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Treat panic attacks with biofeedback?


Study: Does biofeedback help against panic attacks?

Around two percent of people in Europe are affected by panic disorder at least once in their life. Panic attacks can severely limit the lives of those affected. A study is now examining whether such fears can also be treated with biofeedback.

Shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, tremors and sweating: panic attacks are associated with numerous unpleasant symptoms. Scientists from the University Hospital Bonn and the University Medical Center Mainz are now carrying out a study to investigate whether these fears can be treated with biofeedback. Victims of panic disorder can register to participate in the study.

Many sufferers are afraid of the next attack

As the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn writes in a statement, about two percent of people in Europe are affected by panic disorder at some point in their lives. An essential feature is abruptly recurring anxiety attacks, which therefore cannot be predicted or explained by those affected, which increase to a climax in a few minutes.

“An attack can last a few minutes and in extreme cases a few hours - but most panic attacks last no longer than 30 minutes. The frequency of the attacks can fluctuate between several times a day to monthly, ”explains the Professional Association of German Neurologists (BVDN) on the website“ Neurologists and Psychiatrists on the Net ”.

There are accompanying symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, hot flashes, feelings of tightness, tremors, chest pain, difficulty breathing or dizziness. Often, those affected are also extremely afraid of losing control, going crazy, suffering from a physical breakdown or heart attack, or even dying.

"It is therefore understandable that many affected people develop an expectation fear before the next attack occurs and change their lifestyle in order to avoid certain situations", says Privatdozent Dr. Rupert Conrad from the Clinic for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy at the University Hospital Bonn.

Study participants wanted

As the message says, biofeedback is used, among other things, to relax and improve the physical complaints described above. With biofeedback, physical signals that are difficult to access directly by the senses, such as heart rate or heart rate variability, are recorded and reported visually or acoustically using special devices. This method is intended to help those affected to perceive body processes that are running unconsciously and to change them in a favorable direction.

"With our study, we would like to examine the effectiveness of biofeedback in the treatment of panic disorder in more detail," explains Prof. Dr. Katja Petrowski from the Clinic for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy at the University Medical Center Mainz. Therefore, people are still being sought who suffer from a panic disorder. You should be between 18 and 65 years old, currently not receiving psychotherapy and have no heart disease. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.



Video: 3 Tips to Manage Anxiety u0026 Panic Attacks (December 2021).