Anxiety and Panic Attacks - How do you cope?

Hi all,

I have suffered with my mental health for many years but since COVID things have got a lot worse.

I am a very social person and I have found the isolation very hard. I draw energy from being with others and as a result of lockdown feel very very low.

2 weeks ago I unexpectedly triggered a panic attack so bad I blacked out. Since then, I’ve barely made it out of the bedroom. I’m physically sick every day, nothing stays down.

My attacks are so draining I literally fall asleep as soon as they abate, like within seconds.

I’m now starting to worry about my job - I can tell my boss is p***ed off with me. This makes it worse.

My anxiety is particularly bad first thing in the morning, before I’ve even opened my eyes I have an all consuming sense of dread. Doctor thinks as there’s no solid trigger from my attacks, that this is me anticipating a panic attack out of the blue, and as a result I give myself a panic attack.

Stressing about stress before I’m even stressed, if you like.

This is destroying my life, every time it takes longer to recover. My husband is fairly patient and understanding but I can see it’s even wearing thin on him now.

I know lots of you have similar issues I wondered what you do to get through it? Is there anything you particularly recommend?

I have tried so many things over the years but I’m willing to try anything and everything again and more if it will eventually get me to a point where I’m healthy again.

Thanks for reading xoxoxo

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Sounds stupid, but have you tried just taking deep breaths? A local mental health charity did a presentation of my office last year (before Covid) and said if you breathe in to the count of four, hold for four, breathe out for four, then hold for four and repeat it’s not possible to panic at the same time as doing that.

Or you could try the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 grounding technique

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I’m so sorry you feel like this :heart: I have suffered from anxiety for many years now and iv had a couple of times where it has got as bad as you re describing. Try not to feel too much guilt for the way you are feeling (I know that’s no easy when anxiety is high) because you are not doing anything wrong :heart: I always remember reading an article (many moons ago so I don’t know the source) that when we are having a panic attack we aren’t breathing out for log enough so we get too much oxygen making our panic worse. When i feel am attack coming on I concentrate hard on breathing out for as long as my lungs allow me, this triggers an automatic breath intake which you just go straight back to concentrating on the breath out once the intake has happened. I really hope this makes sense, I’ll try to explain it differently if it doesn’t. We are all here for you :heart:

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Hello, it’s nice to meet you @Abs53 , I’m called either as Anne or Margaret here

I won’t say there’s an instant cure for stopping panic attacks, I’ve been there though the one I have is usually a sudden one without any warning at all or sometimes an event in the present unknowingly is the trigger for the panic attack to occur. The way I used to cope with it before was by writing the entire experience or scenario in a journal. The other part it was my youngest sibling’s idea, he made me re watch and finish the anime called Attack on Titan on NetFlix, if I hadn’t viewed it once in the past for its first episode, I’m pretty sure I would have been more terrified for how the show works, people dying left and right due to Titans, some out of humanity’s greed, and some were soldiers sacrificial deaths.

I ended up being so exposed to fear in that series last year and this year to the point that most of the times I would tell myself to cast aside my own dread and fear too, In a way I was placed under Exposure therapy without him realizing that he was actually helping me out too. You could attempt to find something that may interest you in the present too, some go outdoors either to walk or jog, some find peace in meditation, others attempt to understand how the human physiology works to have a better comprehension for why their feeling a certain way, it all depends to the person with the panic attacks and anxiety. Hopefully what I said helps you out too

Blessed Be,
Margaret

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I can give you advice that my therapist told me. I get them bad as well. Sit on a chair with your feet at the floor. Your hands on your knees. Take your hands and start patting your thighs. I know it sounds silly but it takes your one sided brain and makes it whole to even things out. Idk the medical terms but that basically is what happens. You have to do it when you feel a panic attack coming on or when you need grounding I’ll say a prayer and light a candle.
Also, tap your thymus… between the collar bone and chest …right under the collar bone.

