Panic attacks only last a short time.... - Anxiety and Depre...

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Panic attacks only last a short time...MY BUTT!


I get panic attacks that last over an hour or even more, but I always read these articles claiming that “Panic attacks come and go fairly quickly (within maybe 10 mins).” I read that and scoff, because I get tingling limbs and face, feeling like I can not breath, and so forth for over an hour and even longer. Where the hell do they get it’s only 10 mins or less?!?! I WISH THAT WAS ALL IT WAS!!!

13 Replies

I know what you mean , I have had panic attacks that have lasted much longer and my blood pressure has been so high I've thought I was going to have a heart attack or pass out. I have tried the slow breathing but I really struggle to even do that. I normally have to take medication and hold on for dear life until t kicks in 😢

DustinS85 in reply to CazO46

Same with slow breathing. Sometimes the slow breathing makes me feel worse.

CazO46 in reply to DustinS85

Yes me too, it makes me feel like I can't breath and just have to take short sharp breaths even though the advice says not to but I just have to do whatever gets me through X

Panic episodes last until your mind & breathing return to "normal". Everybody is different and each episode is unique.

Agora1 in reply to Oz4Life

Precisely :)

They wound up prescribing .25mg Xanax. I try to only take it when it is bad. I took a half of one today, and it helped some. I am trying to avoid addiction though.

I just had one the other night that last at least an hour and a half. Your right, they don't just last 10 mins or less, that's not true. I know they are hell but I usually just keep reminding myself that it will pass.

It sounds more like an anxiety attack to me. I have chronic anxiety and all those things happen to me. Waiting it out is hard and leaves me bed ridden for hrs. I would suggest talking to your dr for medication for this it's a terrible thing to experience.

Hi Dustin, sorry to hear about your struggle - it definitely sucks. Like others have mentioned, panic attacks can be a bit different for everyone. Mine have been a lot like yours- prolonged. In addition to this site I am benefiting from attending an anxiety support group which is sponsored by NAMI ( national alliance for mental illness). We use a good recovery book that emphasizes cognitive behavioral awareness. It has helped me, so you might look for a support group where you live. Keep sharing, things can improve.

I suffered with panic attacks for the first time after I'd had a parasite and ended up seeing a therapist who recommended me to read a great little book called Hope and help for your nerves by Claire Weeks. My husband is a clinical psychologist and he had the resources too so I learned a lot about the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.

When you first have the initial panic how you respond to it either perpetuates the panic or it will help it lesson quicker. So when I started having the panic and I knew what it was I just told myself OK this is not going to kill me and I'm going to be OK and I distracted myself but I didn't fight it.

I never sat down and tried to relax or to breathe correctly I just walked around the house slowly and found something to dust to distract myself and just pretended like I was floating through it and I turn the music on and go outside or a very open place . Sometimes I cleaned out my dresser and just sit on the floor sorting socks and the panic would be intense and then it would pass like a wave coming thru me . Sometimes I get so scared I think I have to run out of the room but I just didn't fight it just told myself I'm not fighting you I'm just gonna ride this out . Now if you find yourself hyperventilating try to take deep breath and count to six and then let it out over six seconds like you're blowing through a straw that does help but do that while your also distracted with some other small chore because if you get to fixated on your breathing then you can actually make yourself feel lightheaded. I would meditate on a scripture such as "be still and know I am your God" "The Lord is protecting and healing me"

But the best thing you can do is to take good care of yourself. Go to bed when you're tired and get as much rest as possible do not eat any caffeine or drink any caffeine. Also if you have an upset stomach and you can take Tums or something like that because sometimes it's a conditioned response due to a vasovagal spasm.

People who have irritable bowel or acid in your stomach do well if they take some kind of antacid ....t does seem to help with anxiety to settle the stomach .

Whenever you feel like you can't breathe just hold your breath will breathe facing the fear is important .. sometimes you fail and get yourself all worked up but just accept it as a part of the process of getting better.

But most importantly be sure to have a good physical have them check your thyroid check your blood sugar check your vitamin D and B 12. I'm 55 and I just learned last month that I have a mitral valve prolapse. People who have that have a higher incidence of having anxiety and panic recent studies have shown. Learning deep breathing exercises helps when you start feeling some anxiousness coming on but it's very difficult to stop a panic attack with deep breathing and less you're just a pro at it but deep breathing is one thing that can help keep you in a more relaxed and peaceful state which can help avoid some of the triggers to your panic attacks.

My triggers are sugar sweet tea and too much dark chocolate. But the main one is not getting enough rest or exercise.

If you're having panic that's lasting over an hour I definitely think you should consider seeing a doctor and discuss medication . Sometimes just knowing you have the medication helps ward off a panic attack. Medication helps give your nervous system a rest too so you will probably do very well as long as you're completely honest with your doctor and you're in therapy.

Medication without some type of therapy is A red flag because the therapy will help you learn how to cope when you don't have medication . I was speaking before 200 people and started feeling the panic come on but what I learned in my therapy helped me to continue speaking even in the midst of a panic attack.

I have always preferred to take Ativan because it takes longer to work therefore is less addictive giving you the opportunity to use some cognitive behavioral techniques to help you through it. By the time the medicine kicks in your thoughts have either made it worse or actually made it better. Xanax works much faster and may be necessary for some people who have such severe panic. You have to work with your doctor to find out which is the best medication for your type of anxiety.

Because the initial panic is truly physical and you can better learn to manage it by just letting go and accepting and floating. That is one of the things that Dr. Weeks recommends and I can tell you that it took me three years to manage it and that was 20 years ago .

I've had two or three panic attacks in the last 20 years and it's feels sometimes worse when you don't have them often because you forget how to respond but if you just remember to face accept and float it will pass.

When I look back on it now I wish I had taken medication because it probably would've helped me get through it quicker. I am not a doctor I'm just someone who has experienced what you all are experiencing.

I continue to do the things that I wanted to do in life and I don't let the fear of having one keep me from doing anything. Because at one time I was Agoraphobic and afraid to leave my house but now I know that it cannot keep me from living and doing the things that I want to do because I continued to push forward.

Besides you don't want it to become the only focus of your life . Recovery is just around the corner and managing it so you can continue to do the things you love is 100% possible.

DustinS85 in reply to sgnasandy

I need to print this out. It sounds like a lot of good advice on this comment. ThAnk you.

I feel you! I have been having an average of two panic attacks a day for the last 6 weeks! I am in the middle of an Acute Stress Reaction! I have had “regular” panic attacks before, but nothing like this!

I absolutely agree 💯 percent. My panic attacks last way longer than 10 minutes. I have a heaviness in my chest. Shortness of breath and many other symptoms for over an hour. I read the same articles and doctors have told me the same thing I call bs. Live one day in our shoes.

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