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How To Get Through A Panic Attack In Public

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Phobias And Irrational Fears

Why do I get anxiety attacks during public speaking?

A phobia is an unrealistic or exaggerated fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that in reality presents little to no danger. Common phobias include fear of animals , fear of flying, and fear of needles. In the case of a severe phobia, you might go to extreme lengths to avoid the object of your fear. Unfortunately, avoidance only strengthens the phobia.

What Do Panic Attacks Feel Like

During a panic attack, physical symptoms can build up very quickly. These can include:

  • a pounding or racing heartbeat
  • feeling faint, dizzy or light-headed
  • feeling very hot or very cold
  • sweating, trembling or shaking
  • pain in your chest or abdomen
  • struggling to breathe or feeling like you’re choking
  • feeling like your legs are shaky or are turning to jelly
  • feeling disconnected from your mind, body or surroundings, which are types of dissociation.

During a panic attack you might feel very afraid that you’re:

  • losing control
  • going to die.

/5here’s How To Manage A Panic Attack In Public

A panic attack can be tough, but a panic attack in public can be harder for people to manage. “It tends to be more distressing to people to have panic attacks in public than at home because they have easier access to calming activities and people in their homes than they would in a public venue, Dr Kristin Bianchi, a psychologist at Marylands Center for Anxiety & Behavioral Change, told a news portal. If you suffer from panic attacks and don’t know how to manage it when you are in a public setting, give these helpful tips a try.

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Keep A Calm Down Kit In Your Bag Or Car

If you know youre prone to panic attacks that take place outside of your home, come prepared with a small, mobile kit.

Dr. Bianchi recommends including items that can help you slow your breathing and connect with the present. These items may include:

  • smooth stones
  • a beaded bracelet or necklace to touch
  • a small bottle of bubbles to blow
  • coping statements written on index cards
  • mints

Out Of The Blueat First

Best Ways To Deal With A Panic Attack In Public

A first panic attack is usually unexpected, and comes “out of the blue.” It may scare you so much that you start taking steps to protect yourself from future attacks. Maybe you start avoiding places that remind you of your first attack. Maybe you only go out after making sure you have your cell phone, a bottle of water, and other objects you hope will keep you safe. Maybe you try hard to “stop thinking about it.” You work hard to keep the panic at bay.

But over time, you may find yourself experiencing more panic attacks, in a variety of circumstances. Most of these will not be entirely unexpected. Most subsequent attacks occur in response to various cues such as entering a crowded area a traffic jam or simply worrying about having a panic attack. But there may still be some surprises: for instance, you might have a nocturnal panic attack, which wakes you out of a sound sleep. Or you might find yourself experiencing odd feelings of depersonalization as you kill some time with friends or colleagues.

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Where Can You Find Support For Anxiety Stress Or Panic Disorder

You can consult your GP, who might refer you for a course of therapy or prescribe anti-anxiety medication. Also, lean on those around you rather than bottling your feelings of anxiety up, allowing them to build into full-blown panic in a public setting. Talk to your friends and family and let them know what they can do to help you when you feel anxious.

Ways To Manage Anxiety During An Attack

One of the best things you can do during an anxiety attack is to stop and breathe deeply. Taking deliberate and measured inhales and exhales can help counteract the rush of adrenaline you feel during an attack and slow your heart rate. Focus on the breathfor instance, inhaling to a count of five, pausing, then exhaling to another five countcan also give your mind something to latch onto, which can lessen the panic. This is also a terrific management technique when you are experiencing an attack in public, as its something you can do on your own and doesnt require any special tools or equipmentand it doesnt draw attention to yourself.

Another good way to manage anxiety in public is have a guided meditation app on your phone. All you have to do is open the app and put on your earbuds, and you have a soothing, calming method of defusing the fear. Meditation has been shown to be effective at boosting mood and draining tension from the muscles, relaxing the mind and body.

Your phone can also come in handy in a couple of other ways. If you are experiencing anxiety in public, find a quiet spot where you can call a friend who knows what you are dealing with and can talk you through the episode. You can also have a playlist of your favorite music designed to calm your anxiety and you listen to that when needed.

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Panic attacks can sometimes be a source of shame or embarrassment for people who suffer from them. And, yes, it can be frustrating when your partners anxiety ruins a night in or attracts attention in public.

But making someone feel bad for a situation they cant control wont help you or them.

Panic attacks are born out of fear, so if your partner snaps at you or cant really talk, dont take it personally. They might just be experiencing personal anger or frustration and taking it out on you.

Understand that your partner might be as bewildered by their anxiety as you are. Its more beneficial to be compassionate and empathetic than it is to try and force your way to the root of their problems.

Let them know that their feelings are legitimate and valid.

