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  • Writer's pictureLeAnn O’Neal Berger

Tips for Taming Panic Attack

There are coping skills and counseling techniques that Dr. LeAnn, Psy.D., L.M.F.T. can assist clients with in reducing panic attacks.
Woman experiencing panic.

Tips for Taming

Panic Attacks

2-3 times more women than men have panic attacks

Typical ages to have attacks are late teens & mid-30s

Because physical symptoms are so strong, many

first seek medical help rather than therapy

Understand What’s Happening

Biological theories suggest that what causes panic attacks may be incomplete processing, or over-production, of natural chemical activity in the brain or central nervous system, or both, which excites mind and body to react with fear and physical responses. But, in many cases, it is the conscious or unconscious anticipation of threat or fear that triggers this physio-chemical response. It is currently unknown for certain whether the chemical problem or the fearful expectation comes first, but it is clear that one can and will activate the other.

Managing in the Moment

1. Close your eyes and say to yourself (out loud or silently): in this moment I am safe.

2. Take long deep breaths to the slow count of 4, and exhale to the count of 4 until you begin feeling calm.

3. While breathing & thinking in this moment I am safe, look around for all the straight edges you can see.

4. Change your message to I am coping, all is well and keep doing long slow breaths to a count of 4.

5. Visualize chemical molecules running around in you body, see them slowing down, then falling asleep.

6. Give these visualized molecules a funny cartoon face, or imagine them running backwards

Healthy ways to help prevent panic attacks:

  • Yoga, swimming promotes relaxation

  • Daily meditation trains mind to control body

  • Daily walks releases excess energy

  • Professional help heals underlying fears

  • EMDR resourcing Dr. LeAnn can teach you

Find out how you can tame your panic attacks

Or talk with Dr. LeAnn

Call 1-(530) 676-3847

Dr. LeAnn O'Neal Berger, Psy.D., L.M.F.T., specializes in helping clients reduce the frequency and intensity of anxiety attacks, and gain skills in coping without getting swallowed up in panic. Her tools and techniques teach how to face fearful and stressful situations without a panicky meltdown. She has Online sessions for your convenience. Dr. LeAnn is most easily reached by phone at 1- (530) 676-3847 or by email at

Checklist: How Likely is it that You’re Having Panic Attacks?

~ Check what is true for you, and call a therapist specializing in panic disorder ~

  1. You’ve been constantly extremely worried about an attack for more than 1 month

  2. You’re extremely worried about the consequences, if you have an attack

  3. You’ve significantly changed your behavior due to worrying about having an attack

  4. You’ve had sudden periods of extreme fear, reaching the worst of it within 10 minutes

  5. These periods start without warning or clear reason

  6. These attacks aren’t part of drug or alcohol use

  7. You have these attacks more than once a day

  8. You have these attacks more than once a year

  9. You also have milder forms of anxiety or phobias about specific things

  10. You also have other mental health difficulties, such as chronic depression

  11. You have some medical problems that are known to potentially be associated with panic attacks

Mitral valve prolapse





Signs of Panic Attack

  • Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate

  • Sweating

  • Trembling or shaking

  • Sense of shortness of breath or smothering

  • Feeling of choking

  • Chest pain or discomfort

  • Nausea or abdominal distress

  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint

  • Feeling detached from oneself, like you’re in a dream or movie, or alternate universe

  • Fear of losing control or going crazy

  • Fear of dying

  • Numbness or tingling sensations

  • Chills or hot flashes

Sometimes thinking about making a phone call causes enough anxiety

to trigger a panic attack. If that happens to you, I’d welcome your email.

Just tell me a good time to call you when you can talk freely, without being overheard.

I can help you get control of your life again.


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