Have you ever had a panic attack and how did you react?

@wotfpatty (2068)
United States
August 2, 2007 12:55pm CST
I have had panic attacks all my life. I think I had a panic attack in kindergarten! I went through a real tough time in my late teens/early 20's dealing with "out of the blue" panic attacks. I knew what to do but, when I was having one, I just let it take over me. I have grown and learned a lot but still, I have my moments (especially in crowded, big places) when my heart starts pounding and my legs get weak and all I want to do is GET OUT OF THERE. Have you ever had a panic attack and if so, how did you deal with it? Any secrets for getting through one with the least amount of trauma? I try to breathe calmly, tell myself I am fine and there is nothing to be worried about, and wait it out. I do not run away from the situation because that just reinforces to those stupid panic attacks that they are tougher than me. How about you? Your secrets to getting through a panic attack?
3 people like this
9 responses
@sr0415 (1140)
• Philippines
4 Aug 07
Hi patty! :) I did have panic attacks - even now. You'll know it when I utter the word "Yay!" hehehe... I usually when panic when time is not enough for me to work on something. *sigh* (Actually, now I'm on panic.) I take a little breather. And later, I buy some chocolates. :) And I'll call a friend to let out some things. Enjoy your weekend and God bless! =)
@wotfpatty (2068)
• United States
5 Aug 07
I used to call my mom when I was in panic mode. That was long ago. She has passed on and,through her 4 year battle, I really got stronger. I HAD to. I think we all can do what we have to do. It's the small stuff that sends me reeling. Thanks for the reply. :)
@sr0415 (1140)
• Philippines
7 Aug 07
Hi patty! :) Mom really knows best. I just had a talk with my mom this morning regarding decisions I want to do with my life. I'm sorry to hear that your mom has passed away. You're right about that. Tough times are characted builders. Mostly, when we face trying times, it's just a matter of knowing how to deal with them so that we will not blown away that hard. Take care and God bless! \(",)_
1 person likes this
@coolseeds (3921)
• United States
3 Aug 07
Wal-Mart does this to me. They do not play music in them where I live. I think it is the cause as it does not happen in other stores. I guess they will sacrifice the comfort of shoppers to save a few cents. I have 2 remedies to cure my anxiety. Valium or do not to go Wal-Mart.
1 person likes this
@wotfpatty (2068)
• United States
3 Aug 07
My first store I refused to go to was KMart. I had a panic attack in a KMart and, after that, all KMarts were evil. I realize now, it wasn't KMart but what was going on in my head at the time but still, I started to cross off places to go because, if I panicked there, I refused to go back. My list of safe places got really small for a while. Like home and uhhh...well...home. Now, I just go where I have to go and deal. It still stinks though. I think you're lucky that all you have to do is avoid Wal-Mart to keep anxiety away. That's easy enough to do!
@wotfpatty (2068)
• United States
3 Aug 07
My first store I refused to go to was KMart. I had a panic attack in a KMart and, after that, all KMarts were evil. I realize now, it wasn't KMart but what was going on in my head at the time but still, I started to cross off places to go because, if I panicked there, I refused to go back. My list of safe places got really small for a while. Like home and uhhh...well...home. Now, I just go where I have to go and deal. It still stinks though. I think you're lucky that all you have to do is avoid Wal-Mart to keep anxiety away. That's easy enough to do!
@moshna (2)
9 Aug 07
I feel so much better to hear exactly what I feel when this happens being described by someone else. I too suffer from panic attacks. I too believe that I have probably suffered with them all my life but now that I have gotten older they try to get the better of me. When I feel an attack coming on my gut reaction is to freak out. I've gotten to be quite the expert at talking myself out of them but that doesn't make the next one any easier. One of the best pieces of advise I have been given is deep breathing. Breathe in a count of ten, hold for ten, out for ten. Supposedly it helps as a natural tranquilizer. I find this very hard to do, but trust me, breathing helps. I don't know about you, but when I am having an attack I almost make it worse by forgetting to breathe. I also try to distract myself by doing something I enjoy. I hope it helps.
1 person likes this
@wotfpatty (2068)
• United States
13 Aug 07
Absolutely, deep breathing really helps and so does distraction. I do that all the time to keep my mind from focusing on my racing heart. I used to totally forget to breathe but now I pay attention to that and force myself to breathe nice and slow (and deep). It helps! Good luck to you.
• United States
9 Aug 07
I am 22 and I recived medicine for my panic attacks. the dctor gave me zoloft and some other medicine. My first one was when I toom some diet pills and I was numd all over, then I started breathing heavily. It was really scary! I still get them even though I no longer take diet pills, I sweat and get the numbness in my hands, feet, arms and legs! I guess I am over stressed?
1 person likes this
@wotfpatty (2068)
• United States
13 Aug 07
Oh! Those diet pills can really cause problems! The medication can really help a lot as can breathing deeply and relaxation. Good luck!
@bojo96 (46)
• United States
4 Aug 07
Hi Patty, When I have a panic attack (which thankfully are much rarer than they use to be)...anyway...I pull out a book or magazine that I'm interested in. I know it can be somewhat inconvenient at times, but if I was driving I would pull over and read a bit. It forced my mind to another place than where it was going. I've, also, used a picture/photo that I would carry with me. Just something to make my brain focus on, which naturally caused my breathing to slow. Hope this helps.
1 person likes this
@wotfpatty (2068)
• United States
5 Aug 07
Definitely shifting the focus to other things is a big help. If I think "what if... my heart is really racing...I feel faint..." I'm doomed. When I shift and try to focus on reading or anything else, it does help a great deal. Thanks for the reply!
@speakeasy (4215)
• United States
3 Aug 07
What I do is: close my eyes and take long deep slow breathes for a few minutes. If you are in a place where you can't close your eyes (like when I have a panic attack while driving my car) the breathing helps until you can get to a place where you can close your eyes. Something else that helps reduce the number and frequency of the attacks for me is self-hypnosis. I picked up a CD for "stress relief" on the Internet and using it every couple of days does help. Not a cure; but, no chemicals either.
@wotfpatty (2068)
• United States
5 Aug 07
Relaxation is really important. I also have some CDs that are really good. But when I get anxious, all I learned goes out the window. Still, I am definitely MUCH better than I was. I have flown around the country, been a cruise, sat through a concert with 70,000 other people. Breathing and knowing I won't die helps a lot and just giving in and saying whatever has really helped to make the panic seem weaker than I am. Thanks for your reply. :)
@Perry2007 (2229)
• Philippines
13 Oct 07
Perhaps in my life I just had a few of those. I remembered one, When I was caught in the middle of a big crowd where I could not breath literally. I had to climb a fence just to get out of the crowd. I never got in to crowded places again. Everytime I had to, I always tel myself there is much room to move. More like what you do
@kate44 (100)
12 Oct 07
Hi there, my husband has been suffering from depression and panic attacks for about 6 months now and he is finally starting to feel better, there are lots of ways you can help relieve symptoms of panic attacks, i have written about panic attacks on my blog which has some really helpful info, good luck x www.panickattacks.blogspot.com
@ednab4u (21)
• India
18 Aug 07
Here's how to deal with panic attacks! Raw carrot and lettuce juice has calming properties and helps when you're stressed out, said Grandma. Science has now given weight to this theory. Apparently it's the magnesium (present in moderate amounts in these veggies) that helps by regulating serotonin balance. The antioxidants are a bonus. Drink 2 to 3 cups a day if you're a worry wort.