Dealing With Panic: How to Calm Down During a Panic Attack

Creative Commons License photo credit: Riggzy

If you have ever had a panic attack you will know how bad they are. Your heart rate goes up, you feel like throwing up and you just want to figure out a way to calm down. It is terrible and it often feels like there is no solution.

A few years ago I had a series of panic attacks and during this time I learned some pretty simple ways to deal with them. In this post I want to share with you my simple but seemingly effective ways to calm down during a panic attack.

Are you sure it is a panic attack?

Panic attacks look different in everybody but they have some common threads. During a panic attack you will feel dizzy, nauseous and your heart rate will increase. Quite often you feel like the walls are closing in and you don’t know what to do or where to turn. This feeling of hopelessness often makes the whole situation worse.

Panic attacks are said to be one of the most frightening things a human can experience.

The most important thing that you can do is go and see your doctor. If your panic attacks are occurring regularly you need to get some professional advice as it might be related to another physical or psychological problem. In the meantime you can use these suggestions to help calm you down.

How to calm down and deal with a panic attack

Creative Commons License photo credit: freestone

1. Sit down and breathe into a paper bag
The first thing that most panic attack experts will tell you to do during a panic attack is breathe. Sometimes they will tell you to breathe in to a paper bag. This is a good idea.

When you have a panic attack your heart rate will go up. You will start to breathe faster and this elevates the level of oxygen in your blood. Not a great thing. When you have too much oxygen in your blood you will be tricked into thinking you are short of breathe but in actual fact you have too much breathe! Breathing fast causes your body to hold on to too much oxygen and not enough carbon dioxide and as such you start to feel dizzy and short of breathe.

Breathing in to a paper helps balance this mess out because you are breathing in mostly carbon dioxide that you have already exhaled. This will slow down your hyperventilation and rebalance your oxygen levels.

2. Go outside into the open
After my first panic attack I was left feeling terrified and vulnerable. I had heard about panic attacks but I had never realized how bad they could be. One of the scariest things about the panic attack was that I felt completely confined and unable to escape the situation.

So the next time I felt a panic attack coming on I raced outside and down the road to the local park. This park near my house has a great big creek running through it and lots of trees and birds. It is very relaxing. I soon started to feel more open and spacious and no longer felt trapped by the panic.

Getting outside in the open is surprisingly effective. Often when we are having a panic attack we are indoors and alone. Going outside might seem like the last thing you want to do but I am certain that it helps.

3. Take a shower
As I mentioned, sometimes during a panic attack you can feel dizzy, sick and very panicked. I found that taking a nice hot shower really helped to calm me down.

Now this tip is not going to be for everyone. Some people like showers, other people don’t. If you are feeling the symptoms of an attack it might be a good idea to strip off and jump in the shower. The hot water, the repetitiveness of the water drops and the steam are all really good ways to slow down. When I had my panic attacks I used to sometimes sit down in the shower for five minutes while my mind settled.

Showering is nice because it is something physical. You get the bodily sensations as well as the mind relaxing. This body/mind combination can be really powerful – especially if you combine it with some slow breathing.

4. Practice some breathing meditation
The last thing you will feel like doing during a panic attack is sitting down and having a formal meditation session. However, I found that a simple breathing meditation really helped to calm me down.

The first thing I would do is remind myself that this panic attack was a good opportunity to learn to master my mind. If I could meditate during a panic attack surely I would be able to deal with anger, pride, attachment, etc. during normal life. This put me in good stead as I saw the panic attack as an opportunity instead of a negative event.

This is Buddhist master Mingyur Rinpoche talking about his many battles with panic and how he dealt with the panic using meditation so I thought I would let him do the explaining. Check it out:

5. Call a friend
Sometimes the best thing during a panic attack is to hear somebody’s voice. They reassure you that everything is going to be okay and they remind you that there is some perspective. Calling a friend can be a wonderful help.

However, there is a downside to relying on a friend. If your panic attacks become re-occurring events it might become tempting to call that person every time. You might make the mistake of thinking that you cannot get through the ordeal without them. This is a very bad thing. You do not want to become dependent on anyone else for your own happiness. It is important that you become strong on the inside.

Relying on a friend is fine if you need that support. Do not feel guilty about calling a friend – they will not mind – that is what they are there for. But do be careful about developing any unhealthy habits. This won’t help anyone.

