Ways To Deal With A Panic Attack
1. Take a deep breath: When you feel yourself starting to panic, take a deep breath in through your nose and hold it for a few seconds before exhaling slowly. Repeat this several times until you start to feel calmer.
2. Distract yourself: If you can, try to distract yourself from the things that are making you anxious. This could mean watching TV, reading a book, or going for a walk.
3. Talk yourself down: Remind yourself that the feelings of panic will eventually pass and that you are not in any real danger. Talk out loud if it helps to ground you in the moment.
4. Reach out for help: If youre feeling overwhelmed, dont be afraid to ask for help from a friend or family member. Talking about your feelings can be very cathartic and can help to calm you down.
5. Picture yourself in a safe place: When youre feeling panicked, try to visualize yourself in a safe and calming place. This could be anywhere from your childhood home to a deserted beach.
6. Practice progressive muscle relaxation: Tighten and then relax each muscle group in your body, starting with your feet and working your way up to your head. This will help you to feel more relaxed and calm.
7. Try yoga or meditation: Yoga and meditation can be great ways to learn how to control your breathing and focus on the present moment. This can help to calm your mind and body.
Useful Breathing Techniques For Panic Attacks
There are a few breathing techniques that can be very useful for panic attacks.
The first is deep breathing, which involves taking a deep breath in through your nose and then exhaling forcefully out your mouth. This helps to clear your mind and calm your body down.
Another technique is called square breathing, which involves counting to four as you inhale, holding your breath for four counts, exhale for four counts, and then repeating the process. This helps to focus your attention and calm your body.
Finally, the last technique is called the 4-7-8 breath, which involves inhaling for four seconds, holding your breath for seven seconds, and exhaling for eight seconds. This is a very calming breath that can help to quickly reduce the symptoms of a panic attack.
All of these techniques can be practiced regularly to help reduce the risk of panic attacks. It is also important to remember that it is ok to seek help from a professional if the attacks are becoming too frequent or too severe.
What Does It Feel Like When You’re Having A Panic Attack
Well, it can literally feel like you’re about to die. You can have chest pain, shortness of breath, numbness, tingling, and or sweating. That’s why many people who are having panic attacks end up going to the emergency room. Most panic attacks peak over a matter of minutes and they’ll last for less than 30 minutes, but that time or the total duration of the attack can vary. So, panic attacks can actually last from a matter of seconds to hours.
Have You Ever Had A Panic Attack? If So, Please Comment Down Below And Please Share Your Symptoms Of A Panic Attack.
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Why Might I Have A Panic Attack
A panic attack can happen at any time or place, including at nighttime, and because it can happen quite quickly, it might feel unexpected.
Because a panic attack is an intense feeling of fear and anxiety, it often happens if you are feeling very anxious about something happening in your life, or you have experienced something difficult or stressful. This might be:
- a difficult situation at home that is making you anxious
- a frightening experience like abuse, or neglect
- feeling stressed about things like exams, work, friendships or relationships
- if you have lost a friend or family member
- if you are being bullied
- anxiety around school, college or university
There are many reasons why you might feel anxious and have a panic attack. Everyone has different experiences and thats okay. Sometimes, it might feel like there is no clear reason why you are having a panic attack.
Whats important is to try and understand what you might be feeling anxious or stressed about, and what types of situations or places can cause you to have panic attacks.
The first step to doing this is to talk to someone you trust, like a friend, family member, teacher or GP. They can help you understand what you are experiencing and help you find the support you need.
I get a pounding heart and my breathing becomes rapid like I cant get any air in – it feels stuck in the back of my throat.
Panic Disorder: When Fear Overwhelms
Do you sometimes have sudden attacks of anxiety and overwhelming fear that last for several minutes? Maybe your heart pounds, you sweat, and you feel like you cant breathe or think clearly. Do these attacks occur at unpredictable times with no apparent trigger, causing you to worry about the possibility of having another one at any time?
An untreated panic disorder can affect your quality of life and lead to difficulties at work or school. The good news is panic disorder is treatable. Learn more about the symptoms of panic disorder and how to find help.
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How To Help Someone When They Are Having A Panic Attack
When someone is having a panic attack, it can be difficult to know what to do to help them. However, there are some things that you can do to make them feel more comfortable and calm down.
