One of the issues facing those with panic disorders is that most first seek treatment from a doctor before they visit a counselor or therapist. That is because panic attacks, for most people, feel a great deal like a health problem. Many liken it to a heart attack, and while panic attack symptoms are experienced differently by each person, many of those who have experienced a panic attack feel as though they’re in the process of dying.
Though more and more doctors understand panic disorders, many believe they should be treated by prescription medications. These medications do not treat the underlying problem – they simply mask the symptoms. Once you stop taking the medications, your panic attacks will almost always return.
It is so important to find safe, natural treatments for panic attacks. Prescription medications like SSRIs and benzodiazepines may seem like a good idea, but you’ll simply be delaying the inevitable return of the panic attacks while putting yourself at risk for all of the related side effects. Natural methods of treating panic disorders are simply better.
Luckily, there are several ways that you can try to treat panic disorders naturally. Here are three ways:
Kava is a natural anti-anxiety herb that has been researched signifigantly. Studies have confirmed that the effects of kava are very real and very beneficial for helping to fight anxiety. Kava is also safe to use (provided you do not drink alcohol or take any liver-altering medications) and unlike prescription drugs, there is no addiction risk, nor do you have to take it every day.
Another supplement you may want to consider is magnesium. Magnesium is often depleted by stress and anxiety, but the mineral plays a crucial role in numerous bodily functions. Magnesium deficiency can cause abnormal heart rhythms, hyperventilation, and anxiety. While magnesium deficiency may not cause all anxiety or panic attacks, it is highly likely that many of those suffering from these symptoms may be deficient in magnesium, so adding a supplement to your diet may be a big help.
Exposure therapy is a great way to reduce the frequency and severity of panic attacks for panic attacks that are triggered by physical sensations. Many panic attacks are triggered by every day feelings of light-headedness, chest pain, heart beats, etc. – sensations that most people ignore on instinct, but those with panic disorders are oversensitive to.
If you get used to the sensations, it is possible to experience less fear and panic when you experience them. A way to mimic exposure to these symptoms is to recreate them. For example, some may spin in a circle to represent dizziness. Others breathe through a straw to simulate not getting a full breath. There are ways to habituate yourself to nearly every sensation, and it can make them less likely to trigger panic when you experience them in your daily life. It is generally better to do this therapy in the presence of a trained cognitive behavioral therapist.
Natural Treatments for Anxiety and Panic Disorders
There are countless natural ways of reducing panic disorders without the need for prescription drugs. While prescription drugs may seem like a viable option (and certainly many would prefer to go the easy route by taking a pill and getting rid of the panic), the truth is that those with panic disorders need more than just a short term solution, and things like kava, exposure therapy, and magnesium are all great potential ways to provide that solution.
About the Author: Ryan Rivera used to use pharmaceutical medicine but found that it wasn’t providing him with the benefits that he needed. Now he writes about panic disorders at www.calmclinic.com.
The information in this column is for educational purposes only and should not be used to self-diagnose and treat diseases.