Wednesday, June 19, 2024

How To Calm Down From A Ptsd Attack

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Grounding To Offset A Ptsd Episode

PTSD Panic Attacks: How to (Try to) Calm Down | HealthyPlace

Although they come on quickly, a person will usually have a little bit of warning prior to the flashback or dissociation. They may feel they are losing their connection to reality or things may start to look blurry. One method for not completely losing touch with reality is through a technique known as grounding, which is similar to mindfulness.

Just as it sounds, grounding can help a person stay present so that they recognize their oncoming PTSD symptoms for what they are. This technique involves strategies such as these:

  • Engaging each of the senses by identifying things in the immediate environment they can see, smell, touch, taste, and hear
  • Moving aroundwhether by walking, running, or jumpingto help disrupt the bodys stress response
  • Breathing deeply and slowly to help calm themselves

Use A Paper Bag To Help To Control Your Breathing

You may have seen people using a paper bag to help them control their breathing in films or photos and wondered if this was an effective way to manage anxiety. Dr Arroll says that this can, in fact, be a helpful way to control your breathing. It helps to prevent you from inhaling too much oxygen which will regulate your breathing, she explains.

Hyperventilation makes you feel breathless so you might be gasping for air and taking in too much oxygen, Dr Arroll says, explaining that a paper bag will help to stop this and make you feel less panicked overall.

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Tip : Support Treatment

Despite the importance of your love and support, it isnt always enough. Many people who have been traumatized need professional PTSD therapy. But bringing it up can be touchy. Think about how youd feel if someone suggested that you needed therapy.

Wait for the right time to raise your concerns. Dont bring it up when youre arguing or in the middle of a crisis. Also, be careful with your language. Avoid anything that implies that your loved one is crazy. Frame it in a positive, practical light: treatment is a way to learn new skills that can be used to handle a wide variety of PTSD-related challenges.

Emphasize the benefits. For example, therapy can help them become more independent and in control. Or it can help reduce the anxiety and avoidance that is keeping them from doing the things they want to do.

Focus on specific problems. If your loved one shuts down when you talk about PTSD or counseling, focus instead on how treatment can help with specific issues like anger management, anxiety, or concentration and memory problems.

Acknowledge the hassles and limitations of therapy. For example, you could say, I know that therapy isnt a quick or magical cure, and it may take a while to find the right therapist. But even if it helps a little, it will be worth it.

Encourage your loved one to join a support group. Getting involved with others who have gone through similar traumatic experiences can help some people with PTSD feel less damaged and alone.

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Does Ptsd Get Worse Over Time

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a debilitating mental health condition that is triggered by a distressing event. It can get better or worse over time and often takes an unpredictable course. The good news is that there are treatments available that work to ensure a healthy and sustainable recovery.

What Should I Know About Participating In Clinical Research

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Clinical trials are research studies that look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditions. Although individuals may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should be aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge so that others may be better helped in the future.

Researchers at NIMH and around the country conduct many studies with patients and healthy volunteers. Talk to your health care provider about clinical trials, their benefits and risks, and whether one is right for you. For more information, visit NIMH’s clinical trials webpage.

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How Can I Help A Friend Or Relative Who Has Ptsd

If you know someone who may be experiencing PTSD, the most important thing you can do is to help that person get the right diagnosis and treatment. Some people may need help making an appointment with their health care provider others may benefit from having someone accompany them to their health care visits.

If a close friend or relative is diagnosed with PTSD, you can encourage them to follow their treatment plan. If their symptoms do not get better after 6 to 8 weeks, you can encourage them to talk to their health care provider. You also can:

  • Offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement.
  • Learn about PTSD so you can understand what your friend is experiencing.
  • Listen carefully. Pay attention to the persons feelings and the situations that may trigger PTSD symptoms.

Schedule Enjoyable And Meaningful Activities During Fireworks Season

Mark your calendar with activities you enjoy and find fulfilling such as exercise, cooking, or watching movies. This can improve your mood and can help offset or even undo the effects of unpleasant emotions, Bryan says.

Once you choose an activity you find pleasurable, plan to engage in it more often in the days leading up to firework celebrations and on the day of specifically during the actual fireworks display and afterward to unwind from any symptoms or emotions that may arise.

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What Happens During A Ptsd Episode

A PTSD episode is characterized by feelings of fear and panic, along with flashbacks and sudden, vivid memories of an intense, traumatic event in your past. These memories are often accompanied by sensory experiences visions, sounds, and even smells from the incident may return, as if they are happening in the present moment. Perceiving imminent danger, your brain will go into a state of alarm: your heart races, you sweat profusely, and your breath speeds up. The feeling is all-consuming, intense, and often debilitating.

