Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org

How do I get through a panic attack? Please help.


Recommended Posts

I have been having panic attacks more frequently now. Sometimes they wake me up in the middle of the night. I feel panicky if I think about not being able to breathe. I get panicky when I think about having a cold, when my nose would be stopped up, and not being able to get enough air through my mouth. Sometimes it's thinking about what would happen if my lungs just quit working. These things are sometimes what triggers the attacks. Sometimes it's worrying about my life situation.

 

What happens, for me, is I will start feeling short of breath, then I fear not breathing, which makes me even shorter of breath. I feel like I'm suffocating.

 

How in the hell do I get through these things? Good "at-home" strategies that help? Is there a good med, not a benzo if possible, that helps more long-term for panic? I will be talking to my pdoc on Monday.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As for non-benzo related meds, I have found using a beta blocker and gabapentin to be helpful in regulating overall anxiety. But for panic attacks, I do use a benzo, usually xanax.

 

For non- med ways to get through a panic attack, I use coping skills such as reminding myself that this is time-limited event and that it is "just" my body doing its thing.  I do a lot of deep breathing and try to distract myself with the tv or radio.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I take xanax, but you still have to wait for it to kick in. I find lying down in a dark, cool area and focusing only on my breathing can really help. Deep breath in, deep breath out. Remind yourself its temporary, the med (if taken) is going to kick in soon. Sometimes, if its really bad, I'll have an ice cold shower. Or you can dunk your face into freezing water, which triggers a reflex and generally gets rid of some of the panic. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Zoloft has reduced my general level of anxiety, lessening the risk of panic. I believe Paxil is good for this too. But that is something for your doc to discuss with you. I am more likely to panic when I am sick and congested and can't breathe through my nose, so I sympathise with you there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I get the asphyxia feedback loop thing too. Controlled breathing exercises can help a little if they don't make you more anxious. Personally I get just as anxious about hyperventilation as hypo. Forcing yourself to do something which demands your full attention is also quite effective at breaking the cycle.

I reassure myself with the fact that, because of the body's defensive reflexes, it is almost impossible to suffocate without your airways actually being blocked.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the GREAT suggestions. I am writing them down. They happen more often at night, so I will have my list there next to my bed to look at.

 

I am in therapy, but so far the suggestions that she's given me have had minimal effect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...