a doctor before taking any medicine as the best medication for your panic attacks will depend on a variety of factors, like presenting symptoms, comorbid disorders, and treatment goals.
  2. Psychotherapy (CBT, that is, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) treatment of panic attacks. CBT works to help the patient to change his thoughts and perceptions that are contributing to fear and anxiety.

Once you begin to accept panic attacks, you can start to change the way you respond to them. For example, instead of reacting to physical symptoms, with nerve-racking thoughts, such as “I am losing control,” you can respond to them with increased calm and clarity. Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, mindfulness meditation or yoga can be practiced to help you get in touch with your relaxation response. Repeating positive affirmations, such as “Despite my anxiety, I accept myself,” can also help in getting past fear. By working on changing how you react, you can remain in control during panic attacks.

The next time you have a panic attack, try to remember the three A’s of overcoming your fears: Acknowledge, Accept, and Alternative response. These three steps can assist you in changing the way you react to symptoms and get through panic attacks with less fear. Listed here is a simple step-by-step exercise that can help you overcome your fear of panic attacks:

Acknowledge - The next time you notice increased anxiety or panic symptoms, simply pause and take a breath. Take this moment to recognize that you are experiencing heightened panic and anxiety. This simple act of acknowledging your symptoms at the start of a panic attack can give you a sense of power over your fears.

Accept - Rather than trying to run away from or resist your symptoms, come to terms with the fact that you are having a panic attack. Acceptance does not mean that you are giving in to panic, but can provide you with the clarity needed to get through panic attacks.

Alternative Response - Instead of becoming wrapped up in your fear, remind yourself that these are simply symptoms of a panic attack and that you have nothing to be afraid of. During a panic attack, your flight-or-fight reaction may be trigger feelings of stress and fear. Reframing these feelings can allow you to cope with them more effectively. So, for example, if during an attack you start to react with fear or a need to flee, remind yourself that your symptoms will soon subside. Instead of thinking “I am afraid of my panic attack,” try to reframe this to “I am feeling overly excited.” When frightening thoughts, such as “I am going to lose my mind” arise, try to shift this perception, by repeating to yourself, “I am okay,” or “These feelings will pass.”

You can book for an online therapy or telephone counseling for further counseling and treatment from us.

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