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What calms you down during an anxiety attack?


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#1 esmereldaskysurfer

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 02:33 PM

Im talking non-pharmaceutical here...

For me, it's cold water. Specifically sipping cold water. When i have an attack my mouth gets dry as a bone, so my mum used to give me a glass of water to sip, and now for me it's synonymous with calming down. I have a bottle of water with it's own straw (great because then my shaking hands cant spill anything!) and i've been known just to refill and refill it during a bad attack.

Diagnosis: Schizoaffective disorder (unspecified type) or maybe Schizophrenia. Diagnosis is in question right now. GAD, Social Phobia

Current Medications: Lamictal 100mg/ day, Wellbutrin XL 150mg/ day, Haldol 6mg/ day, Luvox 200mg/ day Zyprexa 2.5mg PRN, Thorazine 25mg PRN, Xanax 0.25mg PRN. Trying to eliminate the need for the Zyprexa and Thorazine.

Medications i've tried: Prozac, Celexa, Lunesta, Ambien, Saphris, Risperdal, Trileptal, Tegretol, Seroquel XR, Seroquel, Trazodone, Fanapt, Remeron, Lithium, Klonopin, Ativan, Invega, Latuda

"All the world will be your enemy, Prince of a Thousand enemies. And when they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you; digger, listener, runner, Prince with the swift warning. Be cunning, and full of tricks, and your people will never be destroyed. " ~ Frith, Watership Down

 

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#2 Eden

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 03:47 PM

My positive anchor is to a hot shower, thought it's not like I can say, hey dmv people, I'm just going to take a shower now, so unfortunately it doesn't help me much.

New Dx: Psychosis NOS, MDD + Aspergers and ADHD Inattentive type w/ social anxiety.
Also: Celiac disease and chronic 'flavor of the week' insomnia.

-Scratch that, uncle Sam gave me a clean bill of health cuz I talk gud n stuff.

 

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It is necessary to join the crowd, or get out of their way,
in order not to be trampled to death by them" William Hazlitt.


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#3 melissaw72

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 03:51 PM

Talking to certain people will help calm me down. (some stress me out; that is why I say certain people). Also sometimes doing something that gets me active and my mind off of it, like walking, or cleaning, or organizing something.

Current Psychiatric Dxs ... Schizoaffective, bipolar type; Anxiety disorder, PTSD, agoraphobia

Also recovered Anorexic/Bulimic finally after 20 years.

Current meds: Provigil, Klonopin, Xanax, Naltrexone, Wellbutrin, Abilify, Lamictal, Prozac, Lansoprazole, Linzess, QVAR inhaler, Xopenex inhaler, Methimazole, Flonase, Flexeril, Zofran, Iron.

Any questions just ask :)

 

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#4 Miss Blue

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 03:57 PM

I've thought about the dive reflex when you mentioned cold water. http://www.emoclear....edivereflex.htm

For me, taking a deep breath, holding it for five seconds, and slowly releasing it helps.

Also, i try to tell myself that it's just my anxiety acting up, and that the roof isn't really about ot crash down on my head, and that it will pass. This seems to help me a decent amount.

My Crap:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Depression, Attention Deficit Disorder


My Crap that's not diagnosed but that I most likely have:

Anxiety Attacks


My Crap that attempts to treat my Crap:

Pristiq: 100mg

Xanax: 3MG (sometimes slip and take 4MG)

Adderall: 30MG (sometimes 30MG twice a day - I'm allowed to take up to three 30MG tablets per day.)



~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Namaste ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
;) The divine within me respects the divine in you. :loved:


#5 enlightened_plutonian

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 04:11 PM

I find that telling myself that it is just a panic attack and won't hurt me to be helpful, though it can be difficult. Once I have done that I can work on things like slowing down my breathing.
Current diagnosis = psychosis NOS
History = depression (remission since April 2009), SI (remission since April 2009), alcohol abuse (remission since March 2007)
Past false dx = BPD (only symptom I had was SI), schizophrenia (I was very sleep deprived at the time)
Also have diabetes and pain issues (undiagnosed) and hayfever (April - June)

Current meds = Seroquel 800mg XR (as 400 in the morning and 400 in the night)
Also on insulin and Microgynon

I am not deluded, I just don't agree with your reality!

