Mental Health Blogs

Ten Things To Do For A Panic Attack

Having a panic attack? Try these ten things for some solace.

Sometimes panic attacks feel like they come out of the blue, but there is usually a trigger. The trigger is that you are scared of panic attacks. And why wouldn’t you be? They are one of the most uncomfortable experiences on this planet. Having a list of tools can also make you less afraid of the panic coming.

10 Tools for Panic Attack Relief


1. Have an exit plan. Sometimes knowing we have a plan to leave a situation helps us not be so afraid of trying something new. For example, know you can excuse yourself, you can have your own car to drive home, or you have a friend to support you can make all the difference. We are often scared to get anxiety and not be able to do anything about it.  We are afraid of being out of control. Making a plan will make you feel more in control and this counters the anxiety.

2. Have someone you can count on ready to call. In fact, have several, in case the one is busy. Someone who knows about the anxiety and can tell you you are okay, or even better–someone who can make you laugh.

3. Spend time with your pet. (Animal Therapy)

4. Have a tranquilizer with you. Knowing you have antianxiety medication to calm you down within 15 minutes can help you not be afraid of anxiety.  Again, we are afraid of being out of control of our anxiety so just knowing you have the medicine is all you need. Panic needs you to be scared of it for it to stay.

5. Interact with water. There is something about water that stops the energy of panic.  Sometimes crying releases it (tears). However, consider taking a hot bath or shower for immediate relief. Also drinking hot soup or a hot drink (non-caffinated, please!) can help.

6. Give yourself a massage or have your loved one give you one. This really calms the nerves and calls our attention back out of the anxious mind and into the body.

7. Forward bend. Like a fetal position, any forward bend in yoga counters anxiety. You can get in child’s position. See photo above.

8. Stare at yourself in the mirror. This is called tratak meditation. It helps build trust in yourself. Do this when you are calm to prevent anxiety and panic.

9. Go for a walk. Get a change of scenery and use up some of that excess energy. The biology of fear indicates the release of adrenaline makes your body want to do something. Doing something and feeling a sense of control on the account of that activity is by far the best thing you can do for a panic attack.

10. Laugh. Watch some funny videos on YouTube. Laughter and anxiety cannot live in the same moment together!

What did I forget? What’s worked for you?

By Jodi Lobozzo Aman

I blog here: Heal Now and Forever Be In Peace
and here: Anxiety-Schmanxiety Blog,
share here: Twitter@JodiAmanGoogle+
inspire here: Facebook: Heal Now and Forever Be in Peace,
Get my free E-book: What Is UP In Your DOWN? Being Grateful in 7 Easy Steps.

This entry was posted in Anxiety Treatments, PD and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

95 Responses to Ten Things To Do For A Panic Attack

  1. nikky44 says:

    I usually become like paralyzed, no movement. Noise irritates me, but I love to feel someone’s presence (have someone talking to me, or touching me) just so that I come back, as It seems like I completely disconnect. Tranquilizers and anti epileptic help and are always with me. I was told to breath in a paper bag.Going for a walk or drive are not an option for me as I often faint.

    • Do you like to breathe in a plastic bag? It is all about the exhale. It just reminds us to exhale. We often forget, especially when we are panicked.

      • nikky44 says:

        I never tried it although they said it will help me. When I “wake up” and can start thinking again, I do try to exhale like if i was blowing candles that are very far. I don’t know if it’s a good technique, but I just do it without thinking.

      • Sandra Taylor says:

        A paper bag or a newspaper folded into a cone shape held to mouth to inhale and exhale slowly into- very slowly so not to become light headed

        • Hi Sandra,

          Jodi is no longer writing the Anxiety-Schmanxiety blog for Healthy Place, so she is unable to respond to comments. I’m Tanya, one of the writers of the column now. I agree with you about the paper bag/folded newspaper. Many people find this technique to be quite effective (myself included). Good point about the need to breathe slowly. Thank you for sharing something that is helpful to you.

