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How to cope during an anxiety attack

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by Petal, May 11, 2009.

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  1. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    1. Splash face with cold water - this produces the dive reflex and causes your brain to send messages to your body to slow down

    2. Distraction - Count down from 100 as fast as you can, repeat over and over. Do maths problems or anything else that occupies your mind

    3. Listen to your favorite music loudly and sing along to it

    4. Say to yourself - this has never hurt me, it has never hurt anyone else and it never will. I know what it is and it means nothing - disempower the attack

    5. Tell yourself that what you are feeling are sensations; nothing more and that sensations never hurt anyone

    6. Watch a funny video on TV, laugh out loud

    7. Don't look at yourself in the mirror

    8. Keep some apples in the fridge. Eat one, then another if you wish

    9. Gently slap your cheeks and dance around - confuse your thoughts to distract them

    10. In the night, get out of bed, turn on the TV, get a drink, eat an apple and keep moving

    11. Talk to someone or phone someone - don't discuss your anxiety

    12. Do something physical if you can

    13. Do not sit down! Keep moving
  2. plates

    plates Well-Known Member

    how long do panic attacks usually last for?

    can a panic attack last days?
  3. jameslyons

    jameslyons Well-Known Member

    Hang out with friends. They do wonders!

    Don't drink alcohol

    Don't make any rash decisions about your life.
  4. shades

    shades Staff Alumni

    TO:ggg, I thought it was about right because mine last about 30 minutes. But accordint to the "wikipedia" site, they can last from 15 seconds to 30 minutes (most common) and longer, with different types of episodes thrown in.
  5. MeAndYou

    MeAndYou Well-Known Member

    Daisy your threads are really informative.

    I find talking to people without them knowing im freaking the hell out helps tremendously. Usually for me its places that trigger anxiety or thoguhts while in places that are condusive to my anxiety, and i sometimes just need to escape that place to regather myself... but cant always do that. So this HELPS!
  6. Jehuty

    Jehuty Senior Member

    Thank you daisychain, your post is very helpfull. :hug:
  7. plates

    plates Well-Known Member

    ok. thanks :biggrin:

    think my therapist and i (or i really understood) that i was reliving trauma that's why i've been so anxious
  8. Rachel123

    Rachel123 Well-Known Member

    Uggghhhhh I HATE anxiety attacks.... I have them so often..
    Thanks for the tips!
  9. joelttVA1

    joelttVA1 Member

    I've had this "thing" before...not sure it its an anxiety attack or not. It usually happens in my "twilight" time, the time that is minutes or seconds before I go unconscious. I feel my brain choosing an event, and then it very slowly plays that event over in my head, then moving on to the various possible choices or outcomes. This starts slow but gradually accelerates, as if a large stone wheel started at the top of a long hill and increased its speed over time.

    It usually takes about 1-2 minutes for that process to accelerate to an uncontrollable speed. I would liken it to loosing your breaks on a long downhill or the sensation of falling faster and faster - and the faster it goes, the harder I find it is to stop the cycle. As some have suggested, music will help, but there has been once or twice when it didn't. And yes, looking in a mirror really did accelerate it.

    I've only ever experienced these maybe 8 times over the past 10 years. The few times music or walking around outside didn't help slow things down, paperclip in an outlet (thank you GFCI's) literally jolted me out of it, and another time just lying on the floor clawing at my head until I passed out "worked" (well, It stopped).

    Any idea if this is anxiety or is it something else?
  10. plates

    plates Well-Known Member

    what you said makes so much sense to me, i have that a lot but if i use the term 'racing thoughts' they think i'm manic/agitated but it's so linked to real anxieties about my future.

    i used to have and still do (not as much) what you're describing. it keeps me awake, for instance last night i think i spent a good 1/2 hour to an hour realising what dismal hopes i have for my future, financially, housing, everything and that i needed to stress this and the importance of writing a will, to my mother, asap.
  11. Randy024

    Randy024 Member

    I know it's in my head....but I "feel it" jolting or coursing thru my body.... like waves...

    But reading this and the other suggestions in first post has slowed me down a notch or two....thanks

    I "know" it's nothing, but why oh why can't I shut it off myself...I need someone else to slap me with reality and say snap out of it....I can't/don't/won't? get myself to calm down

    I think the meds are kicking in...I'm feeling better "at the moment"...

    This is the closest I've ever come to "journaling"... I can't do it in a private book.... I need you (whoever you are) to read this...I want to believe I'm being heard.. I want to be validated....I don't want to feel so alone in my crazyness
  12. Maylin

    Maylin Well-Known Member

    I had a close call a few months ago, I was sitting in the waiting room for an important appointment and suddenly lots of people also entered the waiting room. Some people sat infront of me, and it look a few seconds before I was blushing and sweating all over. I looked at the clock, it was 1-2 minutes until the doctor was suppose to come, but I could not wait that long so I went into the bathroom to calm down, but at the same time freaking out because the doctor could call me out anytime. After 1-2 minutes I just said screw it and was planning on leaving, at the same time as I was going the doctor came and called my name so I could go into her office.

    How I cope: Get the hell out of the situation, no matter what the cost...
  13. Little_me

    Little_me Well-Known Member

    This post was helpful! Thanks Daisychain :arms:
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