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That’s a good one!! I learned this too. :heart:

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I’m so sorry. I always feel bad when I hear that other people have the same type of anxiety or panic or both, that I do. Mine will manifest into physical issues as well. I started doing the meditations for anxiety on Headspace last year. I also do the breathing exercise that @IrisW mentioned. I think I am going to try the technique from @christina4 though. That sounds like it could help me too.

I do a lot of control breathing, I go for a walk, lay down, & I use the meditation. Have you tried journaling the troublesome thoughts? I know that sometimes I can’t focus enough to write something down, but sometimes I can force myself to do it & just getting it out helps me. I’m so sorry that you are going through this. I will think about it & see if I come up with anything else that I may have tried.

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Hate to hear this @Abs53 , this pandemic has really changed a lot of things for everyone. I struggle with high anxiety and know panic attacks as well. My method for relief and management is grounding myself something as simple as affirmations repeated before I get out of bed, stepping outside and sitting with nature, to using CBD spliffs or gummies. Also, with the onset of a panic attack I do the 5 senses roll call. Name one thing I see, Name one thing I smell, name one thing I hear, one thing I can touch, one thing I taste.
Say the items out loud, touch what you can, taste what you can (tea, candy, sugar, salt, etc) focusing on this slows my thoughts and usually brings me to a calmer place. Then I do a few deep breaths.
Your not alone, :heart:

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@Abs53
I am watching videos on YouTube about visual mindful meditation.
Since I’ve lost my mother my health has turned for the worse.
Chronic inflammation is difficult to deal with, involves stress.
I’m an earth sign so I feel comfortable isolating, but you thrive socialising.
Anyway, the technique involves visualising the pain or condition and let go.
Do not force it, try to understand why things are happening, and gradually let it drift away.
Bless your husband too. Not many people have supporting and understanding partners.
Hope it helps, I’m working on it too.
Blessed be🙏

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I’ve had anxiety attacks and panic attacks my entire life - since I was 6 years old. I am 50 now.

I’ve tried everything. Medications, therapy, exercise, diet change…etc…you name it, I tried it.

What’s really helped for me - is of course diet and exercise - but mindfulness meditation and mindfulness practices in general - always coming back to my breath.
And if possible I always do them outside with my feet firmly on the ground. Barefoot is even better!

This is why I do a lot of mindfulness videos on my channel.

But, I will say this…some people think they can only meditate once per day…I will tell you this…you can meditate 100 times a day if you need too and it doesn’t have to be hours long…it can be as simple as

Stop
deep breath in
exhale long
deep breath in
exhale long.
Saying to yourself I am safe. I am ground. I am loved.
Deep breath in.
exhale long.

You just meditated and probably will feel better – not cured…but better in that moment. :smiley:

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Yes, I love your videos. Especially the one you posted today. :heart:

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Whatever you find helpful, I do hope you find calm and comfort. I haven’t seen the usual posts you make. Or you in general!! I honestly was a bit worried but I figured that you were busy. I will continue to pray and send healing energy :sparkling_heart::pray:

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This may be hard to swallow, but have you considered taking a break or delegate?
Not everyone is Terminator or Wonderwoman as society try to make us believe.
Is it worth pushing yourself to the limit to try living the American Dream?
Things happen for a reason and when we don’t listen the body hits harder until we do.
Consider checking your chakras. I have an overactive root chakra that throws the others out of balance.

I’ve lost a dream job, run out of money to pay my mother’s debt, stress levels hit the roof, I had boss and colleagues stabbing me on the back.
Mother have died so now I can take care of myself. No chance to find a job, I’m too old apparently.
Looking back, was it all worth it?
I don’t think so.
Life is not a bed of roses, every decade gets more challenging.
I hope is not to late for you. Get back on track and enjoy a healthy life.
We all deserve it!
Take care of yourself.:pray:
Blessed be

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Hey there Abs :hugs: I know how you’re feeling right now as I’ve suffered from anxiety and panic attacks for as long as I can remember. You’ve got a lot of solid advice here so far including the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique and a form of physical touch therapy that @christina4 mentioned which is a form of EFT, I believe. I’ll leave some links at the end here.

