I have personal experience with panic attacks and i’ve learned a lot about them over the years, so i thought i’d share my basic knowledge to help anyone with anxiety.
a panic attack is when you suddenly feel like you or someone you care about is in life threatening danger; it’s an evolutionary survival tactic where your fight or flight instincts are triggered and adrenaline is released. adrenaline is a natural hormone that gives you a sort of temporary ‘power boost’ so you can ‘fight or flight’. the problem is that panic attacks are triggered simply from enough stress and/or trauma, so it can happen to anyone, any time and anywhere; if you’re not in actual danger here’s what happens-
- spasming in place
- completely conscious
- short of breath because of the spasms
- easily overstimulated by touch, sound and light
- a feeling of eminent death
- some sweating
- you may have the urge curl into ‘fetal position’
the best way to deal with one-
1) go to a safe place that’s preferably quiet and dark. (your room, a bathroom, closet, etc.)
2) lie or sit down, in as comfortable a position as possible
3) let it run its course while doing your best to take slow and deep breaths
4) when it’s over (you’ll know) , if you can, take a cool shower (the focus isn’t to get clean) and then a nap if you can
5) remember what you were doing and what was happening before it started so you can learn to avoid and/or recognize what triggers it.
6) whe you’re ready, talk to someone you trust about it