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Anxiety and Depression Support
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I need a method of controlling breathing/heart rate that doesn't involve breathing exercises

I struggle with anxiety, and sometimes I get what I call anxiety attacks (which I know usually means panic attacks, but it's different, I just don't think there's a proper word for it). I become extremely short of breath and start breathing at twice the usual speed, I get increasingly nervous, and there's this awful tight fluttery feeling in my chest. The only way I know of to stop this is breathing exercises, but every time I try to slow or control my breathing, it makes me lightheaded and dizzy, and during attacks it's even worse than usual. Also, holding my breath when I'm in that state can take me from jittery to actually scared, as I'm already on edge, so stopping myself from being able to freely breathe is not a good idea. I don't know of any other techniques, so my only option is to just wait for the fear and discomfort to pass, which can take hours. If you know of anything I can do instead, please tell me!

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Music helps me. I get panic attacks frequently and if I can get lost in a good song, it seems to calm me faster than doing nothing.

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I agree, I find that listening to really aggressive music like rap or screamo really makes me feel better even though it's not what I usually like to listen to (as it means the intensity of my feelings blends in rather than standing out). It's a really useful method, but in my case, it tends to make it easier to handle rather than shortening the time it continues for, and I can't do it in places like class. Thank you for your input though!

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I'm sorry. Being in public with an attack is not easy. I've experienced that too. Just had to leave for a little bit. Do my thing. Get fresh air. Sit in quiet. Explain later why you had to leave.


You have to learn to take slow deep breathes and yes that is a panic attack you get dizzy because you either hold your breath or are breathing too fast and shallow go to calm.com and meditate just try that periodically to keep yourself calm...keep a journal.of when it happens and what are your triggers what your thinking about..where you are, etc...how much caffeine you'd had that day

You can always get meds to take just when you have them...and next time you have a drs appointment have him check your heart just in case .

Also exercise will help keep you calm 30 minutes a day. ...best wishes


Jack, there is no shame in excusing yourself yet I would find that difficult if I am in the middle of a mental struggle ie, to walk out when a prof is talking. It needs to be something that pulls you away. A song, a doodle, a short mantra (this is only temporary is my upgrade from 10,000 ok, ok, ok). Something will work to get you through those most intense ones. Just have to find it!

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It sounds awful. What you describe is anxiety, there are different levels of attack but panic or anxiety it's the same.

Your breathing should not consist of you trying not to breathe, whoever taught this to you is wrong.

You're breathing technique is about normalising the breath and distracting your mind.

The reason you feel dizzy is that your breathing was fast and you took in very little oxygen.

You know you can already do this now you just need to do it in a way that isn't through pain. Don't go that route.

So...when I suffered from attacks I did this:

I would breathe in and out counting to 10...but the breathing must be purposeful, it's hard because your heart is pumping, but you must still do it like this and use the counting.

Only count on the in breath. I would then be talking to myself at the same time saying things like. "C'mon Simon, stop this now, you're being silly, you know what this is and all you need to do is be calm, you got this. What's for dinner I wonder? If it was up to me I would love to have..." and I also think about anything that could distract my brain from the attack...not the counting or the breathing, that stays, but anything else that can allow me to be distracted, another one is I find somewhere I can splash cold water on my face as a panic or anxiety attack can make you feel hot. Another one is the counting the breath and watching other people and making up stories about them...distraction from focusing on the feeling. Music works because it's a distraction...

This does work because it is proven to work, it just needs practice so that you can find your way of doing it that feels right for you. Once you have your technique over time any panic or anxiety will leave you and you won't need it anymore...there will be times when you feel it coming on but because you have taught your mind to think differently about it ...my mind will never go into anxiety mode again.


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I use guided meditation. Try it It can be a great distraction.

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