First, try to remain calm yourself. When someone is panicking, it can be contagious and only make the situation worse. If you can stay calm, it will help the person who is having the attack to relax as well.
Next, try to reassure the person that they are safe and that the attack is only temporary. Remind them that they will eventually feel better and that there is nothing wrong with them. This can help reduce their anxiety and make them feel more at ease.
Finally, distraction can be a powerful tool when it comes to helping someone during a panic attack. Suggest that the person do something that will take their mind off of what is happening. This could be anything from watching TV to reading a book to taking a walk. Anything that can help get the persons mind off of their panic attack will be beneficial.
If you are able to follow these steps, you can help make someone who is having a panic attack feel more comfortable and calm down. Just remember to remain patient and supportive throughout the process.
About Our Social Justic Mission
The Vermont Wellness Collaborative is practice is focused on social justice and anti-oppressive work. This means that our practitioners are trained to recognize the societal, cultural and institutional oppression that exists in all of our lives.
Clients do not need to focus their own work in therapy on these issues. This is a common misconception of this approach. Rather, we work with clients on a range of issues while exploring the impacts that oppression in society may, or may not, have on these issues.
Each client is provided with the following anti-oppressive practice statement. This statement was a result of collaboration with many therapists.
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Panic Attack Treatment Is Very Effective
I feel like with everything that has happened in the past year with Covid, Ive heard more people than ever talking about having panic attacks. Unfortunately, Ive also heard a lot of people express that this is just something they have to live with. Maybe theyre taking medication, but they think theyre just stuck with living in fear of when the next panic attack might strike. This breaks my heart to hear because Ive personally seen how effective treatment can be.
Dont get me wrong, panic disorder treatment is very difficult. It can be scary at times, and youll have a strong urge to skip counseling appointments or give yourself reasons to not complete your homework. But if you lean in, work closely with a therapist, and practice the exposure activities youve been given you CAN get better.
Tips To Help You Get Through A Panic Attack
Panic attacks can be physically and mentally exhausting, and they are often difficult to manage. We reached out to members of our community for suggestions on how to cope with panic attacks and anxiety. Here are some helpful ideas that you came up with.
1. Know your triggers
Increasing self-awareness and knowledge about your own mental health is always a plus. The more you KNOW your triggers and how your anxiety presents itself, the easier it will be to talk yourself through an attack. Mindy H.
2. Leave the situation
I remove myself from the situation immediately, go home, and pet my dogs its the best I can do right now. I have to take care of myself, and when my body is sending me distress signals, I have learned to respond before I have a meltdown. Cathy M.
I hide in bathrooms I feel safe in the cubicles. Jon I.
I go for a walk. Even if Im at work, a quick 10 or 15 minute walk works wonders. Melissa S.
3. Grounding techniques
I look around to find 5 things I can see, 4 things I can touch, 3 things I can hear, 2 things I can smell, and 1 thing I can taste. Its called grounding. Sam A.
Grounding techniques. Focus on whats around you, what it looks like, the smell, the texture. Gia S.
Look around you for
- 5 things you can see
- 4 things you can touch
- 3 things you can hear
- 2 things you can smell
- 1 thing you can taste
This is called grounding. It can help when you feel like you have lost control of your surroundings and/or your head. Tracy K.
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Hospital Admission And Medical Costs
A 1996 study found that people who have panic attacks or panic disorder have a much higher rate of medical services utilization, along with higher medical costs. For instance, experiencing chest pain might lead you to believe you’re having a heart attack, which could lead to hospital admission.
This elevated use of medical services can be expensive over time, for both the patient and the medical system. However, more recent demographic studies are required to update whether this is still the case for people who have panic attacks today.
Sensory Health & Wellness
Sensory processing is the neurology of how we feel. The sensory messages we receive from our bodies and the world around us are responded to in everything we do in life – whether its the comfort we feel from a warm hug from a loved one, the joy from the music we listen to, the feeling of satiation after eating, the ability to stay upright on moving bus or the act of learning / mastering a sport. In each instance, our sensory systems contribute vital information that we use to be successful. We couldnt do these things without our sensory systems.
Our ability to process sensory data does not usually require conscious thought or cognitive effort. It provides emotional stability, a platform for social interaction, a sense of self, well-being, satisfaction, and/or accomplishment. Sensory processing can also influence every area of living including our preferences in diet, exercise, relationships, career, and hobbies.