6. Realize that you are going to be okay
One of the most important things to do during a panic attack is realize that you are going to be okay. Panic attacks do not last forever. You are not going crazy. You will be alright in a few minutes.

Panic attacks are thought to be caused by the part of the brain that governs our fight or flight reaction. If it feels threatened it will pump chemicals into the body that cause you to panic so you will get out of the harmful situation. This is all well and good if there were a threatening situation but most of the time panic attacks seem to come out of the blue or after a not so threatening situation.

Seeing as the panic attack is caused by a chemical reaction it is going to take some time for your symptoms to ease. Your body has just been flooded with hormones and you will not feel better immediately – even if your mind has calmed down a bit. Give yourself time and remind yourself that it will all be over soon. This goes a long way to reducing the severity of the situation.

7. Listen to some slow, rhythmic music
Music is a very powerful tool. It has the ability to change our moods in an instant. I found music to be a particularly useful tool when I was trying to deal with a panic attack.

The best music to listen to during a panic attack is something that is graceful, slow, melodic and rhythmic. I really like to turn on some Vivaldi or Mozart and listen to the happy and joyful songs of the violin and piano. Hip hop and other tracks with a bouncy and catchy baseline can also be beneficial.

See what works for you. Spend a few weeks listening to some new music and see what calms you down. Play that music during the times that you are feeling happy and relaxed (like in the bath) and then when you have an attack you can turn the music on and go back to that place.

Can you help?

If anyone out there has experienced a panic attack and has some suggestions or hopeful stories I would love you to share them. Please leave a comment and tell us what you did and what did/didn’t help. Your comment might really help someone who is going through these dreadful experiences.

159 thoughts on “Dealing With Panic: How to Calm Down During a Panic Attack

  1. BTDT. I managed to get past the panic attacks and seldom have them anymore with the help of psychotherapy and anti-anxiety medications. But not everyone has psychiatric problems.

    I have one suggestion that a psychiatric nurse taught me. Sit down and make an effort to feel your butt on the chair. It grounds you, probably by giving you something to focus on and helps you calm down.

    Your suggestions are excellent. Especially the paper bag trick. Hyperventilating is the pits.


  2. It occurs to me that currently, we are being attacked (maybe bombarded is a better word) by a panicky world. If one is prone to panic attacks, as someone close to me happens to be, it may be best to tune out a lot of media about India, the economy, and other things of that nature. I don’t mean to stick head in sand, but at least limit exposure.

  3. Hi Barb.

    That is a really interesting trick the nurse taught you. I like it because it bridges both mental and physical. If I ever have a panic attack again I will try to remember it.

    Thanks for commenting.


  4. Hi Outlawcoach.

    I think you are right. Some people are not able to deal with the pressures of the world in their present frame of mind. Perhaps it is better that they avoid those stresses until they are well again.

    Has this helped your friend?

  5. One thing that helped me through some hard times is to hold onto something small but solid that fits in the palm of your hand like to an anchor. (I used to hold on to a wooden snail figurine I got from a friend.)
    Like a lot of suggestions here it’s about getting back in touch with reality as it is and not as it is exagerated or perceived by ones mind.
    Sometimes you can’t focus on your breath (especially when you’re hyperventilating) or your body, but holding something tiny, something valuable in the palm of your hand is a good start. If you use something that has a meaning to you – like maybe a small gift from a friend – it’s even better, because you remember that you’re not alone.

  6. Hi,

    I had panik attacks for three years and suffered a lot from. What I learned is not to drink coffee or only without caffeine (this does not mean that you have to refrain from it your whole life). It helps to do sport on a regular basis.

    What helped me most, was to understand the signals of my body: if I felt dizzy it did not mean that a panik attack is coming but that e. g. i have to eat something. (I know this sounds utterly silly but I had lost the ability to do interpret those signals).

    Apart from this, talk about your problem with others. I was really surprised that I am not alone. Some of my friends had those attacks as well.

  7. For me it was the key: get back to reality. Hold on to something physical and stable to get out of a situation of mental instability.

  8. I just started getting panic attacks on tuesday, and nothing I do seems to calm them down. I’ve had them every day since tuesday, and they really freak me out. Here’s the thing though – I’m a teen, so I can’t afford to allow anything to get in the way of what I’m doing, namely school, athletics, and my friends. I’ll remember these tips though, next time I have one. The only thing that seemed to calm me down a bit was to just squeeze into as tight a space as I could. That seemed to help a little, though not much.

