April 27, 2021 at 9:07 am #378828TinyParticipant
So I decided to go to a mental health clinic tomorrow. I think my anxiety has reached levels that I cannot deal with on my own. I haven’t been able to stop crying all day.April 27, 2021 at 9:20 am #378829anonymous03Participant
Sending you tonnes of hugs and positivity. I’m so sorry you cried so much.
Seeking help is always a good decision and you’re going to benefit immensely. Please make sure you’re surrounded by loved ones. And eat some chocolate. Dark chocolate. It’s always helped me.
I will reply about the panic attack tips tomorrow, that is in about 15-18 hours. It’s night where I am and I’m replying from my phone.
Do write back and let us know what the professional says…April 27, 2021 at 9:56 am #378830anitaParticipant
When you experience elevated anxiety, breathe, like anonymous03 suggested right above, take air in, and let air out, focusing on your belly expanding, then shrinking, then expanding again. Repeat any or all of the following sentences out loud slowly:
I am breathing out fear, I am breathing in calm.
I am breathing out anger, I am breathing in peace.
I am okay. I am safe. I am strong. I am patient. I am capable. I will be okay.
Rest in these sentences. When it happens again (and it will) that a thought or a situation arises that causes you anxiety, breathe, and repeat:
This feeling is temporary, it will pass.
What I cannot change, I accept. I accept my life just as it is right now.
I am okay. I am safe. Stress flows out of me, peace flows into me.
anitaApril 28, 2021 at 2:04 am #378851MariaParticipant
I’m very close with this tiny voice telling me, “he’s a cheater, so CHECKALLHISMESSAGESANDPHOTOS.” That never led to any evidence, though. 😀 I’m not sure if this is good advice, but that helped me a lot.
First, I talked to my then-boyfriend (now husband) that if one of us ever feels love towards any other person, he must tell about that. Because for me, being kept in the dark is worse than being cheated.
Then, I just went with the motto, “If the person chooses someone over me, this person doesn’t deserve me.” Yes, this is hard to accept. I always prepare for the worst. But I don’t feel anxious about it because it won’t make me bad – it would make HIM bad.
And finally, when a panic attack comes in, I think like, “well-well, what do we have here – let the show begin.” It won’t kill me in any way, and it won’t even injure me somehow. So, if my brain wants to “have a party,” I’m in. Yes, I will feel not well. Yes, my day may go sideways. But it’s sometimes cool to have a bit of spontaneity in my life.
As the bottom line, I want to say that you’re amazing because you decided to consult a professional. I’m sending you a bacon of goodness and support. <3April 28, 2021 at 2:16 am #378852anonymous03Participant
Are you feeling any better? I hope you are.
The breathing technique Anita mentioned is immensely effective. Breathe in deeply, and then breathe out slowly. Keep reminding yourself that you are safe. That you are taken care of. And that this is going to pass.
Now about panic attacks. One thing you must know about them: They’re the worst! I hate them. Panic attacks themselves are much more scary than the actual situation that is causing you stress. I find that most of the time, I am anxious about anxiety itself, rather than whatever is stressing me out.
Now, there are many theories about the causes of panic attacks, and one of them that makes a lot of sense to me: my brain misreads signals. When my body releases chemicals that signal stress, my brain misinterprets it as “DANGER!”, and I go into the “fight/flight/freeze” response, which is an innate response to mortal danger in all animals. An imbalance in my brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) can also cause anxiety and these attacks. Panic attacks can also have a genetic cause. So it brings me comfort to know that there is a biological explanation to all this. Like I said in an earlier post, my anxiety is just trying to protect me, but unfortunately, there is no actual “danger”.
The reason I went into the explanation of causes of panic attacks is that it helped me understand what is going haywire. Having an explanation helps my anxiety, and I’ll explain how in a minute.
Now how do we work around this very scary experience of panic attacks?
Each person can have slightly different symptoms, but these are what I experience: racing heart, breathlessness (I can’t breathe!), knot in the chest or stomach, trembling, numbness or tingling in the extremities, dizziness, feeling cold, feeling like you’re gonna pass out, feeling like you’re having a heart attack, feeling of impending doom (something terrible is going to happen!), intense fear, and feeling like you’re losing control.
Now, these are the few things I say to myself or do when I feel a panic attack coming on:
1. “I am safe”: I keep telling myself that no, there is no danger and that I am absolutely safe. I am completely safe and nothing is going to happen to me.
2. “I am in control”: I tell myself that whatever the situation is, I can handle it. I have handled everything before and can now too. If I can’t control it, it will still be okay.
3. “This is not going to last”: I tell myself that yes I am very uncomfortable right now, but this is not permanent. This is not going to go on beyond an hour, tops. That is all. It’s no big.
4. “I know and remember that I am going to recover from this”: Like I said, panic attacks are more scary and uncomfortable than whatever is causing you anxiety. So I remind myself that I have always recovered from this and will this time as well.”
5. Deep breathing: Breathlessness is one of the most uncomfortable symptoms for me. I breathe in as deep as I can and breathe out slowly. Counting while breathing helps divert the attention away from anxious thoughts and the other body symptoms. This is the most effective and important step.
6. Hug yourself: I wrap my arms around myself, soothing my inner child, telling her she is absolutely safe. This is immensely helpful.
7. Ride it out: Sometimes, I’m too anxious to do any of the above and have a full blown panic attack. Here, I just repeat to myself, “I’m just riding out the storm”. Panic attacks usually are over in an hour and then the storm is over. So just ride out the storm.
8. Remind yourself of the causes: Remind yourself that your body is just overreacting. Tell yourself, “Yeah it’s just my brain chemicals. No big.” Now this is not at all to undermine how uncomfortable and scared you are. It just helps to remember this because it reminds you that you aren’t in actual danger.
9. “This is not damaging my body in any way”: Panic attacks make you feel they’re going to leave some lasting damage. But this is not the case at all. They are actually harmless. So remind yourself that this is not harming you in any way.
After my panic attack dies down, I’m usually really tired. So I prefer to do some things:
1. Drink warm water
2. Eat chocolate
3. Hug a loved one
4. Take a warm bath and visualize your stress washed away
5. If you can, eat your favorite food.
6. Get a good night’s sleep.
I mentioned that my anxiety itself makes me anxious. Here, I say to myself, “If I have another panic attack, I am going to remember that I have always passed through it and will be okay after”.
I hope some of this helps you. Do write back and tell us how you are. 🙂