    • jared says:

      I just started having panic attacks last Tuesday and it felt like I was paralyzed also. My body instantly overheats and my chest and shoulders feel very tight and it feels like I’m having a heart attack. That’s the scariest part for me. For me its not the fear of anything that sparks them its just pure stress and anxiety.I was playin video games when I had my first one and tonite I had a very light one just simply watching football on tv. I stopped it quickly though by chewing two xnax. I used to think it was just mental but I now know that its not. Anyone have tips for me because I would really not like to experience these for the rest of my life

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  3. Hi Jodi,

    Thank you so much for sharing many valuable tips to move through a panic attack. Last night I had three anxiety attacks. Thankfully, as it always does it too did pass, after using three different tools.

    It is so important to have many tools in your belt to move through panic and anxiety. Thank you for your great tips, I have added them to my blog post that I wrote while I was having one of the anxiety attacks. Writing is one of my tools…

    http://www.simpleeserene.com/a-bluekit-of-tools-for-anxiety

    Thank you for your dedication to mental health.
    Lee

  4. Tina Barbour says:

    Wonderful ideas, Jodi. Thank you! I like the idea of having a plan in place. I think I tend to ignore the possibility of a panic or anxiety attack to try to keep it at bay, and that doesn’t always work. Acknowledging that it can happen but I can control what I do about it would help.

    I try to close my eyes and breath through a “tunnel” I make by rolling my fingers inward into a loose fist. I might tell myself something like, calm down, or, it’s OK. I think this helps me focus better on my breath and on the moment. Does that make sense?

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  6. Karen says:

    Thanks for the tips! I just recently started having panic attacks. Unfortunately I am a teacher, and they often come on in the middle of class. I was given Zanex (spelling) to taken by the urgent care until I can see a doctor this weekend. Knowing I have the medicine in my purse has helped considerably. I think I might run out this afternoon and get one of those desk top water fall machines for my room. I’ve heard great things about the effectiveness of those!

  7. mj monaghan says:

    Great stuff, Jodi. I use a lot of deep breathing techniques and some guided meditations that help. My anxiety comes from an inherited brain chemistry problem on maternal side (13 of us that I know of, including all my sisters). It’s fascinating. We are all affected differently too. Thanks for your helping everyone out.

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  9. meital says:

    For me cognitive behavioral techniques worked best, nit just worked but completely eliminated my health anxiety. I have found that lifestlye changes (healthy diet, exercise, yoga etc) reduce general stress and anxiety and prevent panic attacks as well.

  10. Great tips! Thanks for stopping by my blog and you’re comment. I didn’t know either until I starting blogging about it!

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  12. Frank Foster says:

    Great Tips..

    It’s fantastic to have variety of tools at your disposal as it gives you more confidence to do the things, and go to the places in where you may be afraid of having another panic attack..

    It can be the fear of having another panic attack that can keep us locked in the cycle..

    Getting to know the weird bodily sensations that you can experience at the onset of a panic attack can help control your emotional reaction, and in turn decrease the amount you panic- breaking the “panic loop”…

    Cheers
    Frank Foster
    Queensland, Australia

  13. Tonie says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for the great tips on dealing with panic attacks – I’ve also sent this page to my loved ones so they can get ideas of how to help when I’m bad. One thing I do to try to prevent panics is that I have a keyring on my handbag that has lots of charms on it, and I run them through my fingers like a rosary as I find concentrating on a repetitive motion can be very calming. I like the idea of interacting with water, I may have to find my desktop water fountain again!!

    Best wishes and good health to you xxxx

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  15. Meryl McK says:

    Grounding. Looking at stuff (inanimate, NOT focusing on people) around and naming them in my head. floor. lightbulb. plant. etc.

  16. Jean-Philippe Eelip says:

    Hi,

    This blog give some good relaxation technique and I like the video. It is a pitty there is only one post so far. Have look and good luck
    wwww.truthaboutstress.com

  17. Julie says:

    I have suffered with panic attacks and anxiety for about 15 years. I was first put on Serzone, which made me feel like a zombie. I remained on that for about 3 years then when off when I became pregnant. I suffered through the panic and anxiety during both of my pregnancies, then in 2003, I saw a psychiatrist for the very first time. She prescribed Remeron, Neurontin and Klonopin. The Remeron and Neurontin was a NO GO! But the Klonopin helped and I am still on the very same dose after 9 years. I take 0.5 mg 3 times per day, but it just doesn’t seem to be helping much anymore. I believe my body has reached a “plateau” with that dose, but my family doctor refuses to up my dose. I recently tried fluoxetine (Prozac) with HORRIFIC side effects. I’m hoping that through prayer, relaxation techniques and changing my thought patterns, that I will be cured or at least lessen my panic and anxiety episodes. Any feedback?

