Execute The Aware Technique
The Aware technique is a great way to overcome anxiety and panic attacks. Its the process of
A accepting your panic attack symptoms
W watching your attack, as if you were someone else looking in
A acting like nothing is happening
R repeating steps until you relax
E expecting the best by eliminating negative thinking
Accepting your panic attacks keeps you from feeding into the fear, which will only prevail the attack.
Watching your attack, as if you were someone else looking in allows you to see that theres nothing wrong. You arent acting funny or appearing abnormal to anyone else. No one knows youre having a panic attack except for yourself.
Acting like nothing happening, again, keeps you from feeding into the fear. Dont run. Just sit, accept, and continue doing whatever it was you were doing before the attack came on.
Repeating is all about repeating the steps as needed. If you start to feel panic again, start at A.
Expecting the best will help eliminate the negative thoughts that can keep you in a panic attack or worse keeping you down and out because of a panic attack. Nothing bad is going to happen. Just roll with the waves and the sea will float you back to the surface.
Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Tell Yourself Youre Just Processing Information
When youre suffering from PTSD, panic attacks are so often you cant tell when youre actually having one. Youre in a constant state of fight or flight for months on end. Youre too scared to fall asleep and terrified while being awake. Eventually, when you do finally fall asleep, you wake up from nightmares that scare you awake. Sometimes they come as often as every ten minutes.
A social worker once told me that nightmares are the brains way of processing information. The best way to combat them is to say processing information every time you wake up from one. This little trick has helped desensitize nightmares over the long-term so you feel less panicked after waking up from one.
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How Is Panic Disorder Treated
First, talk to your doctor about your symptoms. Your doctor should do an exam and ask you about your health history to make sure that an unrelated physical problem is not causing your symptoms. Your doctor may refer to you a mental health specialist, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist.
Panic disorder is generally treated with psychotherapy, medication, or both. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment for you.
Psychotherapy. A type of psychotherapy called cognitive behavioral therapy is especially useful as a first-line treatment for panic disorder. CBT teaches you different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to the feelings that come on with a panic attack. The attacks can begin to disappear once you learn to react differently to the physical sensations of anxiety and fear that occur during panic attacks.
For more information on psychotherapy, see .
Medication. Doctors also may prescribe different types of medications to help treat panic disorder:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors
Another type of medication called beta-blockers can help control some of the physical symptoms of panic disorder, such as rapid heart rate. Although doctors do not commonly prescribe beta-blockers for panic disorder, they may be helpful in certain situations that precede a panic attack.
Signs And Symptoms Of Panic Disorder
While many people experience just one or two panic attacks without further episodes or complicationsand theres little reason to worry if thats yousome people go on to develop panic disorder. Panic disorder is characterized by repeated panic attacks, combined with major changes in behavior or persistent anxiety over having further attacks.
You may be suffering from panic disorder if you:
- Experience frequent, unexpected panic attacks that arent tied to a specific situation
- Worry a lot about having another panic attack
- Are behaving differently because of the panic attacks, such as avoiding places where youve previously panicked
While a single panic attack may only last a few minutes, the effects of the experience can leave a lasting imprint. If you have panic disorder, the recurrent panic attacks take an emotional toll. The memory of the intense fear and terror that you felt during the attacks can negatively impact your self-confidence and cause serious disruption to your everyday life. Eventually, this leads to the following panic disorder symptoms:
Anticipatory anxiety Instead of feeling relaxed and like your normal self in between panic attacks, you feel anxious and tense. This anxiety stems from a fear of having future panic attacks. This fear of fear is present most of the time, and can be extremely disabling.
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How To Talk To Yourself
Talk to yourself about what is happening, and what you need to do. One question my patients find very helpful is this: is it Danger or Discomfort? Some of the other responses my patients like include the following:
1. Fine, let’s have an attack! It’s a good chance to practice my coping techniques.
2. Answer your “what if…?” fears by saying “So what? I’ll get afraid, then calm down again.”
3. It’s okay to be afraid.
Answers To Your Questions About Panic Disorder
Answers to your questions about panic disorder.
