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How to stop panic attacks

(17 Posts)
Blisss Thu 25-May-17 22:11:51

Please help me. I am suffering really bad with panic attacks at the moment. I'm pregnant so I don't want to take medication. I'm going to go and see the GP as soon as I can to see what can help but right now I'm suffering. I can't sleep, feel breathless and nervy 😢

DasPepe Thu 25-May-17 22:24:27

Can't really help with the panic attacks but if you're having trouble sleeping, try some meditation tapes. I couldn't sleep during my last pregnancy and I used to listen to Michel steely on you tube. I would usually nod off within 5 minutes. Not sure if the tapes worked (although I did also listen to one on pain during the induction and I think it helped).

Is anything specific causing the attacks or just general anxiety?

Blisss Thu 25-May-17 22:29:28

I can't say what the trigger is. Maybe it's hormonal? I don't know. I can try some mediation tapes and see if that helps

NolongerAnxiousCarer Thu 25-May-17 23:07:11

I found mindfulness and meditation useful, theres a really good app called headspace. Also something called emotional freedom techneque (EFT) really helped reduce my anxiety.

CloudPerson Thu 25-May-17 23:15:57

This might sound silly, and do ignore if you want to!
My son is autistic and we do something called the incredible 5 point scale with him, it allows us and him to learn to spot the little signs that he's not ok, which build up to meltdown.
I started using it for myself too, rating how I felt from 1 (fine) to 5 (panic attack/meltdown), and started to recognise that there were physical and emotional signs that I was headed for a panic attack, which meant I could use those signs as cues to do some calming/grounding techniques or breathing exercises.

CloudPerson Thu 25-May-17 23:17:05

Sorry, pressed post too soon.
Could use the techniques before I actually got to the point of panic, if that makes sense.
It's not perfect, but having a better self awareness does seem to help.

Joto369 Fri 26-May-17 06:49:49

Not an easy thing to do but accept them. Accept the feelings. Say out loud 'come on then panic do your best' and you'll find it works. If things spiral breathing calmly if you feel the feelings increasing and distraction - name 5 things that you can hear, smell, see. Remember they pass. Always. Outside of this read Dr Claire Weekes books, meditation as has been mentioned. Eat well and stay hydrated. Hope this helps xx

fempsych Fri 26-May-17 06:54:01

Eat enough and not sugar, rest so not overtired, find a guided body scan meditation on YouTube and practise everybody. Google breathing exercises and practise some of them every day - just a few minutes. Also as above, see if you can find the triggers earlier and then implement some tactics. Again as above, and not easy, try to 'surf' the panic attack as this will mean it ends quicker. You could look at the no panic website. Also there are normally specialist mental health/psychology services for pregnancy so could always ask advice from them? Hope you feel
Better soon

MeltingSnowflake Mon 29-May-17 06:38:58

I used to suffer from really bad panic attacks, but haven't had one in years thanks to a few things I've found that really help.

1. Lots of exercise! This is the most important one. Wear out the body and the mind will follow wink

2. Breathing exercises - there are a tonne, but basically anything that forces you to breathe slowly (one good one is to breath in slowly for 5 seconds, breathe out for 10, breathe in for 6, breathe out for 12, etc.)

3. Meditation - there's a great app called Meditation Timer - the guided meditations are best. To really get good at it, it's worth taking a class or two if you can afford it.

4. CBT really helps - you can research and do it yourself if you don't have a therapist. Break the loop of negative thoughts by recognizing them and replacing them with positive ones. It makes a surprising difference.

5. I haven't tried it myself, but i've heard that the 5,4,3,2,1 things helps - when you're feeling panicking look arond for 5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste.

6. This sounds silly but I got to a certain point where I could feel one coming on and I'd say to myself, you can either have a panic attack and be emotionally and physically exhausted afterwards, or we can just skip it and go to sleep. Somehow, it seemed to work.

Good luck - I know it's horrid but you can definitely overcome it!

MeltingSnowflake Mon 29-May-17 06:50:26

Oh - and no caffeine (although as you;re pregnant you're probably not having much/any anyway)

Blisss Mon 29-May-17 07:50:40

Thank you meltingsnowflake
Will try some of those exercises

Magpie24 Sun 04-Jun-17 15:16:17

Do you know of the writer named Bryony Gordon? She's started a mental health podcast called Bryony Gordon's Mad World. I'd really recommend it for a listen, particularly the episode with Mandy Stephens who was an NHS mental health director. Might not help directly with the panic attacks but I found that listening to other people taking about their experiences quite reassuring. Hope it helps.

RoboticSealpup Mon 05-Jun-17 13:55:06

I don't know if this helps you, but I cured my agoraphobia (panic attacks when out on public) using a technique I found in a book. (I don't remember which one.) It basically amounted to what others have said above: Jump into it. Let it wash over you. Welcome it. Embrace it. All the while, remembering that it is just a flood of stress chemicals in your body and it cannot harm you at all. Let it come. It's just something your body needs to do right now. It really worked for me. My agoraphobia started to disappear after doing it just once.

RoboticSealpup Mon 05-Jun-17 13:58:46

Also, meditation and exercise can make panic syndrome worse in some people. Trying to relax can make your hyper aware and exercise makes your heart rate go up, which can be interpreted as anxiety by someone with panic syndrome.

BettyInc Fri 30-Jun-17 10:10:07

Sorry for bringing up an old thread but I was struck by the last post by @RoboticSealpup as I definitely think this happens to me.

I start feeling panicky if i walk up a flight of stairs- it's like if my heart is racing, the my body immediately thinks I'm having a panic attack. Same with meditation- i don't know how to break this cycle.

@OP, I hope some of the things in this thread have helped.

Carolinesbeanies Fri 30-Jun-17 10:32:46

(Its not that old a thread Betty, some zombie threads are years old!)

Just a couple of tips that really helped mine.
That sense of adrenaline rising, tell yourself your brains getting excited. This is exciting. This is normal. This is good. Just as if you were on a big wheel about to go over the top. Excitement. Adrenaline. Something to embrace not run from.

Close 1 nostril with your hand. Its nigh on impossible to hyperventilate with 1 nostril closed.

Put a hairband on your wrist, and when it starts rising flick the band, whilst again telling yourself this is perfectly normal adrenaline.

I agree with Robotic. The worst thing I ever did was sit/lie quietly and try to meditate. All that did was make me super sensitive to the tiniest changes and made me a whole lot worse.

BettyInc Sat 01-Jul-17 09:11:22

^thanks @Carolinesbeanies that's definitely how I feel about meditation. Like I'm missing something as I keep being told how it'll make me feel better and all it does is make me panicky.

I'll try the positive adrenaline response, thanks.

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