One of the things that I like to do when I feel panic setting in is box breathing. This essentially works to slow and regulate your breathing and heart rate. Some people can do box breathing on four counts but others can only do three counts. You breath in like you’re tracing a box, if that makes sense. Breathe in for four seconds, hold for four seconds, breathe out for four seconds, hold for four seconds.

Something I’ve also tried for supplements includes GABA and L-Theanine. Now, obviously I’m not a doctor. This advice isn’t professional or medical, just from my own experience. GABA stands for Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid and it is a neurotransmitter that blocks impulses between nerve cells in the brain. GABA is something that our bodies naturally synthesize using glutamate and the active form of vitamin B6. It’s sold as an over-the-counter supplement and has helped me calm down that excitability of anxiety and panic attacks. I take it every day :woman_shrugging:

L-Theanine is an amino acid that’s primarily found in green and black tea, and some mushrooms. It’s also taken for anxiety and stress reduction as an over-the-counter supplement. I also take this one daily but at night because it makes me sleepy :yawning_face:

I do hope you find something that works well for you. Dealing with this kind of stress and anxiety, especially during a pandemic, is absolutely no fun :heart:

Here’s some links!

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@Abs53 , I’m so sorry to hear this. I can’t say i relate because i have never had a panic attack. I may get anxious at times. It’ more like overthinking. But i do pull myself back. Since being here at Spells8, I’ve learned to mediate and just calm myself down. Have you tried getting your Chakras unblocked with crystals or stones? Wish I could offer solid advice. But, i will light a candle and say a prayer for you.
May you find peace and tranquility real soon. You have been very missed in the forum.

Blessed be

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Box breathing, thank you for reminding me what it’s called, that’s what I was trying to describe but probably not brilliantly from memory.

I had a really bad anxiety attack near the start of the panic. I thought something was physically wrong, hard palpitations, shaking, running hold and cold, dizzy and nauseous. Lasted 3 days until my heart started coming back to normal.

It absolutely terrified me. And that’s when I decided it’s acceptable to take mental health not just physical health days at work.

I’ve found meditation and exercise to beneficial for me over the last few months.

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I’ve had anxiety all my life, but I’ve been lucky to never pass out from one. Run home in tears more than once, but not pass out. I’m sorry you’re having it so bad.

Breathing has helped me, as well as mindfulness. But what helped me a lot when I was just freaking out about being, well, outside was music. I got myself an MP3 player and would listen to it in one ear. That helped me a lot.

Or course, not when Good Vibrations came up when I was at the OBGYN. Well, maybe it did because that gave me a giggle at a time I needed it. But you get the idea.

Hope this helps you some! I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers!

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@Abs53 I just put on a big pot of Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup and thought of you and the soothing calming energy you need right now.
If I could virtually send you a bowl I would! You’re in my thoughts.
I added this to the energy Exchange, is that okay?


Love & Light,

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So sorry to hear things have been more difficult for you lately, @Abs53- sending a big hug your way! :heart:

Adding my voice to all those who suffer from anxiety attacks- it’s never a fun time. And last year was particularly trying what with the isolation and distance from loved ones. My anxiety has improved a lot since my partner moved in with me, but there are definitely still tough days.

Others have given some wonderful advice and resources- covering everything from breathing to meditation exercises :person_in_lotus_position: Just adding in a small suggestion that anything you can do to find and nurture connections with others might help to ease anxious feelings. It may be easier said than done, but as a wonderful social butterfly, focusing on the bonds of love that make you happy may help to keep the anxiety at bay Abs! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Sending so much love and light your way. I hope your situation improves soon and you find a wealth of good feelings to help chase the anxiety away! Many blessings to you- you are in my thoughts :pray:

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Thanks for adding the links! I’m sure she’ll get a better understanding with them. :relaxed::rose:

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