Panic Disorder is a serious condition that around one out of every 75 people might experience. It usually appears during the teens or early adulthood, and while the exact causes are unclear, there does seem to be a connection with major life transitions that are potentially stressful: graduating from college, getting married, having a first child, and so on. There is also some evidence for a genetic predisposition if a family member has suffered from panic disorder, you have an increased risk of suffering from it yourself, especially during a time in your life that is particularly stressful.
A panic attack is a sudden surge of overwhelming fear that comes without warning and without any obvious reason. It is far more intense than the feeling of being “stressed out” that most people experience. Symptoms of a panic attack include:
hot flashes, or sudden chills
tingling in fingers or toes
fear that you’re going to go crazy or are about to die
You probably recognize this as the classic “flight or fight” response that human beings experience when we are in a situation of danger. But during a panic attack, these symptoms seem to rise from out of nowhere. They occur in seemingly harmless situations–they can even happen while you are asleep.
In addition to the above symptoms, a panic attack is marked by the following conditions:
The answer to this is a resounding YES — if they receive treatment.
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Panic Disorder In Children
Panic disorder is more common in teenagers than in younger children.
Panic attacks can be particularly hard for children and young people to deal with. Severe panic disorder may affect their development and learning.
If your child has the signs and symptoms of panic disorder, they should see a GP.
After taking a detailed medical history the GP will carry out a thorough physical examination to rule out any physical causes for the symptoms.
They may refer your child to a specialist for further assessment and treatment. The specialist may recommend a course of CBT for your child.
Screening for other anxiety disorders may also be needed to help find the cause of your child’s panic attacks.
Manage Panic Attacks With Meditation
You may find that meditation helps them manage panic attacks. Practicing daily meditation and relaxation techniques can give you a sense of calm and improve your overall mental health. Meditation helps reduce your panic attacks and gives you the ability to relax when you feel like an attack is coming on.
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What Is A Panic Attack
Panic attacks are a type of fear response. They’re an exaggeration of your body’s normal response to danger, stress or excitement. This page covers:
“My teeth would chatter uncontrollably and my whole body would tremble, I’d hyperventilate and cry with panic as the feeling that I was going to fall unconscious was so convincing.”
Anxious Trends During Childhood
A second reason why people develop panic attacks is that as children, they may have grown up in an atmosphere which, for one reason or another, failed to teach them that the world was “their oyster”, a safe place in which they could happily pursue their own enjoyment. Maybe there was an early death in the family, severe illness, or some other serious problem like alcoholism or divorce. Maybe the parents were themselves anxious and over protective, perhaps in response to their own anxiety disorder. Perhaps the child learned to spend too much time and effort taking care of others, trying too hard to please others, and feeling responsible for the happiness of others.
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Panic Attacks What You Need To Know
In todays busy and pressured world, more and more people are reporting feelings of anxiety and depression than ever before. Mental Health Awareness has been a hot topic for the last 24 months, especially in light of the covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns. Many people felt isolated and alone during the pandemic and now that things are returning to some semblance of normality, many are feeling anxious about returning to work.
The term Panic Attack is a catch-all which refers to anytime you might be feeling overwhelmed with anxiety or fear. It is actually much more nuanced than that. As part of our work providing training in the first aid and mental health sector, we recognise that it is important that our readers understand what a panic attack is and what you can do to help a person when they occur.
If you would like to talk to us about our training provisions to businesses and organisations across the UK, call us on or .
What is a Panic Attack?
A panic attack in its simplest form is a sudden rush of anxiety or fear which manifests itself in the form of intense mental and physical symptoms. They can arrive quickly and without warning, often it seems for no apparent reason. According to the NHS, a panic attack usually lasts for between five and 20 minutes, on rare occasions they can last for up to an hour.
What does a panic attack feel like?
According to the NHS, you may experience any or some of the following symptoms:
What causes a panic attack?
How To Calm Down After A Panic Attack
The moments that follow a panic attack can be the worst. You feel exhausted, defeated, and for lack of better words, like a #%$@ed up human being. So, remember this one simple rule be reflective, not reactive. John Tsilimparis, director of the Anxiety and Panic Disorder Center of Los Angeles suggests writing down the negative thoughts you had during your panic attack, such as Im doing to die, Im going to throw up, and all the what ifs we can all relate to. Then, write down the rational alternative, such as youre not going to die, if youre sick people will be compassionate, etc. This redirects your thought process from thinking youre suffering from an attack to youre reflecting on your attack.
