Anxiety is increasingly common among today’s teens. Increased academic, peer, family, and societal pressure can increase fear of failure and general anxiety. Unfortunately, many teens self-medicate with drugs, alcohol, video games, social media, or self-harming behavior. Luckily, centers around the country now treat teenagers for anxiety. Panic attack treatment is a holistic approach to reducing anxiety and increasing wellbeing.
If you or a teen in your life are struggling with anxiety and panic attacks, Foothills at Red Oak Recovery can help. Our holistic recovery center helps teenage boys recover from addiction and co-occurring disorders. Reach out today at 866.300.5275 to learn more about our anxiety and panic attack treatments.
Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Anxiety affects a person’s mental, physical, and emotional state. During a moment of anxiety or a panic attack, the nervous system is in a state of dysregulation, which puts the body in a fight, flight, or freeze state. Everyone responds differently in these moments. Some people freeze and feel immobilized, while others become aggressive or run away. These ancient human responses are normal when the body is in a state of danger. However, anxiety and panic attacks are a state of dysregulation when the body is not in immediate physical danger. Unfortunately, this state is increasingly common. These responses stem from unprocessed trauma, daily stress, and societal expectations. Symptoms of anxiety include:
- Tense muscles
- A constant sense of impending danger
- Increased heart rate
- Hyperventilation and trouble breathing
- Profuse sweating
- Trembling and shaking
- Physical weakness
Once dysregulated, it’s hard to calm the nervous system. When anxiety symptoms are triggered, they may cause a panic attack. Panic attacks are sudden and often include heart palpitations, numbness, and confusion. Panic attacks may occur without triggers. Prolonged stress is a common cause of panic attacks. During a panic attack, a person may dissociate and feel they are outside their body.
Tips for Panic Attack Recovery
Panic attacks can be taxing. They exhaust the nervous system and body quickly. Once a panic attack begins, it isn’t easy to recover. Here are some tips for reducing panic attacks and recovering.
1. Reduce Caffeine, Nicotine, and Alcohol Intake
Caffeine and other stimulants make anxiety and panic attacks worse. Changing eating and drinking habits can greatly reduce panic attacks. To recover from a panic attack, drink water and consider adding electrolytes if you’re dehydrated, profusely sweating, experiencing confusion, or lightheadedness. Electrolyte imbalances can present with the same symptoms as anxiety attacks.
2. Practice Mindfulness and Meditation
Mindfulness helps a person return to their body in the present moment. To recover from an anxiety attack, change your breathing pattern.
- Practice different breathing patterns to understand what makes you feel best.
- Try a slow inhale and hold your breath for 5 seconds.
- Exhale slowly. If this method doesn’t work for you, try inhaling while counting to 4.
- Hold your breath for 4 seconds.
- Breath out slowly to a count of 4.
A change in breathing pace will slow your heart and break anxiety cycles.
3. Eat, Sleep, Repeat
Poor nutrition and food sensitivities can trigger panic attacks. If you suspect food sensitivities, try an elimination diet. Eating full meals and keeping blood sugar levels stable can help the nervous system stay calm. Regular sleep, good sleep hygiene, and rest can allow the brain and body to rest and reset.
4. Go Outside
Nature can regulate and calm the nervous system. If you’re able, try moving your body, changing locations, or changing posture when experiencing anxiety. A simple shift may be what your brain needs to break the anxiety cycle.
Treat Panic Attacks Today at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery
If you or a teenager in your life needs support for panic attacks, call Foothills today. Our clinic helps teen boys recover from addiction and dual diagnosis. Reach us at 866.300.5275 today to learn about our programs.