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March 18, 2015 at 11:08 am #74096AParticipant
I had an event at the end of 2013 that triggered my first, physically-crippling panic attack while I was driving on a freeway. I’ve always been a worrier and anxious person in general, but this was the fist time it ever manifested itself physically. I was having panic attacks frequently after the first one happened. It was more of a fear of having more panic attacks than fears about anything specific, and that was extremely frustrating. I went to the Dr. and got anti-anxiety meds. I took them for a little bit, but realized that if I kept with it, I’d be relying on medicine for the rest of my existence to cope with anxiety and fear. I wasn’t tackling it at the roots. I didn’t want this for myself, so I decided to go about it from a CBT-esque standpoint instead. Every time a full-on attack would begin, I would keep reminding myself by slowly repeating “nothing truly disastrous is going to happen” over and over in my head. I’d imagine those words circling around my brain, bouncing off the sides of my skull, and would take slow, deep breaths to slow down my heart rate. The combination of positive thinking and calming breathing made the attacks less frequent and less lengthy. I learned to laugh at myself when I felt an attack coming on — reminding myself that it’s simply a temporary overreaction within my brain — nothing more. I started to view my panic as something that may happen, and I learned to say “So what?”. So what if it happens? What’s the worst that can happen? Embarrassment if someone sees you in an episode of panic? So what. You’re gonna come out of your panic eventually, and all will be okay.
So, what helped me was utilizing my favorite coping techniques (positive thinking, belly breathing, laughter) anytime I felt my anxiety was on the verge of getting out of control. I’m still a generally anxious person today, but I haven’t had true panic in months now.
- This reply was modified 7 years, 2 months ago by A.