Panic Attacks And How To Cope
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.
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.
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.
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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