  9. Hi Evan.

    Sounds pretty bad. I am sorry to hear you are having regular panic attacks.

    It sounds to me like you have a lot on your plate. Don’t forget to take some time off from school – everyone needs a break now and then.

    I hope they get better – let us know how you go.


  10. I found your site in google when I was looking up blogs. I realy like what you have done and just wanted to leave a comment saying so. Cheers

  11. Hi,
    I have been having panic attacks for 12 years now, living with the fear of them every day, making sure I had tablets on me and always needing to know there was someone around to support me. I was doing ok but still very afraid of them and any stress set me off with a spate of panic attacks. I have now decided that enough is enough and I am going to sort this out once and for all. I know how irrational it is and I am not going to run anymore. I am going to face my fears. I have decided that I am going to desensitize myself to the symptoms of panic. Apparently it has an 87% chance of success and 2 years later the results were the same for the people who did this. I now truly belive masking the fear does not help at all. The fear has to be met and I have to see it for what it is, unpleasant but not harmful. I saw my first panic attack without medication through last night. I just let the waves of panic wash over me and even tried to get a buzz off the adrenalin. It only lasted 2 mins if that but I didn’t sleep all night after it and I’m still uptight today and worried about tonight, but hopefully this is the beginning of the end now.

  12. Hi Kirsty.

    I am sorry you are having so many problems with panic. I really hope you get through it.

    Have you discovered what triggers your panic attacks? There must be something.

    Please stop back and let us know how you go. I’d love to know if you’re alright.


  13. I have been having panic attacks almost daliy now since December 23. Been to urgent care twice, er once, and urgent mental health once. They have prescribed at one point Xanax, and now clozapham (I think that is what it’s called) I can’t work, I’m terrified of being alone, and I always feel like I am one step away from a full fledged panic attack. I tried the breathing techniques and made the attack worse and the medication doesn’t seem to be helping. Any idea’s anyone?

  14. Hi Ketrinna.

    I am so sorry to hear that you are having regular panic attacks. I know how scary they can be.

    Please remember that no-one throughout the whole history of planet Earth has ever died from a panic attack. As nasty as it seems at the time the attack ALWAYS subsides – it will never last. I always found it useful to remember this.

    Sometimes people just need to go through a series of panic attacks. I had mine at 23 for about a month over Christmas. But I made a vow not to let them ruin my life and as such I came out the other end stronger.

    I know you will do the same…

    Keep strong and pop in to the website anytime for some support.


  15. Ketrina,
    I would watch out for Xanax. It is terribly addicting and the withdrawal can cause anxiety.

    I have been taking 10 mg of Lexapro and it has really helped. My panic attacks started happening when I was in a very deep, major depression, I did not feel I had options and felt very trapped in my life. Working through this has helped. I find it interesting that so many of us have had panic attacks around Christmas, a time of year when many of us put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

    Hang in there.

  16. Evan,
    Your statement “I’m a teen, so I can’t afford to allow anything to get in the way of what I’m doing, namely school, athletics, and my friends”…..tells me that you put a lot of pressure on yourself and that your thoughts are rigid (all or nothing thinking) about what you need to accomplish. I’m not saying that you need to turn into a slacker, just give yourself a break. I hope this helps. I am trying to be helpful and not critical. Maybe reading a book on cognitive therapy will help. You might benefit from a therapist especially since you are having the attacks so frequently.
    Good luck. I’ll check back to see how you’re doing.

  17. I have been having panic attacks since October, two where I was taken to the hospital because I was on the verge of passing out.. The feeling is the scariest thing in the world, those who have experienced them can agree with me.. I have yet to figure out what is causing mine.. I live a very happy life and have the best family and friends I could ask for… Therefore it drives me absolutely crazy that I am having these stupid attacks all the time! One thing i have noticed is that They always start when I’m driving.. And I always feel like I have to burp but it won’t come… Ugh.. I actually had an attack today which led me to this article… Trying to figure out ways to do it on my own, I was prescribed to xanex about 3 weeks ago and I have yet to take them because I really don’t want to get addicted.. So hopefully the next one I have I can overcome it with these suggestions.. Thank you very much!