    • Dear Julie,

      I used your question in my post today! Come take a look: http://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety.

      Well, the good news is that you can lessen and eliminate your panic attacks! (And I am sorry your practitioners haven’t helped you do this yet. Klonopin is addictive, so that is why she won’t increase it.) You have the right tools to do it: prayer, relaxation techniques and changing my thought patterns. These will work fine if you know how to implement them: You think about them differently by changing their meaning. In this way you change your relationship with them. Hopefully, you read all the above and this post: Ten Thing To Do In A Panic Attack and Is Anxiety Really About Having Control Issues? That should give you some more ideas. How come you never went to a counselor to help with them? The right counselor can help you with 1-2 sessions. I am not trying to sell professional counterparts (or myself–though I am available by Skype!) I just know that panic attacks feel awful and everyone would want to get rid of them fast. I did not do the fasted method when I had them, but now I know how to help other people do it.

      Best,

      Jodi

    • Tina says:

      I have suffered through panic attacks for many years. I have even gone to the hospital a few times when they got so bad my family was afraid for me. One time while at the hospital the waiting room was full and my attack was of little concern for the medical staff. (as it should be) Anyway my daughter was with me and we found an empty room and went in, I laid down on the couch and turned off the light. My daughter started talking quietly to me about the good things our family shares. Anyway, after a while the attack subsided. Now whenever an attack starts I just go into a quiet room, with the lights low, turn on some soothing music or ask my husband or daughter to come and talk, and then just relax. I have been off all medication for about a year now. I still get attacks, they are just milder and only last a short time. My daughter taught me what to do and it works for me.

      • What a wonderful personal story. Human connection is powerful, as you discovered with your daughter. And going to a quiet, soothing space is a technique that is very effective in calming panic, anxiety in general, and many other things, such as the mania of bipolar disorder. Thank you for sharing both of your insights to help others overcome their panic.

  18. Katrina says:

    Nothing beats anxiety better than muscle relaxation and doing natural exercises to prevent panic attacks. Great post! curepanicattackv.com

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  20. I used to suffer from panic attacks quite regularly until a year ago. I keep myself free of Panic Attacks by following a simple regimen everyday described in this article

  21. Jessi says:

    I have been having panic attacks for years, but this year it has gotten really bad. Some people say oh your just being dramatic. I find it really hard when I feel completely paralyzed. I have tried a few of these and they really help. good luck to everyone with coping your panic attacks.

    • Thanks Jessi, I hope in 2013 things will shift for you! Panic can be about drama, but not that you’re being dramatic. It’s like your mind is and then it takes you with it. Don’t let panic paralyze. Keep moving no matter what you are doing. Being immobilized just feeds the panic!
      Love,
      Jodi

  22. silvya says:

    Nothing works better for me than the one move technique, if have never heard of it check out the panic away program!

  23. Lori says:

    As a survivor of panic and anxiety disorder I can list the things that helped me: I had a “to do” list that I would work on when having anxiety, i.e., cleaning closets, organizing drawers, cleaning the basement, gardening etc… as soon as I felt “Mr. Anxiety” I would pick something off my list. Also prayer and meditation helped calm me down. Running helped me tremendously and I found I slept much better. (I recently ran my first 1/2 marathon!) Reading true positive stories with great outcomes. Reading angel stories. Listening to motivational speakers. Working on puzzles. I have heard that knitting is excellent for anxiety because you are forced to concentrate on knitting. There is relief from panic and anxiety attacks and you can also be cured. See a behaviorist psychologist and do your homework! Remember anxiety is only a feeling and it will go away.

  24. Trudy says:

    Hi

    I really benefited from the information supplied in your article.

    I found Step 8 staring at yourself in the mirror very interesting. Upon reflection it makes perfect sense to develop trust in yourself. Eye contact is usually connected to trust. I have always thought of it in regard to others, not myself. Makes perfect sense.

    Dr Roger Baker has written a book in regard to Understanding Panic Attacks & Overcoming Fear. His book also refers to fear. Fear of when the next panic attack may occur. This book is well worth reading.

    You maybe interested in reading
    What Causes Fear In Your Life
    Thanks
    Trudy.

