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Coping with Panic Attacks

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Kindness of Lauren:

http://www.pandys.org/Panic_Attack.pdf

Coping With Panic Attacks

Know the Physical Symptoms of a Panic Attack

• Palpitations/racing heart

• Trembling or shaking

• Weak knees

• Dizziness, unsteadiness, faintness

• Chest pain or discomfort

• Numbness or tingling sensation (pins and needles)

• Nausea, upset stomach, abdominal distress

• Muscle pains

• Breathlessness

• Feeling of unreality

• Weak bladder

• Visual disturbances

• Tension

• Dry mouth and throat

• Sweating

• Shortness of breath of smothering sensation

• Choking

• Disorientation

• Hot flashes, cold chills

• Fear of disease or of dying

• Fear of going crazy or losing control

Getting Yourself through an Attack

• Breathe slowly and deeply.

• Don't worry what other people are thinking. In general, people can't

tell by looking at you that you are having a panic attack.

• Tell yourself nothing serious will happen to you.

• Let the attack peak and pass. Do not fight the attack.

• Take any prescribe PRNs.

• Relax

• Think positively. Positive self talk.

• Listen to music.

• Focus on external things, i.e. the different colors in the room or

the cars passing by.

• Talking with someone.

• Getting fresh air.

• Eating or drinking something.

• Changing scenery.

• Moving around.

• Watch light TV/Movie

• Cuddle a teddy, blanket, or pillow

• Avoid crowds

• Drawing, painting, crafting, etc.

• Use a cold washcloth.

• Look at comforting pictures.

• Reach out for support: post on Pandy's, call a hotline, call your T, etc.

• Journal

• Quiet your inner critic.

• Put on a comforting scent (body lotion or perfume).

• Have a cool or hot drink.

• Spend time with pets.

Things to do on a Regular Basis

• Exercise to help burn off excessive adrenaline.

• Avoid cigarettes and alcohol.

• Eat regular meals and avoid processed foods and drinks, to keep

blood sugar levels stable.

• Don't bottle up your emotions. Find someone to confide in.

• Learn and practice relaxation techniques.

• Reduce your exposure to unnecessary stress.

• Join a self-help group.

• Carry a cell phone for when you need to call people

• Don't focus on the people around you when out, just look in front of you.

• Read self-help book.

• Meditate regularly

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