Understand That Sometimes Stress Is Inevitable

Calm An Overactive Flight or Fight Response | Alleviate Your Acute Stress | Heal PTSD & Panic Attack

Stress isnt always bad though despite what people may tell you, but if this happens to be one of those times where it feels like your entire world is crashing down around you and there doesnt appear to be any escape from feeling so overwhelmedwell dont worry about it too much because these feelings will eventually pass Just remember even when were hurting inside or struggling through particularly hard moments which leave us feeling lost and confused then our emotions are still valid just know that whatever is causing you stress at this very moment is completely normal and that its okay to feel stressed out!

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How To Cope With A Panic Attack At Night

Waking up and discovering youre having a panic attack can be an overwhelming and scary experience, and the fact that youre probably still groggy and trying to come round from sleep, can make you feel out of control and cause you to panic even more.

If youre having a nocturnal panic attack, try the following:

Dont fight it

If you wake up and youre having a panic attack, its important not to fight it, as this could make things worse. Accept the panic attack for what it is and let the feelings wash over you. Remember, it is only temporary, and it will fade eventually. You just need to let it happen.

Try and relax

Try to get your body back into a relaxed state. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly to regulate your breathing. Relax your muscles, and try to focus your mind on positive thoughts and images.

Get up and do something

Go back to bed when youre ready

Only go back to bed when youre beginning to feel tired again and ready for sleep. When youre in bed, keep yourself calm by breathing deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth, to the extent that your whole abdomen, not just your chest, is rising and falling.

Try A Grounding Technique

If your mind is spinning, you’ll want to bring it back to reality with a few grounding techniques.

“I begin by focusing on anything and everything concrete,”, a mental health expert, tells Bustle. “I notice exactly whatâs in my view, taking note of the spectrum around me. I then choose one or two things to zone in on. I might notice a picture on the wall or an outfit that someone is wearing. I shift focus to what I see in order to move away from my thoughts.”

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What Is Complex Post

The main symptoms of PTSD and complex PTSD are the same. But if you have complex PTSD you will have extra symptoms such as:

  • constant issues with keeping a relationship,
  • finding it difficult to feel connected to other people,
  • constant belief that you are worthless with deep feelings of shame and guilt. This will be related to the trauma, and
  • constant and severe emotional dysregulation. This means it is difficult to control your emotions

You are more likely to have complex PTSD if your trauma is linked to an event or series of events. The trauma will be very threatening or frightening. Most commonly from a trauma which you were not able to escape from such as:

  • torture
  • a long period of domestic abuse, or
  • a long period of sexual or physical abuse

What is the treatment for complex PTSD?

You may respond to trauma focussed therapies if you have complex PTSD. Please see the section below on therapies and additional needs for PTSD.

There is some overlap of symptoms for complex PTSD and borderline personality disorder . If you have complex PTSD you may benefit from certain treatments that help people with BPD.

You can find more information about ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’ by clicking here.

Tip : Deal With Volatility And Anger

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PTSD can lead to difficulties managing emotions and impulses. In your loved one, this may manifest as extreme irritability, moodiness, or explosions of rage.

People suffering from PTSD live in a constant state of physical and emotional stress. Since they usually have trouble sleeping, it means theyre constantly exhausted, on edge, and physically strung outincreasing the likelihood that theyll overreact to day-to-day stressors.

For many people with PTSD, anger can also be a cover for other feelings such as grief, helplessness, or guilt. Anger makes them feel powerful, instead of weak and vulnerable. Others try to suppress their anger until it erupts when you least expect it.

Watch for signs that your loved one is angry, such as clenching jaw or fists, talking louder, or getting agitated. Take steps to defuse the situation as soon as you see the initial warning signs.

Try to remain calm. During an emotional outburst, try your best to stay calm. This will communicate to your loved one that you are safe, and prevent the situation from escalating.

Give the person space. Avoid crowding or grabbing the person. This can make a traumatized person feel threatened.

Ask how you can help. For example: What can I do to help you right now? You can also suggest a time out or change of scenery.

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Coping With Flashbacks And Dissociation In Ptsd

Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Many people with post-traumatic stress disorder struggle in coping with flashbacks and dissociation, which may occur as a result of encountering triggers, that is, reminders of a traumatic event.