  25. Thanks for the tip Trudy!
    I hope you get to try Tratak and have some success with it. i will check out Dr. Baker’s book!
    You’re welcome,
    Jodi

  26. Shekinah MacMillan says:

    Just wanted to thank you for a wonderful article. I’ve had anxiety most of my life (how I wish I got diagnosed with it as a younger child instead of living with it for so long without understanding it or having a name for it). Interestingly enough, as everyone in my family got older, we all were diagnosed with depression or anxiety by the time we were adults- with the exception of my mother who was diagnosed with manic depression as a young adult). To answer you, I’ve tried all of these except looking in the mirror. Tonight I tried the shower for the first time.. It was weird- all of a sudden I was just immediately like “I NEED to take a shower NOW”. The thought basically came out of nowhere. I took an hour hot shower (laying down in the tub and letting the water cascade and fill up around me) and I felt completely comforted when I got out. I googled “taking shower for panic attacks” and this is where I came to. Just reading this reassured me that so many people have these kind of coping mechanisms and that I’m not alone.

    Now with that long-winded babbling out of the way, I wanted to know your thoughts on the following?

    1.what is it about water that is so calming during a panic attack- especially a bath or a Shower? Do you think that there’s some “in the womb” connection or is it something more simple or straightforward?

    2. Although I am much better with my anxiety (I don’t take any medication except for a Xanax five to ten times a year), I’ve been thinking of going back on medication bc I feel like I am CONSTANTLY trying to tough out my anxiety (sometimes for hours at a time). Im trying to weigh the pros and cons of dealing with it with or without daily medication. Thoughts?

    3. For me, panic attacks are usually brought on when I feel sick to my stomach, when it’s a night or two before my time of the month, and when I’m dealing with major life changes (going to college, graduating college, my first real job, getting married, etc). The first 2 triggers I’m pretty ok with but how do you deal with more abstract anxiety and panic attack triggers (like life changes where the outcome is unknown)?

    4. Even though I’m not even married yet, I’m already worried about anxiety I may get from hormonal changes during pregnancy and I’m so nervous that my anxiety will either “rub off” on my kid through their observation of me or that because I’ll be trying to hide my anxiety from my child, I’ll be more prone to panic attacks and may not be there for my kid bc I’m focusing on dealing with my own issues? I desperately want kids but don’t want to mess them up- have any tips on managing anxiety as a mother or any success stories?

    Thanks for reading this- just the motion of typing all of this out on my iPhone- only using one finger lol- helped with the remaining panic/anxiety that I had :)

    • Thanks for your comment, Shekinah,
      1. I am not sure what it is about water, but I am sure it works on many levels. Firstly, psychologically it is relaxing. Mentally it is a change in scenery. The warmth for sure plays a role. It is action, which helps. And I think anything goes on why its helps. A womb like atmosphere would help anxiety anyway you slice it. In yoga we do forward bends to help with anxiety (fetal position).

      2. Have you tried therapy? This might help you get through it!

      3. I am not sure what you are asking. “Outcomes” are always unknown. Thinking that these are different (worse, perhaps) may be where the problem lies. That belief tells you the anxiety is warrented and viola!

      4. Loads of success stories, mine included. Anxiety is not a life sentence. You can get over it!

      I do do online therapy. let me know if you are interested.

      Good luck!
      Warmly,
      Jodi

  27. Shekinah MacMillan says:

    Ps- sorry for the poor grammar and punctuation- I’ve been up all night and am a little sleepy to say the least :)

  28. Jessica says:

    Some good tips here, except that I always found that staring at yourself in the mirror was definitely something not to do. Whenever I realized that I was staring at myself in the mirror, that was a definite giveaway that I was experiencing anxiety. I would recommend the opposite.

    Realizing that it is a panic attack, that it is not going to hurt you and that it will soon pass are powerful steps that over time can help to disempower panic attacks over time.

    Luckily I was able to overcome my symptoms about 7 years ago using many of these steps and several others. Thanks for sharing!

  29. Chris says:

    I love #9! Burning off some of that anxious energy helps me A LOT when I feel an anxiety attack coming on.

    But I can’t always just get up and go, like if I’m in a social situation where I need to stay in my seat.

