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I need a quick fix for anxiety attacks anyone got any they use

(12 Posts)
Bunnygotwhacked Tue 06-Nov-12 13:29:14

I have been having anxiety attacks now for about a month it is an every day occurrence nearly. The main trigger seems to be the dc's school (though buses supermarkets busy streets can all set me off) which is awful as I have to go there twice a day most days I thought I was getting better on the run up to half term. I was managing with minor wobbles but this morning I had a huge attack and it was horrible I cried when I got home and have slept for most of the day. Now I am sat here dreading going back for pick up this afternoon. I have been to the docs and got some beta blockers which make me dizzy and wheazy so I can't take those. I can't get an appointment with my doc as she has none available till the 15th and then only at school run time then she starts her holiday. Please any coping techniques at all would be useful

kizzie Tue 06-Nov-12 17:09:49

Cut down On sugar and caffeine.

Do regular breathing exercises. Hands on abdomen. Breathe in for four through nose. Out through your mouth for four. Your abdomen (rather than your chest) should go up and down.

If you have an anxiety attack it's quite likely that your mind will be catastrophizing (I can't breathe, I can't cope with this, I will always feel this bad,I'm hopeless etc etc etc) Stop yourself from doing this and keep saying over and over to yourself 'this too will pass' or 'this doesn't feel nice but it won't hurt me and it will eventually pass over'

Hope that helps

Onemoreforgoodmeasure Tue 06-Nov-12 17:18:38

I second Kizzie, all experiences come and go, your fear and dread of it make it worse. It's just unpleasant, but it won't harm you and it will pass. Allow yourself to focus on what you would rather be focusing on and your body will adapt appropriately. You can practice this if you want by brining the panic on on purpose. If there's something in particular that triggers them then identifying what that is can help you a lot. There are some good online self help things you can look up to walk you through that.

Frontpaw Tue 06-Nov-12 17:33:00

Relax! Lie down, relax and just feel yourself float away.

When you are nicely calm, just imagine you are watching yourself on a video doing the things that stress you BUT imagine seeing yourself with a big smile on your face, head up and feeling confident, looking fab, happy and calm. Think to yourself over and over 'I can do this!' Or 'I am happy and calm' or 'F**k the Bastards!' (whatever works for you!).

Practise this each day, and you will feel less anxious.

In the meantime, slip a pretty, elasticated hairband around your wrist. When you start wobbling, give it a bloody hard snap against your inner wrist. It won't do any lasting harm but the sting will literally 'snap' you out of your internal tuturmoil (as an acute - short and sharp - physical stimulus over-rides everything else).

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Tue 06-Nov-12 20:46:27

All of the above but the thing that changed my life was realising that I needed to stop feeling afraid of them. I was stuck in a fear loop. Once I welcomed them and said to myself - bring it on, give me all you've got, make it as bad as you want because I'm not afraid - they seemed to fizzle out. I broke the fear loop. It was the only thing that eradicated them out of my life.

amazingmumof6 Wed 07-Nov-12 15:04:58

I had severe anxiety and panic attacks when I was pregnant with my fourth. It was bad as we'd had a loft conversion that dragged on and took 2 months instead of the agreed 3 weeks! We had to live elsewhere with 3 kids under four and moved back home only 2 days before elective C-section, all very I couldn't sleep and it was an awful time! I had to have counselling, which really helped. (now we have 6 kids and I still panic from time to time!)

As you have to wait to see your doctor I can say this for now - allow yourself to go into "survival mode" and only do what's necessary! The rest can wait. Cancel appointments, meetings, phone calls, anything that can wait and allow yourself to slow down. it will get better, but you need time to figure out how to cope ! it's annoying to cancel stuff, having to say no and make up excuses, so just say you have too much going on right now - which is probably true.

If you are starting to actually hyperventilate, try to breath in and out into a paper bag or even a towel. I just use my hands formed into a bowl! (it slows your breathing to inhale back what you breathed out, stops you from getting too much oxygen in blood etc)
Concentrate on counting to 7 as you are inhaling, then count to 11 as you are exhaling.
7 in , 11 out. repeat and focus on the numbers only. and again and again. push all other thoughts out of your head and just concentrate on the breathing and counting.
when you have calmed down, you will want to do everything, but just choose 1 simple thing or the most urgent.
you could also try and make a list of all do things you must do (forget for now the "want","would like to" and "should do"!) so you won't forget the important things!(sorry, I know it sounds simple, but writing list helps prioritizing...)

With help I realized my biggest problem was time management and the sheer amount of tasks to do be done.
So ask yourself questions - does it need to be done now? do I have to do it? does it have to be done at all? if not, leave it and move on, no need to feel guilty!

I hope this is helpful

And try and ask someone to help you with school run if possible.