The sensory domain is where the brain and body connect and thrive. It is through robust sensory processing that we develop resilience, and establish a tolerance for stressful situations, learn to be calm under pressure, and process experiences that are challenging or upsetting. With well-integrated sensory processing comes a wealth of daily sensory-affective and sensory-motor experiences that cultivates the development of autonomy, competence, interest in learning, goal orientation, sense of purpose, resilience, social engagement, and agency.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Panic Disorder
People with panic disorder may have:
- Sudden and repeated panic attacks of overwhelming anxiety and fear
- A feeling of being out of control, or a fear of death or impending doom during a panic attack
- An intense worry about when the next panic attack will happen
- A fear or avoidance of places where panic attacks have occurred in the past
- Physical symptoms during a panic attack, such as:
- Pounding or racing heart
- Stomach pain or nausea
They Can Develop Habits:
Panic attacks can be caused by triggers. Once a person has a panic attack in a certain place or situation, returning to those same surroundings can quickly induce an attack. Its very common that people who suffer from panic will intentionally avoid putting themselves into these situations for fear of the panic returning. If you know someone like this its imperative that you never try and convince them into doing something they arent comfortable with. Encourage, and take small steps towards the goal.
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Mental Health Advisory Panel
Our mental health advisory panel is a team of Irelands leading mental health experts across disciplines ranging from psychology, to neuroscience, to medicine.
This team are working with A Lust for Life to ensure our campaigns and our work is highly vetted, evidence-based and led with duty of care to our writers, readers and advocates.
This team of heroes are our eyes and ears, and we cannot thank them enough for their time and expertise.
What Can I Do During A Panic Attack
When you feel a panic attack coming on, there are some quick strategies you can try.
If you have a friend with you, it can be helpful to tell them whats happening. They can reassure you it will pass and that the symptoms wont hurt you.
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What Are Panic Attacks And Panic Disorder
A panic attack is a sudden, intense fear or anxiety. It may make you short of breath or dizzy or make your heart pound. You may feel out of control. Some people believe that they’re having a heart attack or are about to die. An attack usually lasts from 5 to 20 minutes. But it may last longer, up to a few hours. If these attacks happen often, they are called a panic disorder.
Panic attacks can be scary and so bad that they get in the way of your daily activities. Treatment can help most people have fewer symptoms or even stop the attacks.
Treatment For Panic Attacks And Panic Disorder
The most effective form of professional treatment for tackling panic attacks, panic disorder, and agoraphobia is therapy. Even a short course of treatment can help.
Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on the thinking patterns and behaviors that are sustaining or triggering your panic attacks and helps you look at your fears in a more realistic light. For example, if you had a panic attack while driving, what is the worst thing that would really happen? While you might have to pull over to the side of the road, you are not likely to crash your car or have a heart attack. Once you learn that nothing truly disastrous is going to happen, the experience of panic becomes less terrifying.
Exposure therapy for panic disorder allows you to experience the physical sensations of panic in a safe and controlled environment, giving you the opportunity to learn healthier ways of coping. You may be asked to hyperventilate, shake your head from side to side, or hold your breath. These different exercises cause sensations similar to the symptoms of panic. With each exposure, you become less afraid of these internal bodily sensations and feel a greater sense of control over your panic.
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Breathing Exercise For Panic Attacks
If youre breathing quickly during a panic attack, doing a breathing exercise can ease your other symptoms. Try this:
- breathe in as slowly, deeply and gently as you can, through your nose
- breathe out slowly, deeply and gently through your mouth
- some people find it helpful to count steadily from one to five on each in-breath and each out-breath
- close your eyes and focus on your breathing
You should start to feel better in a few minutes. You may feel tired afterwards.
What Should You Do When You Feel A Panic Attack Coming On
Trying to stop a panic attack in motion can backfire, says Groveman. What you resist persists, she says. Its more helpful to surrender to the experience and trust that it will eventually pass on its own.
Groveman recommends breathing deeply and listening to your body. Bring mindful awareness to notice whats happening without judging your experience, she says. Remember that no matter how uncomfortable you feel, anxiety symptoms will not harm you.
Here are other strategies that can help during an attack:
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