#6 hallowedink

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 04:15 PM

I focus on my breathing, slowing that down. My Mum taught me to do that what I first started having panic attacks when I was much younger, and I've kept on doing it. I find that if I calm myself down physically then it's easier to break out of the panic cycle. I also have a sort of "safe place", which is an image that I focus really hard on recreating in my mind. It's a location that I feel safe in, and it gives me something to focus on by trying to recall it in as vivid detail as possible.

My Brain Salad: BPD, MDD, Insomnia, Anorexia Nervosa, "very likely" C-PTSD, Migraines
What they give me for it: Seroquel 300mg, Wellbutrin 300mg, Lofepramine 140mg, Pizotifen 3mg, Naproxen PRN, Zopiclone PRN, Valium PRN`

Have also dealt with: Panic Disorder (now in remission), Self-harm (stopped ~4 months, but still relapsing occasionally)


#7 notfred

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 04:18 PM

I use the mammalian dive reflex and dunk my head in ice water.

#8 discomposed

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 04:38 PM

Anxiety at home: long shower, hugging my stuffed animal
Anxiety in public: holding my mother's hand, staring at something very tiny (small text, screw, etc.)

Dx: Bipolar I, Anxiety Disorder NOS, "disordered eating"
Rx: 250mg divalproex, 10mg escitalopram
Past Rx: aripiprazole, bupropion, citalopram, divalproex, escitalopram, fluoxetine, lorazepam, olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone, sertraline, trazodone, venlafaxine


#9 Titania

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:12 PM

I hold out my arm and raise it slowly to the count of three, and then back down to a count of three. I then make sure I breathe in when my arm is going up and breathe out when it goes down again. Being able to focus on the speed and depth of the breath by using my arm as a anchor really works. This also works really well if someone else does the arm bit and you just follow with the breathing.

“I am naïve and I have fucked up but I tell you something else. I believe in change. I don't mind getting my hands dirty because my hands are dirty already. I don't mind giving my life to this because I'm only alive because of the compassion and love of others.” Russell Brand.

 

"She said to go ahead and feel the feelings. I did. They felt like shit." Anne Lammot.

 

"you are not too old/and it is not too late/to dive into your increasing depths/where life calmly gives out/it's own secret" Rilke

 

"You," he said, "are a terribly real thing in a terribly false world, and that, I believe, is why you are in so much pain." Emilie Autumn - The Asylum For WayWard Victorian Girls.


#10 Kaashii

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:23 PM

At home: Music, usually loud enough to drown out my thought processes. And hiding under the blankets with a stuffie.
In public: Getting the heck away from whatever's triggering it. (If that's not possible, I'm pretty screwed.) Then having a cold drink. Calling a friend and ranting.

If all of the above fails, I'm stuck either riding it out or resorting to the PRN pharmaceuticals. Trying to control my breathing doesn't work for me, meditation or relaxation techniques don't work for me. They never have, and in general anything that tries to force me to sit still will send me into an even bigger attack or outright rage.

Type I Bipolar (Cycles faster than a Suzuki Hayabusa), Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia, a whole bunch of other assorted flavors of disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder .  Self-Proclaimed Queen of the Med Weenies, #1 Problem Child of the Counseling Center, Starting Goaltender for Pink Freud

 