  18. Well I hate to say it but I think I am just about cured of panic attacks now as I am genuinely not afraid of them anymore. THAT is the key. Taking tablets will only prolong the problem if you don’t face the fear itself. Tablets make you believe that panic attacks really are something to be afraid of and that will go on for years unless you break that cycle. I have had panic attacks for 12 long years being afraid of them the whole time, till I started with CBT. It is so logical. It is a phobia of panic attacks. I had a panic attack last night and it scared the life out of me and I couldn’t for the first time in 12 years find my tablets! I was terrified. But as my CBT therapist says I have to face the fear and just see what happens, I thought about this in my panic state and thought well I’ll just try it. The attack lasted about 5 minutes and then I calmed down. 12 years of worrying about something which really isn’t all that bad. The fear is worse than the reality by a long long way! I’m not afraid anymore. I’m cured. Please, please, please don’t put yourselves through it for so long. Learn as much as you can about it and then face the fear by going through panic attacks and seeing they may not feel nice but they are not to be scared of. Everyone here can be cured but you need to go through the panic to find the peace. IT IS THERE but don’t hide behind the tablets. You are persuading yourself you need them if you do and you do not.

  19. Instead of calling a friend, for me, I prefer to either text message or talk on chat.

    When I talk on the phone, the conversation will ultimately shift to how I feel like I am going to die in the next two seconds, since my panics are related directly to death. For me, talking about why my panics are legitimate does not help subside them.

    Yet, when I am texting/typing the conversation progresses slower and it allows me to focus on creating a perfect message via keyboard, rather than just saying the first thing that comes to mind. (I hope this makes sense).

    Additionally, using my hand/eye coordination as well as my sense of thought, allows me to preoccupy myself more thoroughly, causing the panic to subside.

  20. Hello,
    im currently in high school and have constant panic attacks. it’s horrible when the teacher calls on you and you cant read because youre out of breathe and your voice goes into a nervous tizzy. I just think of somthing sad which helps me through about 5 words. aha. so im going to the doctor to fix this. it’s probly just an nervous disorder. MANY people have it so don’t feel bad.

  21. What a fantastic post! Panic attacks are one of the most awful things to go through. I used to suffer a great deal with panic attacks and use to use some of the above mentioned tricks to help me get through them

    One of the most beneficial things i did how ever was pin point what was causing my attacks. Once I did this I new when I was going in to a situation which normally resulted in a panic attack to prepare my self first. I could also avoid certain triggers.

  22. I am over the terrible fear of panic now. The trick is facing the fear. It’s like a phobia. Face it and go through it and use NOTHING as a crutch and your fear will go away. It is only adrenaline. Don’t catastrophise the panic and it will go away. Face it and don’t hide from it. Everything else, drugs, etc. will only make it worse as you think there is something to fear by doing that. You are telling yourself there is something to fear. There isn’t. Face the the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain as someone once said.

  23. I just started getting panick attacks on Sunday, May 31, 2009. I really have no clue what caused it because I was sitting down just eating with friends. Oh, I’m 14 by the way. And my dad had rushed me to the hospital. They said I was healthy, and completely fine. Except for the fact that I had anxiety, which is just a feeling of discomfort, so they said. They prescribed me to some pills called lepozum? something like that. And I was just wondering if things like meditation, hyperventilating, and other physical methods work better than pills.

    Also, my mother just died September 5, 2008. I think this is when I just started getting hints of them (hard to explain.) But I had to yawn, and take in this really deep breath, when i felt my chest was tight. Or my chest would get more tight, and my heart would race.

    Sometimes, I have problems with going out with my friends. I feel as if maybe I’ll have one in public. The only place I feel safe is home, and that’s when a parent is with me. If no one is home, I freak out. I can’t sleep. I’ve lost interest in the things i do. And school is starting again pretty soon, and I really don’t want to have to go through that without having a more peaceful way of calming down instead of taking pills every time i have one. I don’t want to live life without an easier way.

    Next time, I’ll try these tips. But as of now, I’m still curious if pills work better than these techniques.

  24. Hi Haley. I am so sorry to hear about your mother. That must be tough. And it is completely normal to have some anxiety issues surrounding this difficult time.

    My advice to you would be to read, learn and talk as much as you can about this problem. Many years ago I learned a lot by going to talk to someone about my panic attacks – without that guidance I don’t think I would have got through them as easily.

    Always remember that you are not alone, people love you and that things are never as bad as we make them out to be.

    I wish you all the happiness in the world.


  25. I am not usually in tune with eastern ideas and find it hard to follow some of these routines. however, i totally support your points about finding natural solutions to panic attacks. there seems to be an unhealthy obsession with medicine (it seems most doctors prescribe it out of instinct sometimes) and yet the real cause might be way deeper than just chemical imbalance.