Bunnygotwhacked Thu 08-Nov-12 08:49:28

Yesterday was a good day I had dp with me for most of it managed tescos and a taxi journey only a very slight wobble until school run time It is the school that is my main trigger even though had dp with me was still happening. Tbh I am thinking about moving them schools but what if that doesn't help?
The belly breathing I have tried but that just makes me lightheaded and more panicky. I have completely cut out caffeine and cut down sugar. The hair band thing have tried but it doesn't work for me. Dp bless him saw the state I was in and took the boys to school for me this morning even though it means he will be a few mins late for work I will still have to do the afternoon one and am sat here worrying about it now ffs I wish i could get angry then at least i wouldn't be scared

Meringue33 Thu 08-Nov-12 08:58:14

CBT. It's a government priority now so you can get treatment really quickly through what they call the IAPT programme. Only a few weeks waiting list. Ask your GP.

tutu100 Thu 08-Nov-12 09:04:13

What is it about the school run that makes you anxious? Do you know? I suffer severe and anxiety and panic attacks (am actually agoraphobic so haven't found the cure yet!) But one of the things the CPN tries to get me to do is work out what I am really afraid is going to happen in a situation (this is harder than it sounds and may be more than one thing) and then think about why I think it would be terrible if it did happen. Then we talk about why it would/wouldn't happen and if it did happen what would the consequences afterwards.

For example, I am now so afraid of having a panic attack I do have one everytime I go out. I am afraid of collapsing in the playground and having all the other mum stare at me and think I'm mental. I am also afraid that if this happens me and the ds's will be stuck there and won't be able to get home, and the panic attack will never stop.

My CPN went through that panic is unpleasant but won't kill me and will eventually pass. She asked what I would do if I saw another mum collapse in the playground, and I said I'd be concerned and go to help her. So she said the same would apply if I did collapse for some reason. We also talked about if I did collapse someone would ring my mum or DP and they would come and get me so I wouldn't be stuck there forever.

This is a long process, and it is very difficult. I feel like I can't really give you advice, because I am not able to go out alone atm and I don't do the school run anymore and I am so bad. But I miss it and for me it is one of the things that is very important to me so I am working hard to try and overcome the anxiety.

There are lots of self help books about panic attacks and anxiety. If you can get to your library that would probably be a good start. Would your GP be able to give you a telephone consultation sooner than an actual appointment, at least they could refer you for counselling or some kind of therapy.

Is there someone that could accompany you on the school run for a bit? Would that make you feel a bit better? Is there someone at school you could confide in if you feel panicky? I find that went I am having a panic attack and I tell someone quite often that makes me feel a bit better as I am embarrassed by them, but once someone knows it seems to take a bit of the pressure off.

Well Done though for still managing to do the school run despite how bad you feel.

Bunnygotwhacked Thu 08-Nov-12 10:45:49

I've been through all sorts of emotions so far this morning having had more panic attacks they don't usually happen at home so it has been good almost to be able to ignore it and say do your worst. I have also been thinking about the first attack I had over a month ago It was the first one I had for years I was talking to a friend about the senior school we were going to visit that evening and about the residential trip and how much it was costing to kit out for it I felt a bit dizzy then panic hit I remember feeling embarrassed about falling/fainting and being sick none of these happened but it has got steadily worse since. So now I know what caused it can I fix it?

amazingmumof6 Thu 08-Nov-12 11:56:03

Yes you can fix it, but you need proper help. It's scary when you are loosing control and feel that you can't cope or unable to do anything. so do nothing. stop. ignore the guilt, the fear, the expectations. just do what you absolutely must.
If you are hyperventilating please try the counting method! (don't know about belly breathing!) As you take a breath force yourself to think 1-2-3-4-5-6-7, then count to 11 in your head as you exhale. sounds stupid but it's actually quite intense and regulates your breathing and so in turn calms you down. if you manage only 4 in, 6 out, great! then try and stretch it out. Ignore anything else.that's the only short term solution that works when it gets really bad.

I would just stare at a fixed point and cry and unable to talk or breath and I looked like an utter idiot with saliva dribbling out...and the more people were trying to help the worse it got coz I couldn't explain what was happening! I'd just ignore them and 100% focus on the counting until I calmed down a bit. I don't even think it's embarrassing, I think people just get scared they think you are hurt or have a heart attack or whatever.

try to sleep if you can, or just lie down and shut your eyes even if you can't sleep. it's always worse when you are exhausted. I'm going to have a nap now, best to lead by example! smile

Frontpaw Thu 08-Nov-12 16:48:36

If you feel that you are hyperventilating, close your mouth tight! You can't really go all dizzy breathing through your nose. Then try to do a list of what you're panicking about. Distraction works!

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