Current Meds That We HOPE Will Fix My Head: Saphris (again!)5mg, Remeron 30mg, Lamictal 200mg, Xanax 0.5mg BID, Adderall 15 mg TID, Ambien 10mg, Celexa 20mg, Levothyroxine 25 mcg
Previous Meds That DIDN'T Fix My Head: Latuda, Paxil (sugar pill!), Lamictal, Abilify (No!), Wellbutrin (twice), Seroquel, Effexor, Prozac (Not just no but HELL no!), Klonopin, Zoloft (twice), Topamax (twice, may try again), Trileptal (twice), Geodon (Never again!), Lunesta, Lexapro, Invega, Saphris, Celexa, Pamelor, Cymbalta (More like Cymbarfa!), Pristiq, Serzone(Did wonders for my anxiety but HOLY NUMBNESS, Batman!), Risperdal, Methylin

"Normal is not the norm, it's just a uniform; forget about the norm, take off your uniform - we are all beautiful" ~ Delain, "We Are The Others"


#11 Phoenix_Rising

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:07 PM

Like Miss Blue and Enlightened Plutonium, I repeat to myself, "these are just symptoms of my illness, they will not last and they will not hurt me". I also have a book called, "The Little Book of Zen". Its full of quotes that are grounding.

Current Dx: BPII, GAD, OCD and PTSD

Other crap: sleep apnea and diabetes type II

Rx: Prozac 20 mg; Zyprexa 15 mg; Gabapentin 1200 mg; Vyvanse 100 mg;  Klonopin 2 mg and prn; Lithium 900 mg; Meformin 2000 mg; Metropolol 200 mg; Premarin .625 mg  Insulin 19 mg

>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Me? Crazy?  I should get down off this unicorn and slap you.

_________________________________________________________________________________

I am not a mental health care professional, please seek out a professional's advice.


#12 apetasticaL

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:08 PM

at home: being held by my boyfriend, hiding under the covers or in the closet

in public: staring at the ground, trying to regulate my breathing, a cold drink of water
smiling despair. no solution, but constantly exercising an authority over myself that i know is useless. the essential thing is not to lose oneself, and not to lose that part of oneself that lies sleeping in the world. -albert camus

dx: bipolar disorder NOS, borderline personality disorder, substance abuse
rx: lamotrigine 25 [titrating back to 200], aripiprazole 10, topiramate 50

past rx: lithium carbonate, divalproex sodium, levetiracetam, gabapentin, fluoxetine, paroxetine, doxepin, trazodone, quetiapine, paliperidone, olanzapine, ziprasidone, risperidone, trifluoperazine, methylphenidate, phenobarbital, chlordiazepoxide, diazepam, clonazepam, lorazepam, temazepam, buspirone, hydroxyzine, zolpidem, ramelteon

#13 Another bipolar bear

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 07:59 PM

Breathing into a paper bag, as I'm doing now! lol and hiding and distracting myself too.

Schizoaffective Disorder (Bipolar type), Complex - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder , Anxiety Disorder NOS


Lithium 1000mg , (Abilify) Aripiprazole 20mg, (Zyprexa) Olanazpaine 5mg PRN



“When you are mad, mad like this, you don't know it. Reality is what you see. When what you see shifts, departing from anyone else's reality, it's still reality to you.”
Marya Honrnbacher


#14 Wooster

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:52 PM

Face in a bowl of ice water, or cold shower to the face helps a lot.
Jumping up and down for a good 5 minutes (intense physical activity)
Those are both good if I want to try to change my brain chemistry rapidly.

Followed by counting my breaths, mindfulness of sensations/self soothing, and cutting down environmental stimulation.

Petting Nugget, while she's squishing me and smelling her also help.

Boards I mod on: self harm, panic/anxiety, ptsd, ocd, dissociative, sleep, not otherwise specified, benzos, lifestyle alternatives, therapy, health care system

Current meds: 60# golden retriever service dog, (swellbutrin, light box, vitamin D for the impending lack of sunlight blahs)

*disclaimer--Nothing I write should be construed as professional advice or creating a therapeutic relationship.*

Hurray! I *finally* figured out how to correct my starting weight on MFP!
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Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Nutrition Facts For Foods


#15 CookieN

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 12:10 AM

Breathing slowly and deeply always helped me. Also telling myself that nothing was going to happen, that I had been through this before, and it would go away.
Never be scared of an anxiety attack, if you are scared you will bring more panic attacks, if you are not afraid, they will become less

Edited by CookieN, 28 April 2012 - 12:12 AM.