To the extent that people are not aware of their triggers, flashbacks and dissociation can be incredibly disruptive and unpredictable events that are difficult to manage. However, you can take steps to better manage and prevent flashbacks and dissociation and stay in the present.

What Can I Do If I Am Not Happy With My Treatment

If you are not happy with your treatment you can:

  • talk to your doctor about your treatment options,
  • ask for a second opinion,
  • ask a relative, friend or advocate to help you speak your doctor,
  • contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service , or
  • make a complaint.

There is more information about these options below.

Treatment options

You should first speak to your doctor about your treatment. Explain why you are not happy with it. You could ask what other treatments you could try.

Tell your doctor if there is a type of treatment that you would like to try. Doctors should listen to your preference. If you are not given this treatment, ask your doctor to explain why it is not suitable for you.

Second opinion

A second opinion means that you would like a different doctor to give their opinion about what treatment you should have. You can also ask for a second opinion if you disagree with your diagnosis.

You dont have a legal right to a second opinion. But your doctor should listen to your reason for wanting a second opinion.


An advocate is independent from the mental health service. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard.

There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like.

You can find out more about:

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Panic Disorder Counseling And Panic Attack Therapy

Panic attacks can be frightening to experience on a regular basis. Recurring panic attacks can result in a condition known as panic disorder. If not treated, panic disorder symptoms can have a significant impact on daily activities and make it difficult to lead a happy life. United We Care offers therapy for panic attacks which has led to significantly improved lives. Talk to a therapist today by checking out our psychotherapy counseling services.

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Tips To Prevent Panic Attacks At Night

PTSD Anxiety Attacks Technique for Calming

Experiencing a panic attack at night may make you worry about having another, causing a vicious circle, and leading to insomnia. There are a number of things you can do to try and avoid this becoming a frequent problem, and ensure that youre getting a good nights sleep:

Give yourself enough time to get the sleep you need

On average, adults need eight to nine hours sleep each night to feel rested and refreshed. Therefore, its important to make sure you go to bed at least eight hours before you need to get up so youre giving yourself enough time to have a good nights sleep. Going to bed too late and not leaving enough time for sleep may result in you constantly checking the clock and worrying that youre not going to feel rested the next day. These negative thought processes can fuel anxiety, and potentially spiral into a panic attack.

Prepare yourself for the following day

Many people struggle to get to sleep because they are anxious about the following day. You can try to reduce this anxiety by making sure that you have everything prepared. For example, you could have a to-do list, or even have your clothes laid out.

Establish a consistent sleep routine

Limit caffeine, sugar and alcohol before bed

Avoid electronic devices late at night

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Why Does It Happen

To understand the long-term impact of PTSD on the body, we have to recall what happens when an episode or flashback strikes.

As the limbic system kicks into high gear, your body experiences the fight, flight, or freeze response. A surge of stress hormones, like cortisol, rush through your body to prepare you for danger, whether real or imagined. If this occurs often enough, it creates a consistent state of hypervigilance.

Over the long term, this state leads to lasting changes in the brain, particularly in the amygdala, which deals with emotional regulation, and in the hippocampus, which is related to learning, processing, concentration, and memory.

Even with PTSD treatment, the effects of inflammation and

However, its unknown whether these medications will have any impact on residual symptoms of PTSD, as more research is needed.

Each person is unique, so each treatment plan will be tailored specifically for that individual. What works for one person might not work for another.

When you feel up to it, explain to your loved ones what youre experiencing. You can also try to incorporate as many healthy habits into your everyday routine as possible, including:

  • eating a healthy diet of nutrient-dense, unprocessed foods
  • spending time in nature preferably one hour a day
  • exercising or getting some type of movement
  • developing a meditation practice

Avoid Technology For At Least An Hour Before You Go To Bed

Technology can have negative effects on us for a number of reasons, particularly when were trying to go to bed.

Thats largely down to the fact that most electronic devices emit blue light which stimulates the brain, making it much more difficult to switch off for sleep.23

Avoid looking at your phone or tablet for at least an hour before bedtime if you can.

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How To Calm Someone Down From A Panic Attack

If you notice someone is having a panic attack, the best thing you can do to help them is to remain calm. Remaining calm can help the person feel comforted and reduce feelings of danger. Talking to the person slowly and calmly can help.

That said, some people experiencing a panic attack may prefer not to be spoken to, so you may need to play it by ear. If the person seems more agitated or asks you to stop talking, you can help them by remaining by their side quietly.

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