    So my backup is breathing exercises. Very simple meditation stuff. Some folks wouldn’t even call it REAL meditation, and I’m cool with that =)

    I like to close my eyes and just count out my breaths:

    INHALE…1…2…3…4…
    EXHALE…1…2…3…4…

    Then after every few breaths like that, I try to lengthen each inhalation and exhalation to a count of 5, 6, 7 or more.

    By the time I’m stretching my breaths out to 10 seconds in and 10 seconds out…panic is gone.

  30. christina tennis says:

    Im 23 yrs old, i have had anxiety since may of last yr… im so scared, ive gone to the doctors so much over it, ive had sharp chest pians every once in a while, but the last time i went over it they said it was anxiety… they ran tests and everything.. they said i was good that it only anxiety… but it still scares me bcuz i have no one to talk to when it happens… please message me at tennis_christina@yahoo.com if someone can talk to me when i have these attacks…

    • I am glad you are reaching out Christina, I hope one of my readers can connect with you in these times. Ask in other forums also. I can do counseling to help you get rid of them if you want also. Let me know and I’ll give you the information. Love, Jodi

  31. Heather Robbins-Hinton says:

    I have had panic attacks since my early 20′s and am now 43 years old. In 2002 I went on 20mg of Paxil for 6 years. Three years ago I weaned myself off and was doing fantastic until I suddenly started having panic attacks again. They got progressively worse until I was in a state of panic 24 hrs/day. It was horrible and my life was suspended. I went back on the Paxil, but the attacks have continued in varying degrees. I have decided I have had enough, so I am working on different techniques to work through the attacks. The following are things I am doing to help calm the panic and they are working for me

    Distraction – Counting backwards from 100 in increments of 4 or 3. Word search puzzles. There are actually a bunch of apps for iphones that target anxiety.

    Conscious breathing – Being aware of the inhale along the back of my throat and exhale along the front of my throat. I practice yoga and this breathing exercise always calms me. Just being aware of my breath and how it feels – not trying to change it – just aware.

    Walking/hiking – I come from a family of walkers/hikers. We have always walked for joy and for finding peace.

    Mindful mediation – Sitting in meditation nearly every day is bringing me to a state of peace and letting go of the panic much quicker than in the past. I am currently using these two Gathas or short verses in my practice:

    “Breathing in, I calm my body,
    Breathing out, I smile.
    Dwelling in the present moment,
    I know this is a wonderful moment.”

    “Feelings come and go
    like clouds in a windy sky.
    Conscious breathing
    is my anchor”

    -Thich Nhat Hahn

    When I wake in the morning to anxious feelings I am training my mind to immediately go either to distraction counting or breathing the above Gathas. These techniques are calming me in just moments.

    Thich Nhat Hahn is a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist teacher and has written many beautiful gathas such as the one above. I’m attaching a link if anyone would like to read more of his quotes.
    http://thinkexist.com/quotes/thich_nhat_hanh/

    I am grateful to everyone who shares ideas and suggestions for working on panic attacks. My heart goes out to everyone who experiences these feelings. You are NOT alone. Thank you Jodi, for providing your experiences and this place to meet.

    Take good care,
    Heather

  32. Bill says:

    I have been suffering from anxiety for about 10 years. I have got a lot of advice etc from this web site, <a href="http://http://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety/

    Thanks

  33. Thanks for adding! This is very useful article! ;) I’m writing about depression, panic atacks too.

  34. yea, and It can really cause mental problems, and even physical too. But there is help. God is first and foremost, and knowledge is #power. Read up on it. you’ll be surprised what you find out. here’s a link to some great info.–>http://fceb9i1ech7k9x2mkitbltmicb.hop.clickbank.net/<–Happy reading!!! — feeling Informational.

  35. Niki Aker says:

    In moderation, anxiety isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, anxiety can help you stay alert and focused, spur you to action, and motivate you to solve problems. But when anxiety is constant or overwhelming, when it interferes with your relationships and activities, it stops being functional—that’s when you’ve crossed the line from normal, productive anxiety into the territory of anxiety disorders.^*^.

    My own, personal blog
    <http://www.wellnessdigest.co/index.php/

  36. Charles says:

    This is a great resource and at one point or another I have utilized practically all of the steps you outlined. My preferred method is doing some breathing exercises that I learned when I picked up meditation. They really calmed me down and remove all the stress I was having in the situation until I was eventually able to overcome the feeling of panic and get on with my life. I have a site, http://www.outofmymindbody.com/, where I’ve been compiling all the important information about panic attacks and posting some things that helped me overcome it — also thank you for your resource, finding good information all in one place is frustrating.