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What To Do If Someone Is Having A Panic Attack
Everyone feels anxiety from time to time. But a panic attack is a different experience.
As the name suggests, its a sudden and intense feeling of fear. A sense of doom sweeps over you, even when theres no real threat. Panic attacks can happen when youre under stress, but they can also happen when everything seems to be going just fine.
Because you cant know when a panic attack is going to happen, this can make you feel even more stressed. The experience can also be stressful for friends and family members who watch it happen.
Fortunately, you can help a loved one manage this uncomfortable and often confusing situation.
Psychotherapy To Manage Panic Attacks
Psychology is a science of behavior and the mind. It includes studying feelings and thoughts. Psychologists suggest that Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is a helpful treatment for panic attacks. CBT helps you learn various ways to behave, think, and react to your feelings associated with a panic attack. This psychology of how to think prepares you to think differently about the physical sensations part of a panic attack. It equips you to resist the feelings of anxiety and fear so you can manage panic attacks.
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Use Your Smartphone For Distraction
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.
Find A Therapist To Help You Cope
If anxiety impedes your ability to live a healthy, productive life, its essential to seek professional help to curtail the progressive nature of anxiety and panic disorders. There, you can help determine the root causes and take effective steps toward management. Psychotherapy which address mental disorders via psychological instead of medical means is a common treatment, notes Strauss.
There are often limiting negative beliefs that contribute to the genesis of anxiety, and psychotherapy can help the client track and challenge the automatic thoughts that accompany the emotions of anxiety and fear, she explains. Its important that one tries to learn the skills to cope with anxiety in addition to consider the use of medication. Treatment modalities like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy , Dialectical Behavioral Therapy , Internal Family Systems, EMDR, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Interpersonal Therapy can all be used to help the client become increasingly more aware of what triggers anxiety.
Over time, you will be better equipped to identify these negative thought patterns as they arise, and be able to nip them in the bud, instead of having them spiral out of control.
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Breaking The Silence And Stigma Of Mental Illness
Struggling and on the brink of suicide, Mark Markham turned to an expert team of mental health professionals at Mayo Clinic to help him regain his footing. With their guidance and care, Mark has been able to find his way back to a fulfilling life of purpose.
Editor’snote: It wasn’t that long ago that Mark Markham found himself with little willto live. Mark, a medical administrative assistant in Mayo Clinic’s Departmentof Neurosurgery, sought help from the Department of Psychiatry and Psychologyat Mayo Clinic in Rochester. He credits the compassionate staff at Mayo, thepower of mindfulness and meditation, and the unwavering support of friends,family and co-workers for where he is today: thriving in a life he loves. Markshares his story here in his own words.
I am a 34-year-old who suffers with anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic disorder. But I am not just that. I also am a 34-year-old who is a creative musician, a husband, a father to the cutest Yorkie you could ever meet , a devoted staff member in Neurosurgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, a compassionate and kind friend, and an individual who finds joy and laughter daily.
This story is about dealing with a mental illness and still thriving with a job and life I passionately and deeply love and care about. I do this with the help of Mayo Clinic as an institution, its staff, my friends, family, and most importantly, Generose .
“Mental illness has a funny way of pinning you against yourself.”
How Can I Accept A Panic Attack
What makes a panic attack acceptable is that, while it feels awful and fills me with dread, it isn’t dangerous. It won’t kill me or make me crazy. Someone pointing a gun at me, that’s not acceptable. I might get hurt or killed. If someone points a gun at me, I have to do whatever I can to change that: run, hide, fight, yell, bribe, or beg, because the consequence of being shot is so terrible that I must try to avoid it.
On the other hand – a policeman giving me a ticket, even if I don’t deserve it, I can live with that, and can hopefully keep my temper in check so I don’t make things worse for myself.
Accepting the symptoms, not resisting, is a powerful step to overcoming panic attacks.
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