Squats or jogging for panic attacks

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Exercise can help stop panic attacks

Squats have proven to be a good remedy for panic attacks. Physical activities can help to overcome the anxiety attack, as Prof. Borwin Bandelow from the University Hospital Göttingen advises those affected.

Quite a few people feel fears that sometimes severely restrict life. In the event of panic reactions, the organism experiences a physical and psychological alarm reaction ("fight or flight"). The body seems to be going crazy, crowds of people in the department store, the upcoming ride in the elevator or the fear of an approaching heart attack in the course of a cardiac neurosis can lead to a real panic attack in anxious patients. Those affected usually suffer from a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, sweating, thoughts of fear, tremors, chest pain, feelings of derealization and shortness of breath. Calming yourself is often not enough to end the attack. It is not uncommon for patients to find themselves in the emergency room.

Physical activity can calm the body
Physical activity is relatively successful. In such a situation, those who can should "go jogging, run stairs or squat", says Prof. Dr. Borwin Bandelow, Head of the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the University of Göttingen.

Through physical exercise, the symptoms that the patient previously classified as dangerous and life-threatening again fit the body's processes. This, in turn, can reassure those who are experiencing a panic attack, as the psychiatrist explains.

No conscious inhalation and exhalation
Many therapists advise anxious patients to consciously inhale and exhale. According to the expert, this method should rather not be used, because "it directs the focus entirely on the body's reactions, and this only increases the panic." During the panic attack, those affected should cognitively become aware that the attack "after." 30 to 120 minutes is over again "and no health consequences persist." Those who can do this can already calm down, "explains the psychiatrist.

A panic attack can affect anyone. These often occur in connection with agoraphobia, stress, post-traumatic stress disorders or fear of illness. If the panic attacks occur several times a year, those affected should see a doctor. As a rule, the causes and symptoms can be treated well in the context of behavioral or psychotherapy. Before starting therapy, however, organic causes such as cardiovascular disease or hyperthyroidism should be clarified by a doctor. (sb)

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Image: Gerd Altmann / Carlsberg1988 / pixelio.de

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