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Panic Attack... Advice?

I don't know how to handle the panic attacks without letting them take control. I feel like I can't breathe, I feel claustrophobic. My chest is so tight. Everything slows down and speeds up simultaneously so that nothing makes sense.

My current way of dealing is by escaping into a book... but it's not helping.

Does anyone have advice for getting through or controlling the panic attacks...?

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It's hard, it really is and we all understand what you're going through. One mistake which took me forever to correct is trying TOO hard to make the panic attack stop. Being nervous and rushing to process will just make it worse. You have to accept whats happening and accept all the symptoms as they are and remind yourself it will not hurt you and it will pass. I use meditation videos on youtube to help me, mindfulness is a good one to help you tune in to what you're feeling, but during a panic attack I use guided imagery or visualization to help relax and distract me. Do you do any breathing exercises? I used to do square breathing which is 4-4-4-4 (in, hold, out, hold) or 4-7-8 (in, hold, out) but my new therapist taught me an even better one which is kinda hard to explain. You breath in as much as you can deeply and comfortably, then hold for a few seconds, then very SLOWLY exhale entirely with your lips pursed for as long as you can. The focus is on the exhale but you dont push it out you do it really really slowly. She also recomended using a straw for the exhale to keep it controlled. This technique signals the vagus nerve to tell your body it's ok to calm down now.

Hope some of this helps, best wishes!

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I like counting. It takes focus off of the symptoms and forces your brain to think for a minute. I had a friend who did simple math like 2+2 to help bring him back down and force his thoughts into stopping enough for him to find his breath again. I hate math so I stick to thinking. Best of luck.

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Panic attacks are f******. Completely agree with the first post, best resolution is just to accept what's happening. And the book reading is a great way to take your mind elsewhere; if you can do for yourself what the book does you'll regain control of the attacks. Imagination is a beautiful thing, go to your happy place, breath deep and counting is a winner too. X

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Was having a panic attack till I read your message, panic attacks are f******, happiness is the key to stop panic attacks :)

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