  37. Rianin says:

    If you have panic attacks like i had (now i can control them thanks to this) take a look at this site:

    http://panicattacksolution.tk

    I’m really sure that it will help you the same way that it helped me and lot of people more. Please, take a look at it.

  38. sarah says:

    Taking a cold drink of water helps me. I can’t seem to concentrate long enough to watch a youtube video. Also, I start cleaning. That seems to help too. :)
    I just started my own anxiety/panic attack blog…
    anxiouslysarah.wordpress.com

  39. Audrey says:

    My panic attacks occur when I am driving. I have a 35 minute drive to work each day and they seem to come on me about half way there. I have to pull off the road b/c I am afraid of having an accident while I am experiencing one. They have become more and more frequent and I have not been able to drive to work this week. It can also occur when I am riding in the car with someone else driving. What suggestions do you have? It is making it hard for me to get in the car to go anywhere.

    • Audrey,
      I know someone who was afraid of driving and used a drum to sooth her anxiety. She drums before going in the car and the drum rides shot gun the whole way. There is not just one way to heal, there are many options. Please read through my posts, but if you want to work specifically with your issues, feel free to make an appointment!
      Love,
      Jodi

  40. Aimee Merone says:

    Panic disorder sometimes runs in families, but no one knows for sure why some people have it while others don’t. Researchers have found that several parts of the brain are involved in fear and anxiety. By learning more about fear and anxiety in the brain, scientists may be able to create better treatments. Researchers are also looking for ways in which stress and environmental factors may play a role.–*`

    My web blog
    <http://wellnessdigest.co/

  41. Justine says:

    Just found this on Pinterest. I’ve struggled with social and general anxiety my whole life, and PTSD the last 6 years. Six years ago I had a horrible panic attack that lasted 2 years- yes, years. For me, learning what a panic attack was, and training myself to recognize the symptoms coming on helped me a lot. Also, figuring out what the root of it is. I’ve always had people tell me, “When you’re depressed, you’re living in the past, and when you’re anxious, you’re living in the future.” Well my anxiety comes from suppressed emotions. Identifying what my subconscious is thinking about when my conscious isn’t paying attention helps a lot.

    I’ve realized over the couple years that keeping my hands busy helps a lot. I work as a cashier, which is difficult for my social anxiety, but I’ve found when I keep my hands busy, it helps me not to focus on my fears. I fold tiny boxes out of all the paper I find lying around, because it gives me something external to focus on. Hopefully what’s helped me might help someone else in the future!

  42. JEN BARBOUR says:

    I am sorry that I haven’t read all your comments here. But I know of a few things that have helped me in full blown panic attack: one is fragrance. in particular for me lilac and citrus, preferably an honest lemon but better, grapefruit. Olfactory memories are some of our best and boldest, so setting up memories of happy times, or recalling them from childhood, can help jar our brains back into line.

    Also, and you mention some of this with your advice on getting back with the body, temperature can really help. getting really cold either by holding ice cubes and standing in the snow (or an open fridge) may help.

    go online and google things like “hope” and read stories.

    For those having a bad anxiety attack, if you have no drugs you can take benedryl, or a benedryl similar product like simply sleep or any other tylenol free form of sleep aids in the pharmacy.

    turn some music on and dance.

    for some people staring at brilliant colors helps a great deal if you are linked to endorphin’s that way. and finally, there is sex, or a reasonable facimile. YIKES i already KNEW that! why have i never used it! hahahahahahahha!! :) ))))))))))

  43. Amiya Foster says:

    Amazing post! thanks. I am suffering from panic attack almost 15 year, some people are saying panic can’t be curable, but I think they are wrong. I will show them they are wrong.

  44. phobia says:

    Excellent way of telling, and pleasant post to get information concerning my presentation focus, which i am going to present in college.

