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How can I stop or treat anxiety attacks?

My attacks come on by my thoughts. I'll start thinking "what if I have an anxiety attack, I think I'm going to have an anxiety attack" I repeat this over and over until I have one. They are super uncomfortable and when my breathing starts to get erratic, it is hard to bare. I sometimes take medication but do not like this solution. Any suggestions of what works for you.
Category: Anxiety 6 years ago
Asked 6 years ago

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First off you are lucky if you are not on medication heavily yet, I am and have been for 15 years and I wish I never would have taken any pills(klonopin). The best way I have found for the endless mind games your mind plays has been meditating, try some guided meditation I like ones that don't focus on the breath where I feel like I can't breathe anyway. I also found a lot of great advice in the book How to beat FEAR I think that's the name but it is by Dr. Howard Liebgold you can get it on amazon for around 15 bucks and it really is a great book I would look at the reviews and see what you think. Just breathe deep and try to relax it really sucks but you have to be wiling to experience it to be ok with it. If that makes sense? Good Luck hope it helped a little.
Jerry Heath
Answered 6 years ago
Jerry Heath

Personally, meditation doesn't work for me, because in order to medicate you have to be calm enough to do so, and when you're having a panic attack, it's hard to be calm, therefore; meditation doesn't work in those situations.. But hey! If it works for you, then good. :) I have similar problems. I panic about panicking, lol. I found that medication has been the best solution to ease panic attacks. Anxiety comes from a chemical imbalance in your brain. My physiologist like to call them the "highs" and "lows" if you have too much of one, it can throw your whole system into whack; causing really bad anxiety, and of course panic attacks. Medication helps to balance the two out. There's two different kinds of medicines though. Long term, and short term. Long term would be the stuff that helps balance you out, while short term are sedatives like: Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, etc. These typically just deal with the symptoms of panic attacks. So taking short term meds as needed, and finding a suitable long term medicine can help you greatly. But, like any medication, some work for you, and some don't. You have to find what's right for you, so it's important to see a psychologist regulary, in combination with therapy.
wannabefree
Answered 6 years ago
wannabefree

I agree when you're having a panic attack it is almost impossible to meditate, or even when you're super anxious. I'm not great at it but I feel the thoughts that go through your head and 1,000,000 mph, thoughts cannot do anything they are harmless their feelings about what is going to happen in the future what is already happened and as you realize how to counteract those thoughts and stop them is when you start to feel better, I think it's really that easy but I also know it is also that hard. And yes with medication works you would be a full not to use it, I agree with that 100%. Unfortunately the side effects of the antidepressants are way more than I can handle?
Jerry Heath
Answered 6 years ago
Jerry Heath

EFT tapping can be a really helpful way to calm your body and brain down, by activating your parasympathetic nervous system (responsible for "rest and digest" functions). there are a couple of lists online which basically say the same thing in different words. something that's been really helpful for me is to write the list down a couple of times and try to keep one on me when I'm out, as well as in key rooms of my house. Here they are, hope they help! 1) Accept the any thought or sensation of anxiety. Acknowledge it as the "fight or flight response." Meaning, 98% of our bodies and the way they process information is attuned to our paleolithic past. When we get afraid, our bodies think that we're in true danger (like a ferocious animal attacking us), though our minds know otherwise. This is the root of why most therapists/advice givers say that an "attack" happens in cycles, and it's important to stop it early on. I use to think it was easier said than done, until I understood the nature of anxiety. Accepting it and continuing the circle means that you accept the fear mechanism in your body, and begin to do things that help you acknowledge you're not in a life-threatening situation/that a ferocious lion or tiger isn't going to eat you. Within the acceptance step is compassion toward yourself: it doesn't mean you're erasing your anxiety. You accept it's initial presence, and also note if there was any triggering event. 2) Deep belly breathing. As you said, your breathing becomes erratic when you're anxious. Try breathing in for two seconds, holding for one second, then out for two seconds. That's how your breath should always be, though in moments of anxiety it changes (because your body is trying to get more oxygen to your muscles). Sit and do this with a watch or good music for about 10 minutes and you'll notice a shift. It signals to your body and mind that you're safe. 3) Close your eyes, breath, recenter and begin to have positive talk. Let go of the voice in your head that's expecting the attack by imagining what you'd like to happen in the moment, day or week, instead of what you're afraid will happen. Think of it this way: when you go skiing, you lead yourself wherever your eyes go. If you focus on a rock or dangerous path, you end up crashing into it. If you focus on where you'd like to be (the happy finish line with tea and smiling friends) you end up there. 4) Stop and imagine a friend or beloved family member being in your situation. What would you say to them? Really write what you'd say or say it to aloud. You'd probably say things like "You're safe, everything is great right now. You can be relaxed and happy, just breath. Think of how great you've been doing, and you have been doing great." After you write these out, repeat these exact things to yourself! 5) Make jokes and laugh. If you were actually in danger (a lioness or a natural disaster) you wouldn't stop to laugh. It's an incredible relief of energy that also instantly lets your body know everything is okay, while helping you have a positive focus. 6) What have you done in the past that's helped? Make a list and have it with you or nearby. When you feel yourself getting above a 3 of anxiety, think of that list. 7) Similarly, make a list of your favorite things to do, especially things that are relaxing. When you're in fight or flight, you don't think or realize you could be doing anything other than panicking. Sometimes all I have to do is breathe and think of a list of things I'd like to be doing or my favorite relaxing activities. If I feel myself rising above a 3, I will always take 10-30 minutes to do a relaxing activity. It's always worth it. I feel happier much happier afterward. 7) Relax all your muscles, do a calming physical activity like Tai Chi. After a real attack, I like to draw a bath or use a sauna- very important to sweat out all the adrenaline that's been raised. Something to keep in mind, too, is that what should be celebrated most are the days when anxiety arises and you deal with it well. I often celebrate days or hours when I have no anxiety whatsoever, though the steps forward an accomplishments come with the times when you see it coming, catch it early and work through it. Happy recovery- let yourself have fun in the process!
leemiller
Answered 6 years ago
leemiller

Although I am on anxiety medication I still have break throughs. When I get a break through I just slow my breathing and concentrate on making the pain go away. Abracadabra and it's gone.
TheGirlWhosAlwaysSmiling
Answered 5 years ago
TheGirlWhosAlwaysSmiling

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