I've got my own history of panic attacks and being overly emotional at times. Thankfully I have a husband who understands and helps keep me grounded.
In addition to the exercise and hobbies that people have suggested, I would recommend acupuncture. At the beginning of the year I was getting acupuncture done once a week and taking Chinese herbal supplements to help with my stress and anxiety levels. It took a little while but I did begin to notice improvement. I wasn't so high-strung and easily set off. I was more relaxed and took things in stride.
I realize acupuncture in many areas is expensive so this may not be an option for those in financial crises. I count myself blessed to live in an area where there is an acupuncture intern clinic that offers treatments for $25. Chinese herbal supplements are much cheaper than prescription drugs (usually around $8 a bottle) and have little to no side effects. If you are financially able to, try acupuncture once a week for a month and see how your body responds.
Best of luck!
I find affirmations work for me..I figure out what I am feeling, as in, if I feeling scared I tell myself (atleast 10 or more times) "there is no need for me to feel scared,I am safe and loved,I release the need to feel scared."
I also read a passage from a book that has helped me get my "depression" under control.