Advice for panic attacks
1. Say to yourself “O.K PANIC DO YOUR WORST”
This may appear at first glance to be a stupid and irresponsible thing to say to yourself.
This has the effect of taking away some of the force of the panic.
It will not reach that terrifying peak.
If you have had an attack you will know what I mean.
Practice utter acceptance.
To the person in the midst of an attack this might seem impossible. But don’t lose heart, it will take several attempts before you can start to look panic straight in the eye and go through the other side, without turning away for safety. Don’t fight it, let go. It might be the hardest thing you ever do. But the paradox is, if you practice utter acceptance the intensity and duration of panic attacks decrease.
2. Wait for time to pass. DON’T HURRY IT, walk away slowly from the situation if you need to.
3. Imagine you are floating instead of walking.
4. Breath lower down, using your tummy muscles. Make the out breath a bit longer than the intake of breath. Slow your breathing down if you catch yourself breathing a little fast.
5. Recall a happy event or a humorous one. Your favourite comedian in concert, an enjoyable vacation, perhaps.
6 .SIT DOWN – COOL DOWN.
If possible sit down somewhere and close your eyes.
Start slow abdominal breathing. In your minds eye, on the in breath, spell, say and picture the word P.E.A.C.E
On the out breath, spell, say and see the word C A L M.
Use that vivid imagination of yours to create a pleasant backdrop for this exercise.
7. WOBBLY AND WEAK LEGS.
A supply of glucose tablets or honey can be used to overcome brief spells of weakness due to panic. This is a temporary measure and no substitute for proper nutrition.
8. HELP! I AM PANICKING , GONE BLANK AND CAN’T THINK HOW TO COPE
In the white heat of panic its easy to forget the things you know you should do to cope.
Write down your coping strategies on a card that will easily fit into your pocket, wallet, purse.
Alternatively record your strategies onto a cassette in a calm and precise manner. Take a personal stereo with you.
Some printing shops will put your text onto a credit card type of card, which will be laminated and will last.
Pull the card out when you need it. Stick the stereo on.
Go through a rehearsal of this when not in a panic state
YOU ARE NOT ALONE !
Begins with the thought of doing something that you feel is beyond your limitations. The “What if” thoughts start to appear in the mind. “What if I panic like the last time I did this”. The anxiety can build to a tremendous level before coming into contact with the feared situation.
ANTICIPATORY ANXIETY is nearly always well in excess of anything the actual situation will present.
So instead of saying “What if ” say “So what.” Allowing body sensations to pass over and paying them “NO RESPECT” however rational or irrational they may be is the best policy to adopt.
Saying to yourself “Its no big deal”, “I don’t care about these feelings” and “I am definitely NOT going to die” helps unmask the anxiety allow you to face it and not fear it so much. This allows the disturbing body sensations to calm.
When you first experience panic you may be confused and bewildered, convinced there is something physically wrong with you. This can be a hard attitude to shake off.
Get along to your doctor and ask him or her to give you a full check over. Be honest with him or her and tell them how upset this has made you feel. If they are any good at all, they will check you over and most likely confirm its stress related.
For your own piece of mind this is important. Much time can be wasted convincing yourself you have every know illness in the text book.
If they are unsympathetic then go to another doctor, lots of reassurance is vital. Ask the doctor what to expect. get them to explain in lots of detail until you fully understand. The more you know about panic the less power it has over you. A wise doctor will spend an extra 15 minutes to put a sufferers’ mind at ease and saves lots of torment to the sufferer, while they may be waiting to see more specialist help. Then you can get on with the task of dealing with it.