- Diaphragmatic Breathing or Abdominal Breathing — Breathing slowly through the nose using the diaphragm and abdomen. Do not breathe through the mouth. Focus on exhaling very slowly. This will correct or prevent an imbalance of oxygen to carbon dioxide in the blood stream.
- Taking anti-anxiety medication — to be used under the guidance and direction of a physician.
- Staying in the Present — rather than having “what if” thoughts that are future oriented asking yourself, “what is happening now” and “how do I wish to respond to it”. (Carbonell 2004)
- Acceptance and Acknowledgement– accepting and acknowledging the panic attack. (Carbonell 2004)
- Floating with the symptoms — allowing time to pass and floating with the symptoms rather than trying to make them better or fighting them. (Carbonell 2004)
- Coping Statements — repeated as part of an internal monologue
- “No one has ever died from an anxiety attack.”
- “I will let my body do its thing. This will pass.”
- “I can be anxious and still deal with this situation.”
- “This does not feel great, but I can deal with it”.
- “I am frightened of being frightened, therefore if I stop worrying about being frightened, then I have nothing to be scared of.”
- Talking with a supportive person — someone who has experienced true panic attacks personally; someone who is highly trained in treating panic attacks; loved ones who can offer support and comfort.
- One particularly helpful and effective form of therapy is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This is the most generally accepted method of treatment.
I’ve been having panic attacks up the ass lately, and you know what? I don’t like it. I morph from rationality to batshit crazy bitch, and feel like I’m standing on the sidelines, hyperventilating. I had one so bad at work yesterday I almost packed my shit up and left despite deadlines.
They scare me. The absolute overriding panic scares the shit out of me, and I don’t know if these are starting in earnest because I’m letting some things out in my head I never really have before or what. But the fear-the need to escape, the feeling cornered, the tightness in my chest and the fire that crawls up from my belly into my face…I’ve had anxiety before, but it’s been more social and situational-don’t go out in crowds-I’ll be fine. Now, it rears it’s head the minute I do anything, especially if thinking is involved. And out comes the Ativan.
I can feel one building as I sit here typing this, full of it’s wrong thoughts and fears, instead of the strength I know I have to weather anything life can throw at me. I know I’m strong as shit-why doesn’t my brain? The panic sits lightly on my diaphragm, waiting. Frankly it can wait all it wants since I’ll take a pill to head it off anyway…
Maybe this really has been my issue for a very long time, despite the lithium. Underlying anxiety and panic, all the things I just don’t talk about since I’ll look crazy or paranoid and mean. The little worries that pile up and pile up, the fears I shouldn’t worry about, since rationally, will the world end? Will I need to save someone trapped under a bus? Doubtful.
So I’ll take more pills, weather this storm till I see my pdoc again, and hope that maybe this time I’m on the right train.
In the meantime, if you hear of any brain transplants, do let me know. Mine seems to serve no one properly.