As if panic attacks themselves weren’t overwhelming enough to begin with, panic disorder is a real thing. This is when a sufferer has recurring panic attacks over a course of several weeks, month, and sometimes even years if left untreated. Panic disorder is a vicious cycle as the fear of another panic attack is developed. It isn’t nice at all, but it can be treated with therapy and coping techniques. Meantime, here’s what to do when having a recurring panic attack.
It isn’t pleasant but it’s true – you have been through this before, and since you made it through then, you’ll make it through now. Simply reassuring yourself of this may help do the trick in calming you down a bit. Think of what you did last time to manage your anxiety and try to implement that again. It may also help to remember a particularly strong past accomplishment in which you beat or managed your panic attack well. This can give you the encouragement you need to breathe through the current episode.
Do your Coping Techniques
It’s possible that if you have experienced one or two panic attacks before, you’ve looked into a variety of relaxation methods that you can practise. Now is the time to definitely do those coping methods.
Some examples of coping methods include breathing exercises, visualization, talking out loud at your anxiety (“I will not let this panic overwhelm me”, or “I am healthy and strong and this will soon pass”), calming yoga poses, meditating, or doing a distracting pastime like listening to music or going for a walk outdoors.
Remember that the onset of panic can be swift, but that it often doesn’t leave just as swiftly. Be patient – give yourself a couple of minutes for the coping mechanisms to actually take effect.
Remove Yourself from Triggers
One of the best things to do when having a panic attack, and one of the quickest ways to ease your symptoms, is to simply remove yourself from triggers as far as possible. You are possibly aware of what some of your triggers are if you have had a panic attack before, but if you are uncertain there are a few things you can examine.
Ask yourself if your environment is making you uncomfortable, and if it is then leave. Perhaps the person or people you are around are the cause of your stress – again; simply get away from them. Even if it’s only a 5 minute breather that may be all that you need to calm down enough and have the worst of the panic symptoms subside.
Hopefully you are around people you know and trust, and that they are already aware of your predisposition to panic attacks. In this case, it’s helpful to turn to them for assistance. They are likely to be less distressed as they are aware of your condition, and so it’s easier for them to help you. Let them know what they can do to assist you, and allow them to help soothe you and support you.
Seek Medical Advice
The ultimate goal is to be able to end your anxiety/ stop recurring panic attacks. What you need to understand most is that this may take some and effort in finding the correct treatment methods for your individual needs – and that this is completely fine.
You deserve the best out of life. If overcoming your panic means seeing a therapist and/ or medications then do it! Be aware that you don’t have to be forced into anything you aren’t comfortable with, and that there are many options available to choose from. No matter which method it is, you can rest assured that it is possible to stop recurring panic attacks once and for all, and that your journey to overcoming them can begin today.