Panic Attack and Recovery

Yesterday was strange from go and I just could feel a panic attack creeping around in my brain.

I managed to stave it off for a long time, but then my husband and I got into it about me skipping out on my Abilify shot. I had to call my doctor and rush to get it, then rush back home.

When he got home with dinner I knew I wasn’t okay.

My chest hurt, my vision moved, I could hear voices behind me and see shadows/textures change.

It was terrifying. No matter how many times I have a panic attack I always think I’m going to die and need to go to the hospital.

I focused on my breath and managed to get a little bit of healthy inner dialogue back, told myself to go take an emergency Ativan.

Getting up made it worse, but I powered through and got the pills. After another thirty minutes of freaking out in a ball on the couch, I felt better. Good enough to tell my husband I don’t think I’m dying anymore, good enough to drink some water.

I feel like it was an accomplishment.

Panic attacks are so, so scary.

Today I feel better, but still weary after that experience.

Do you suffer panic attacks?

What do you do to gain control?


I get panic attacks. I talk about my recovery strategy so often when even made a canned reply about it

Some things I do to calm down are:

Put an ice pack on the back of your head. This will cool down your brain and reduce activity in your limbic system, where emotions happen.

Do a task with simple, clear steps. I like baking. I follow the recipe, and it’s easy enough that I don’t get frustrated, but it requires enough concentration that I don’t have room to think about other things. Cleaning also helps.

Engage your five senses. This will remind you what is real and what isn’t. Listen to soothing music. Smell something pleasant, like an essential oil. Suck on a hard candy. Look at pictures of things you enjoy. Feel something with an interesting texture, like a piece of Velcro or a stress ball.

This isn’t part of the canned reply, but I also pretend to levitate things with my mind. It is just a way of fixing all your attention onto a single focal point, and blocking out all other data. Calm, relaxed focus is the goal.


That all makes sense and I can see how it would help.

I probably couldn’t have baked anything, but the levitation thing is gold.

Thanks, those are all solid options.


I have a bad track record with panic attacks, so I don’t feel entirely comfortable giving advice. However, I sometimes find obsessively cleaning up around the place helps. Which is weird because normally I’m kind of a disorganized slob.


i have these almost everyday, what i do: take as needed medication, isolate myself and wait it out. if you can find a drug which really pulls you out of a bad state dependably dont be afraid to use it. most likely a benzo maybe in combo with an ap if you would like. the benzo acts quickly to take the edge off while the ap acts less immediately. i have panic attacks seceral times a week, drugs are usually what helps me.


I have both acute panic attacks and chronic issues with anxiety. It used to bother me a lot but over time I realized that if I just wait it out, it will get better again. This seems to lessen the severity for me at least.

I really like Ninjastars recommendations for what to do during the acute phase of a panic attack to help ground you and calm you down.

Also, something that really helps me with both anxiety and depression is to focus on my dog. Even if all I can manage is to curl up on the sofa and cuddle with her, it helps sooth me.


I used to have panic attacks, but I don’t have them anymore because I learned how to control my breathing. When I feel panic coming I breathe in through my nose for 5 seconds, then out through my mouth for 7 seconds using my diaphragm (not my chest).

I used to think that panic attacks were associated with not enough oxygen, but it’s actually too much oxygen. I used to take rapid, short breaths, but trick is to blow that air out to increase carbon dioxide.


I have panic disorder. I used to get a lot both panic and anxiety attacks. Now that I am on propranonol, pristiq and Vraylar, I get them a lot less. Fortunately it’s been a month or so since ive had anything severe. But when I do have trouble i take ativan. I also agree with @Moonbeam cuddling with my dog calms me down. I also breath in the positive and breath out the negative. I am really sorry for anyone that suffers from anxiety and panic. Along with akathesia, it is the worst feeling. A good friend of mine gets panic attacks too. I’ve found to help him changing scenery helps. If we are inside, we go outside. If we are outside, we go inside. Sometimes for me being outside causes problems. Also since ive gotten the voices under control, I experience a lot less anxiety. Keeping my mind active and focused helps ward off anxiety for me too.


I haven’t been getting them lately, but I do get them at times. The last I remember it being a serious problem was when I was working at the hospital this past summer/fall. I’m fortunate that I’m able to keep them from getting too out of control. All I have for them in the way of drugs is Buspar, since my psychiatrist won’t prescribe me a benzo.

When I get one, the main things for me are to remove myself from the situation/environment, at work that could be as simple as stepping out to the restroom for a few minutes, and focusing on my breathing. I close my eyes and breathe slowly and deeply. These steps don’t eliminate the attack completely, but they get it to where I can function a little better.


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