#16 cfranco92

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 10:47 PM

drinking cold water or grounding myself by touching something cold

Dx: Schizoaffective disorder (bipolar type), PTSD, anxiety, hemiplegic migraines, asthma, hypothyroidism, tardive dyskinesia
Rx: Ativan 2mg PRN, Hydroxyzine 25mg PRN, Albuterol Inhalor
Past Rxs: Abilify, Saphris, Risperdal, Geodon, Lamictal, Prozac, Nortriptyline, Paxil, Pamelor, Celexa, Klonopin, Hydroxyzine, Propranolol, Bromocriptine, Zyprexa, Haldol, Invega, Clozaril, Lunesta, Ambien, Navane, Wellbutrin, Lithium, Seroquel, Cogentin, Verapamil, Trazadone, Latuda, Topamax, Synthyroid, Depakote, Zofran

I have been psych med free since 8/17/2013 as directed by my pdoc. 

A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. - John Steinbeck.


#17 melissaw72

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 10:28 AM

I'm going to have to try the cold water head dive. I'd never heard of it before reading it here, and it seems a lot of you all do it. Thanks for the idea.

Current Psychiatric Dxs ... Schizoaffective, bipolar type; Anxiety disorder, PTSD, agoraphobia

Also recovered Anorexic/Bulimic finally after 20 years.

Current meds: Provigil, Klonopin, Xanax, Naltrexone, Wellbutrin, Abilify, Lamictal, Prozac, Lansoprazole, Linzess, QVAR inhaler, Xopenex inhaler, Methimazole, Flonase, Flexeril, Zofran, Iron.

Any questions just ask :)

 

"I've learned so much from my mistakes, I think I'll make a few more."


#18 Wooster

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 10:47 AM

M, apparently mammals have a reflex that gets triggered when our faces get into cold water (hairline to ears to chin) that instantly slows down our breathing and heartrate.

ETA: So make sure your bowl is deep enough that you won't bonk your nose on the bottom.

Plus, its FRIGGING COLD!

:)

A less messy alternative I've seen is to put ice cubes and water in a gallon sized zipper top bag.

Edited by Wooster, 29 April 2012 - 10:47 AM.

Boards I mod on: self harm, panic/anxiety, ptsd, ocd, dissociative, sleep, not otherwise specified, benzos, lifestyle alternatives, therapy, health care system

Current meds: 60# golden retriever service dog, (swellbutrin, light box, vitamin D for the impending lack of sunlight blahs)

*disclaimer--Nothing I write should be construed as professional advice or creating a therapeutic relationship.*

Hurray! I *finally* figured out how to correct my starting weight on MFP!
21850981.png
Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Nutrition Facts For Foods


#19 scatty

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 01:35 PM

I try thought diffusion. Label the anxiety, breathing, panic, and send it like a leaf down a stream. Sometimes I just make room for it and accept it (I'm learning ACT therapy) I'm getting less anxiety using these techniques, along with meds.

Dx:
Bipolar I & Anxiety.  Self diagnosed cunt.

My New (old) Meds: (previously these kept me the most stable)
Lithium ER 1350 mgs.
Lamictal 200 mgs.

Klonopin 2 mgs.

 

Practicing CBT, DBT, and ACT self-help therapy.

Crazy since the 80's!
 


#20 xxyercutexx

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 08:18 PM

If I'm at work, I go use the rest room. Go into the stall and breathe for a few minutes. I then wash my hands (slowly) and focus on that instead of my panic attack symptoms. I look at myself in the mirror and breathe some more, metally telling myself to calm down, then I smile at myself. I also get a drink of water. Another odd thing, putting on deodorant when I'm panicking seems to help me. My biggest fear is other people knowing I am having a panic attack, so by putting on deodorant, I feel I am stopping the sweat response and therefore hiding my symptoms.

Hope this helped!





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