Don’t Panic—How to Deal With Panic Attacks

Interview Colleen Cira

Dr. Colleen Cira is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who specializes in Trauma and anxiety and has worked with hundreds of people who have struggled with panic attacks.


A panic attack occurs when your sympathetic nervous system responds as though you are in danger. A number of reactions can occur: one may feel hot (or alternatively, cold), dizzy, lightheaded, short of breath, rapid heart rate, etc. It can be really scary, especially if you don’t know what’s going on or feel powerless over the feelings. Here are a few things you can do to stop a panic attack in its tracks:

    • Understand what you are experiencing. Recognize it for what it is: simply a panic attack.  You are not in danger. You will not pass out (research is clear about this even though it might feel otherwise).  You are not ill. It’s just your perfectly healthy, normal nervous system doing what it does best. Once you feel clear that this is actually a panic attack (as opposed to something else you need to worry about), you can just deal with what’s happening. Continue reading “Don’t Panic—How to Deal With Panic Attacks”