  45. Marcia Goodrich says:

    Hello. I have had severe anxiety and panic attacks since I was 15 years old. I am now 35 and I still get them. I used to get them on a daily basis and not be able to control them. They used to make me literally fall start shaking to wear it winds up becoming a seizure with tingling and seeing the room spin and then becoming very dark then my body becoming stiff to the point I would lose all feeling throughout my body not being able to move hyperventilating to the pointof not being able to breathe and I have stopped breathing many times. Over the years I have learned different methods of controlling my anxiety. Some are facing a mirror and yelling at it at the top of your lungs, sitting against a walk and counting backwards, sitting in a hot bath depending on if it isn’t to severe, rocking in a fetal position, singing a song that describes who you are and how you feel, reading a book, writing how you feel, dancing, I have even gotten a punching bag to take it out on, walking, running, driving is not a good thing for me, talking with people who make you smile and happy, remembering good memories, focusing on objects that appear close but are far, coloring and all kinds of stuff. I have almost died 17 times do to my anxiety and panic attacks. I have been through therapy to help me with them. I still have them but not as much as I did as a teenager. The last time I suffered a severe anxiety attack was on January 5, 2013. I wasn’t feeling good decided to walk and got my phone out called for an ambulance collapsed in a neighbors driveway and a passer in a car stopped and called the police I was told and performed CPR on me because I stopped breathing and had suffered a stroke on top of a severe anxiety attack along with having copd asthma and bronchitis at the time. There is many things that work and some things that don’t. I am living proof that it doesn’t hurt to try things and that you can survive it.

    • Marcia, your story is inspiring. You persevered through severe panic attacks for a very long time, and you found the strength to seek help and explore your own ways to reduce the power of your panic attacks. Thank you for sharing this. I think it will inspire many to hang in there and keep trying. You’re proof that overcoming panic is possible.

  46. Nancy says:

    I have read these posts and suffered through similar panic attacks for many, many years.

    Eventually the last few years, when the “aura” comes that I know is a panic attack-very different than anxiety, I say to myself…
    THIS IS A PANIC ATTACK, YOU ARE OKAY and so forth.
    Since doing this for past few years, I have had very few panic attacks, maybe ten in past 18 months, when I used to have them once a week and lasting for 10-15 mins. Now they last for no more than five and are lessening even more recently.
    Hope this helps. The attacks truly are unbelievable in their physiological symptoms. I understand.

  47. Brittney says:

    I’ve had panic attacks since I was 13 I’m 28 now they have been on and off come and go for years well here recently they have came back 10x worse my chest on the right side has started to get tight I’ve been throwing up a lot more with them now I stay up all hours of the night bc I’m scared to go to sleep anyone that can give me some advice please help I’m a mother of two and I’m sick of these things I outside and talk to god but it seems not to be doing any good

    • Have you consulted with a physician? Given that your panic attack symptoms seem to be changing, having a medical check-up might be helpful. It’s good that you are noticing when they are at their worst and what the symptoms are. When you are aware of what happens for you and when it happens, you can use the information to help build a plan. What symptoms are the worst for you? Experiment with things that make those symptoms better. Thinking about when they happen can be helpful in overcoming them, too. What are you doing when the attacks begin? Are you worrying a lot at night, for example? What are the worries? And what things can you do to calm your mind before bed? Your self-awareness is an excellent starting point for reducing the panic.

  48. Claire says:

    Hi, I have suffered with panic attacks since I was 16, now being 34 I still suffer but a lot less due to medication. I was placed on cipralex for 10 years which caused high anxiety- they have now stopped it and put me on serdep. I really am considering stopping all the medication and seeing how I feel with no meds. They have diagnosed mine as a chemical imbalance which runs in the family. Anyone have any advice on stopping all meds.

    • Medication has different effects on different individuals. Some people do well with medication, others don’t have a great deal of success. And there are so many different types out there; what works for one person doesn’t always work for another. When medication is involved, it is very important to work with a doctor you trust. If you do want to stop meds (and this should be decided with a doctor), it can be very dangerous to just stop. Most need to be tapered gradually. Claire, I encourage to work with your doctor to find the most effective and the safest course of action for you.

  49. Rochelle says:

    Hi mates, its impressive piece of writing on the topic of tutoringand
    entirely explained, keep it up all the time.

    • Hello Rochelle,
      Jodi wrote this wonderful piece. She is no longer writing for HealthyPlace, so she’s unable to respond to comments. At HealthyPlace, we all strive to make this a helpful and welcoming place. Hopefully you will continue to visit!

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