How can I get rid of panic attacks?
Q: I am a student from Leh. I seem to have some sort of a psychological problem. While travelling in a bus I feel very uneasy, I start sweating and feel like getting off. I became aware of my problem when I came to Delhi for a pilgrimage and saw a doctor in St. Stephens hospital. She told me that I am suffering from panic attack and suggested some medicines for 3 months. After having those pills, the attack never recurred. I feel fine but the main problem is yet to be solved. I get a headache and I still feel that my head is getting heavy while I am at work, while sleeping, travelling by bus etc. I have pain in my eyes too and I also feel heaviness in my chest. One day I went to meet my friend in the market and while waiting for him, my head became heavy and I felt that I am not in a conscious state. I also have sleep problems and wake up after every hour. I get bad dreams most of the time. This is affecting my emotional and physical activities. Whenever I go shopping, I forget some thing; it is also affecting my studies, I cannot concentrate and I feel very uneasy.
A:Based on what you have described, I agree with your doctor's diagnoses of panic disorder. Most of your symptoms are of the illness, and as you need to know, this is due to some chemical changes in the body. Medications need to be taken for around 6-9 months for total improvement. Relaxation exercises and some basic counselling to learn how to handle the symptoms in the acute stage would also help. I would suggest a repeat consult with a psychaitrist, and I am certain this would improve.