6. Know when to get help.

If your partner is prone to panic attacks, dont rush to call for assistance because this could make the situation feel more stressful for them.

Its easy to feel useless when supporting someone through a panic attack, especially because theres no quick fix. Even though sticking around and waiting for the panic attack to pass might not seem like much to you, it will mean a lot to your partner.

Who Gets Panic Attacks

Fear Of Public Speaking And Panic Attacks, get rid of it easy and fast

At least 6 million Americans suffer from panic attacks and panic disorder both conditions classified as anxiety disorders. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America , about 2-3% of Americans experience panic disorder in a given year and it is twice as common in women as in men. Panic disorder typically affects individuals when theyre in their 20s but is also seen in young children, adolescents, and older adults.

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Avoid Any Alcoholic Or Psychoactive Substances

People who experience panic attacks should avoid any alcoholic or psychoactive substances, says Sharma. Alcohol may help one feel relaxed, but over time, worsens depressive feelings. Similarly, marijuana improves mood in the short term but worsens anxiety, and a mixture of alcohol and psychoactive substances can be dangerous, he says.

How do you help someone having a panic attack?

A panic attack can take place anywhere. In the middle of a work day, during class, even at home. It helps if the people next to the person can reassure them as they go through the attack.

The job of the person is to remind them that they are okay and that they are not alone, says Sharma.

Some people appreciate a hug or a pat or a back rub, they can be asked and be provided that. Give them a space to sit, perhaps a drink of water when the attack had passed, Vidha says. See if you can remove the fear inducing element from the environment or do something about it to help with the trigger itself.

Reminding them to be calm and to breathe deeply can help, but dont force someone to do something that isnt helping them feel better. Remember that the person experiencing the panic attack is feeling the sensations of it, not you! Sharma cautions.

When should you seek professional help?

It is okay to deal with a one-off panic attack on your own, says Vidha. But, for regular debilitating ones, you should seek help.

Write Out The Facts And Mantras On An Index Card And Keep It On You

One of the tools that has helped me is knowing that even the most vicious panic attack cant kill me. Dr. Rodriguez recommends writing this fact down on an index card or in your phone to read when you feel one coming on. Panic attacks are not life-threatening, she says. Write this down. And maybe add the note to yourself, You have survived panic attacks before. You will survive this one.

Dr. Prakash Masand, founder of the Center for Psychiatric Excellence, recommends writing down some positive mantras to get you out of a catastrophic thought pattern. Or better yet, prepare your own. When you have the negative thoughts of gloom and doom, write down some positive and more realistic rebuttals.

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Signs Of An Anxiety Attack

If you are concerned that one day you may have an anxiety attack in public, you should know the possible signs. There are low-level anxiety attacks, the kind where you worry about having to talk to someone new or travel somewhere on your own. These usually stem from situational concerns and are more easily manageable.

Then there are the episodes that seem like panic attacks. With these, you can experience a range of symptoms both mental and physical. An intense anxiety attack can bring on the sudden feeling of crushing fear, the sense that something bad is about to happen or even the disorienting sense of being outside of the situation like you are detached from it. Physically, signs of an anxiety attack include vision problems, nausea, elevated heart rate or palpitations, a feeling of dizziness, shakiness, difficulty breathing, a rush of cold or heat throughout the body, chest pain, and a numb sensation in the arms or legs. Because these symptoms seem to appear out of the blue, that may also heighten your feeling of anxiety. These attacks generally dont last long, roughly 10 minutes, but its still crucial to have techniques on hand that can help you get through an anxiety attack.

Use Your Smartphone For Distraction

Helping a Friend Having a Panic Attack In Public

My Words With Friends addiction is a tad out of control, but it sure comes in handy when Im feeling eclipsed by panic.

Games like crossword puzzles and word searches , says Dr. Masand. The idea is it can act as a distraction to the fear or the body symptoms of anxiety. Our smartphones offer a plethora of great coping tools and this is something the majority of us already carry with us. Download some games that will distract you and get your mind off of the unpleasant symptoms you are feeling. You can also download relaxing music and guided relaxation sessions.

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Making Your Game Plan For Handling Panic Attacks At Work

Now that you have the list of tactics, its time to customize and make your game plan for handling panic attacks at work. Here is an example of what that should look like:

  • Leave the situation
  • Head to the single-person bathroom
  • Take deep breaths
  • Text my supervisor and inform her of what has happened
  • Go running
  • Head home
  • Once you make this plan, put it somewhere easily accessible on your phone or a piece of paper you carry. Modify it as many times as needed. If you need help practicing or forming the plan, consider working with a therapist, someone who can act as a coach.

    How To Handle A Panic Attack

    Professor Paul Salkovskis, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Applied Science at the University of Bath, says it’s important not to let your fear of panic attacks control you.

