When: Thursday, July 12th, 2018, at 5:30 PM Eastern U.S. Time
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A panic attack is a sudden, unexpected, intense rush of fear and anxiety. You may feel like you are going to lose control in that moment or that you cannot function. Physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, nausea, racing heart beat and dizziness occur. You may feel an impending sense of doom like something terrible is going to happen. Some people have gone to the emergency room because of a panic attack, thinking they are having a heart attack.
Anxiety is normal in situations because it is your body's instinct and way to prepare you for danger. It becomes a problem when your body is telling you there is danger when there is no danger. Panic attacks are a fight or flight response. They are actually harmless but can feel extremely uncomfortable. You may even feel like you are going to die or go crazy, but you will not. Panic attacks are brief (usually about 5-10 minutes). The after-affects of an attack can linger for longer periods of time.
There are some helpful suggestions to get through a panic attack:
If self-help strategies do not help, then seek therapy which includes cognitive behavioral therapy. Grounding exercises are very effective with panic attacks. An excellent source are the grounding techniques developed by Lisa Najavits in Seeking Safety. Grounding is a way to detach from emotional pain including anxiety and panic. The basic principle is to distract your thoughts by focusing outward on the external world rather than inward toward the self. It is a healthy detachment.
Here are some different types of grounding ideas: