Understanding Panic Attacks: What They Are, How They Can Be Treated, and How FOLX Can Help

Understanding panic attacks: symptoms, treatments, and how FOLX can help.

May 30, 2024
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Clinically reviewed by Michelle Forcier, MD, MPH

Panic attacks are sudden, intense surges of fear or anxiety that can leave you feeling overwhelmed and out of control. These episodes can happen without warning and can be triggered by stress, certain situations, or seemingly nothing at all. If you've ever experienced a panic attack, you know how frightening and disorienting they can be. Let's delve into what panic attacks are, how they can be managed, and how FOLX is here to support you.

What is a Panic Attack?

A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause. Common symptoms include:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Shortness of breath or a feeling of being smothered
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea or abdominal distress
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Chills or hot flashes
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Feelings of unreality or detachment
  • Feeling of impending doom or even death

These symptoms can be so severe that many people experiencing a panic attack believe they are having a heart attack or are dying. It's important to recognize that while these symptoms are very real and distressing, they are not life-threatening.

How Can Panic Attacks Be Treated?

Treating panic attacks typically involves a combination of therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. Here are some common approaches:

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a highly effective form of therapy for panic attacks. It helps you understand and change the thought patterns that contribute to your anxiety. Through CBT, you can learn coping mechanisms and strategies to manage your symptoms.

2. Medication

Medications can be prescribed to help manage the symptoms of panic attacks. These may include antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, or beta-blockers. It's essential to work with a healthcare provider to find the right medication and dosage for your needs.

3. Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques

Practices such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce the intensity of panic attacks. These techniques teach you to stay grounded and calm during moments of anxiety.

4. Lifestyle Changes

Regular physical activity, a healthy diet, adequate sleep, and reducing caffeine and alcohol intake can all help manage anxiety and reduce the frequency of panic attacks. Establishing a routine that promotes overall well-being can have a significant impact on your mental health.

How FOLX Can Help

At FOLX, we understand that us LGBTQIA+ individuals face unique stressors and challenges that can contribute to anxiety and panic attacks. We are committed to providing comprehensive, affirming care that addresses our specific needs.

1. Virtual Care and Accessibility

FOLX offers virtual primary care and mental health services, making it easy to access support from the comfort and privacy of your own home. Our platform ensures that you can reach out to healthcare providers who are knowledgeable and compassionate about LGBTQIA+ health issues.

2. Expert Clinicians

Our network includes healthcare providers who specialize in LGBTQIA+ care, with an average of 10 years experience focused on caring for our community. These experts are not only medically competent but also culturally competent, understanding the nuances and specific health concerns of our community.

3. Community Resources and Support

FOLX is dedicated to providing resources that are tailored to the LGBTQIA+ community. Whether it's through educational content, support groups, or medications, we ensure that you have the tools and support you need to manage your health,

4. Affirming and Compassionate Care

We believe that healthcare should be empowering, affirming, and compassionate. At FOLX, we are here to listen, support, and guide you through your health journey. Our approach is always about putting your needs first and celebrating your life, not just treating symptoms.

Conclusion

Panic attacks can be incredibly challenging, but with the right support and treatment, they can be managed effectively. FOLX is here to help you navigate this journey with resources, expert care, and a commitment to your well-being. Remember, you're not alone, and we're here to take care of you every step of the way. Together, we can redefine what it means to live a healthy, empowered life.

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FOLX Health is the first digital healthcare company designed by and for the LGBTQIA+ community. Our services include primary care, gender-affirming hormone therapy including estrogen and testosterone (HRT), mental health care, sexual and reproductive health care, and fertility consultations. FOLX memberships give you access to LGBTQIA+ expert clinicians, peer support, thousands of LGBTQIA+ resources, and more. Whether you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, gender non-conforming, nonbinary, or another identity, you can find LGBTQ-specialized health care that helps you meet your wellness goals. Get all the benefits of becoming a FOLX member and sign up today!

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