Panic Attacks And How To Cope

Introduction

For those of us who have a panic attack we truly can understand how it feels like and can feel empathy for anybody else who may be going through the same thing. We know how the feel. A panic attack may increase your heart rate, it can feel like someone is choking you in a way that you cannot breathe. Sometimes it may be like someone is literally sitting on your chest. It's terrifying and once you have your first one you are constantly in fear of when it may happen again. Which makes it worse.

Stop. Know that this fear can make it worse and know that you are surely not alone. I have spoken with several of people who feel as if they are crazy, as if they are freaks and let me reassure you that you are not. There are many people in the world that suffer from anxiety and know how a panic attack feels like. If someone has ever called you names because of witnessing you have an episode IGNORE them, they simply don't understand what they see.

Causes

It's strange. People believe that you have to have been traumatized to experience a panic attack, not true. In fact I have spoken with people who end up experiencing a panic attack over the simplest of things. Some things that normally should easily be handled cannot be.

Fears are one trigger of a panic attack. Like the fear of heights and closed surroundings. If one is forced into an uncomfortable situation that makes them have to face this fear it can trigger one of these awful and almost painful attacks.

Another one is the mental illness that most of us have heard mentioned when it comes to our soldiers. Post traumatic stress disorder. When one may experience a flash back, which can be terrifying for the person, this can bring someone into a panic state where they may experience the difficulty of breathing to a point where in the end they may end up passing out. Not only our soldiers have this illness though. People who have experienced any kind trauma in life, maybe as a child like abuse or a traumatic event of any kind can cause someone to have PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).

Personally I have PTSD and I also experience a panic attack when I am in a crowd. This is brought on by another mental illness that I have that basically makes me feel as if everyone is out to get me or is talking badly about me. It makes me feel afraid to that extreme. So any other kind of mental illness can indeed cause panic attacks. In fact there is one in particular called Panic Disorder. But you can experience this with generative anxiety disorder, PTSD, basically any kind of anxiety illness and so much more.

Coping

Now that we know some of the many different causes of panic attacks lets talk about coping with them. That way the next time you have one you know what to do. It's important to feel like you are in control. Don't let those attacks control you. There are different methods people use. Just know that, again, you are not alone. Never alone. And surely you are not some crazy lunatic.

Let me mention my favorite one. First before you get a panic attack try to remember one of your most happiest memories. Sit down and recall a moment in your life where you felt no sadness, a stress free time too. Now this will be your happy place. The next time you get hit with a panic attack sit down replace your current thoughts with this happy thought. It may take a few tries but it will eventually work. You will be in control. It will end that panic attack.

Another thing is to avoid those situations that trigger one. If crowds really terrify you try to explain them to your friends. Try to explain how you feel. Don't feel ashamed of your condition. A lot of people are actually more understanding than you think if you just explain it more to someone. They may have questions but never fear to answer them.

Something that can help bring your breathing back under control if your someone that hyperventilates during a panic attack. This is a trick that a paramedic taught me once when I had a real bad episode. Breathe in normally but when you release your breath, form your lips as if you were sucking out of a straw and then release the breath. It helps to slow down your breathing.

Sit down, put your head between your legs. If you are not alone try to tell someone how you are currently feeling. Sometimes it can help just to even talk about it. Especially if it's a friend or a good loved one. I have a friend who'll try to make me laugh during those situations and it works. It gets my mind off of what's currently going on.

Know that you are in control. You may not be able to stop these panic attacks from starting but you can stop them before they get any worse.

Conclusion

I hope these tips help you out. Eventually you'll have control over them and you won't fear them as much as you do now. Yeah, they still aren't that great. But you can prevent them from getting out of control. Keep in mind that you are in control. Not them. My most important point in this hub is that you are not some freak because you have these attacks. In fact these are happening more now than ever before. So relax. I had a woman come up to me and tell me that her boyfriend calls her a freak. This is why I wanted to write this hub because in no way is anybody a freak because that suffer a mental illness. Acceptance is the key. I accept you and others will to. Those who don't just don't understand or simply don't deserve to have you in their lives. Learn to cope. You will be okay.

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Comments 11 comments

2besure profile image

2besure 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

Voted up, very good topic. Many are dealing with this problem. I started having panic attacks after my Mom died. It is the most horrible experience. For some reason, they left as quickly as started. Thank God!


SandyMcCollum profile image

SandyMcCollum 4 years ago

This is informative and useful information for me! Your writing sounds so casual, as if you're speaking to me in conversation. Thanks for the ideas! Write on!


ALUR profile image

ALUR 4 years ago from USA

Good subject matter. I didn't realize that panic stays in the cell's memory. Trauma can mean a lot of different things from simply rush hour to a serious death or injury to someone. It creeps up slowly and then it's vice grip threatens to wreak havoc. I breath a lot during those on sets and try to enjoy the magnificence of the present.

You're welcome to read and join my hub followers for my versatile writing:)


2besure profile image

2besure 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

Voted up, socially shared!


passthejelly profile image

passthejelly 4 years ago from Lakewood Colorado

Nice read. This information is very useful and you did a great job of presenting it.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean

My personal thanks for this article. Your ideas on coping seem so simple, but if we don't learn them before, we certainly won't know them during the attack. The favorite memory sounds good.


Cresentmoon2007 profile image

Cresentmoon2007 4 years ago from Caledonia, MI Author

Thank you everyone for your kind comments and I'm glad that my suggestions to coping may help several of you.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

...I read this article/hub very carefully because I take a pill now for my anxiety and in the last three months since I have done so it has worked so well for me .... just amazing what happens when you are lucky enough to take the right medication - so thank you for your words here also - they have also helped quite a bit ..... lake erie time ontario canada 10:02am


Cresentmoon2007 profile image

Cresentmoon2007 4 years ago from Caledonia, MI Author

You are welcome epi bandit helped thank you for reading


justateacher profile image

justateacher 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

I began having panic attacks this past summer, and really can't find a trigger for them. I have been to my doctor and a therapist for this, and have had medications for it, as well as some meditation exercises to help control them. It all helps a little, but still trying to figure it all out.


Cresentmoon2007 profile image

Cresentmoon2007 4 years ago from Caledonia, MI Author

Have you recently had any traumatic events in your life? Maybe there are some new fears as well. A simple little fear can trigger one, anything that can make you feel uncomfortable. For me it's crowds, germs so being touched or my place being uncleaned, and even being alone with certain men that are above a certain age. Start to pay attention to what is going on around you when they occur, you might notice similarities and find out what the trigger may be.

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