    “Panic attacks always pass and the symptoms are not a sign of anything harmful happening,” he says. “Tell yourself that the symptoms you’re experiencing are caused by anxiety.”

    He says don’t look for distractions. “Ride out the attack. Try to keep doing things. If possible, it’s important to try to remain in the situation until the anxiety has subsided.”

    “Confront your fear. If you don’t run away from it, you’re giving yourself a chance to discover that nothing’s going to happen.”

    As the anxiety begins to pass, start to focus on your surroundings and continue to do what you were doing before.

    “If youre having a short, sudden panic attack, it can be helpful to have someone with you, reassuring you that it will pass and the symptoms are nothing to worry about,” says Professor Salkovskis.

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    How To Deal With Panic Attacks While In School

    This article was co-authored by Trudi Griffin, LPC, MS. Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin specializing in Addictions and Mental Health. She provides therapy to people who struggle with addictions, mental health, and trauma in community health settings and private practice. She received her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011.There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, several readers have written to tell us that this article was helpful to them, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 92,210 times.

    Our body’s fight-or-flight response prepares us to handle dangerous situations by releasing chemicals into the bloodstream. This response is natural and helps us survive. The emotional and physical ways you react during fight-or-flight can be described as panic.XResearch source If you are an adolescent or teen with panic disorder, you may experience panic when you are not actually facing any immediate threat. We can’t always control these panic attacks quickly or completely, but you can learn how to calm yourself and seek help while in school.

    Best Ways On How To Deal With Panic Attacks & Anxiety At School & At Work

    Panic Attack Treatment: 2 Proven Techniques 5 Must-Know Facts (New Research)

    I. What Are Panic Attacks?

    Panic attacks are intense waves of fear that happen without any warning. They are caused by specific situations such as public speaking, presentation, or even crossing a bridge. Moreover, they may be comorbid with depression, severe stress or panic disorder. Although the panic attack symptoms present differently in different people, there are some common ones such as nausea, chest pain, or choking feelings. And, remember that these symptoms happen whenever, even when you are shopping or relaxing. Here are some overwhelming signs of panic attacks that you should not ignore:

    • Hyperventilation

    II. Must-Know Tips On How To Deal With Panic Attacks And Anxiety

    A. How To Deal With Panic Attacks At School
    1. Get Help From Your Teachers

    You should tell your teachers that you may have panic attacks during the lessons and need to go out for a while. Or, have your parents call the teachers to explain the situation. Most of your teachers will agree and help you cope with this problem. Dr. Perpetua Neo has a statement that most people aren’t aware of panic attacks, so hand them a literature guide to it.

    2. Make Your Own Plan To Overcome
    3. Confide In Your Teachers And Parents

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    Repeat A Mantra Internally

    Repeating a mantra internally can be relaxing and reassuring, and it can give you something to grasp onto during a panic attack.

    Whether its simply This too shall pass, or a mantra that speaks to you personally, repeat it on loop in your head until you feel the panic attack start to subside.

    It is not always possible to prevent a panic attack, but the following tips may help:

    • do breathing exercises every day
    • get regular exercise
    • follow a diet that is low in added sugar and eat regularly to avoid glucose spikes
    • avoid caffeine, smoking, and alcohol, as they may make anxiety worse
    • seek counseling and other professional help
    • ask your doctor about local support groups

    Avoiding specific triggers may help prevent a panic attack, but this may not always be possible or appropriate. Some experts encourage people to ride out the attack and continue doing things, if possible.

    However, if a situation is likely to cause severe distress, consider waiting until youve worked with a professional to develop skills and strategies to help you cope.

    If you have concerns about panic attacks, consider talking with a doctor, especially if:

    • You have

    Using Meditation For Panic Attack Management

    A more advanced exercise your clients can practice is meditation.

    Like the other exercises described in this article, meditation comes in different varieties. Each variety has its own particular procedure and way of describing the process, which may be more or less accessible to your client depending on the goals for their therapy and their personal or spiritual beliefs.

    These differences should be considered carefully, but all forms of meditation share the same basic function as a system of relaxation through embodied thought.

    Embodied thought is a concept we havent yet mentioned explicitly, but its really a combination of the exercises already described above. It takes the ideas behind controlled breathing and the different types of grounding and applies them in a single exercise.

    In meditation, your client adopts a comfortable seated position and then typically begins by closing their eyes and engaging controlled breathing. This brings on a state of relaxation, but importantly, it also brings on a state of focus through sensory grounding, as your client deliberately pays attention to the rhythm and sensation of their breathing.

    This state is maintained for a period, often around 15 minutes, and when your client comes out of the meditative state, they should feel more relaxed and in control of their mind. This should directly benefit their therapeutic efforts to lower the background levels of negative mood and anxiety that may predispose them to panic attacks.

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