  26. Hi Hayley,

    My deepest condolences for the passing away of your mother. As far as your panic attacks are concerned these are something your can get through and fight. I don;t believe in tacking medication as this can worsten the problem and have other side effect. These side effects include loss of motor skills and energy. I was always scared of becoming a Zombie and pills effecting my quality of life. Medication is addictive and you do not want to rely on it.

    Once of the biggest issues you need to do is face your fears. Do not let them rule your life or that will be the end of you. It took me a long time to be able to control my attacks, but now I have I can not be happier.

    You seem to know what your triggers are, been left alone at home with out an Adult. Now you need to come up with methods to tackle this fear so you can deal with it when this situation arises.

    To start with tell your friends about your condition…they will be understanding, you can also advise them on what to do when you are suffering an attack. Remember these attacks last 20minutes at the most and then they reside. This way you are able to ask your friends to be with you when there are no parents in the house. This is a stepping stone.

    Establish a steady breathing pattern, recite a reassuring sentence to yourself that your friend can recite with you. Distract yourself by playing your favorite song or doing a silly dance.

    There are many things you can have in preparation for when you are going to experience a situation which normally triggers a panic attack. Talk to your doctor about these alternative methods prior to relying on your medication. You are still very young and have a lot to live on, you really do not want to be relying on medication for the rest of your life.

    Good luck and I am sure with the belief in yourself and support from your family and friends you will be able to get your panic attacks under control.

    Lastly remember that these attacks do not last forever, it is a temporary feeling that will subside.

  27. I am a 25 year old mother to 2. I have a 3 year old son and a 1 year old daughter. I’m a stay at home Mom and the days are really busy with them 2 here in the house. So during the day I usually don’t have panic attacks unless it’s just a really bad day. But at night when I sit in peace and left to my thoughts I have such bad panic attacks. I always think I’m having a heart attack and that I’m dieing. While having them I always for some reason convince myself that I’m not having a panic attack that infact its something else and I’m dieing. I start freaking in my head praying that I won’t die that my kids need me and such. I don’t know how to get the thought of death out of my mind while having a panic attack. I can calm my breahing and focus but the thought of dieing never leaves my head. Does this happen to anyone else?

  28. Hi,i just recently suffered my 1st Panic attack when i was at work,i start to feel dizzy then all the sudden i felt breathless..i tried to breath faster than it became fist could not open..cramp due to hyperventilation,i was rushed into the Emergency room,and was given a paper bag to breathe in,the doctor told me to control my breathing..breathe in slowly n out,it helps within minutes,all those cramp i felt earlier are gone,for a moment i tought i was having heartproblems,the doctor then check my blood,blood pressure even sent me to a chest xray..then she told your allright..u just had a panic attack,i was shocked.
    I think the key point to avoid another attack is TO NOT THINK ABOUT THAT YOUR GOING TO GET THE NEXT ATTACK,that really helps,try to clam urself down really helps.
    Its just a mind game..we got to get back the control of our mind then we will be fine again.
    I hope my little tips to help u guys outhere 😉

  29. Yeah,i was onced sent to the emergecncy unit,then being told by the doctor it just a panic attack,to be true it was one of the most frightening moment in my life,i understand wat u have went through.cause i have been in that situation before.

  30. I have panic attacks everyday.. and its so bad that even going to the hospital doesnt calm me down..when i get them my whole body gets numb, i feel dizzy, feel like nothing is real and i just so nuts cuz im so freak out so then it gets worse so i get really bad panic attacks.. and im miserable everyday.. im starting to take pills now.. i took one today but i still had one.. im so sick of this.. to hard to deal with

  31. nothing triggers mine… i just get them all the time cuz i have a panic disorder.. well sometimes when my heart flutters i have one cuz i freak out about my heart fluttering cuz i think there is something wrong.. i told the doctors about it but they didnt do anything so if anything bad happends to me im gonna make sure my fam sues… cus that b.s

  32. Hi,

    Thanks a lot for the encouragement you’ve provided. I’ve been suffering from panic attacks since 1.5 years, and it’s probably the worst phase anyone can go through. It’s a real illness, and yet it’s all in the mind. I wish I can go back to my life again, because for some reason, I can’t find a way out of these panic attacks. My problem is hyperventilating which brings these panic symptoms, and then the whole cycle repeats.

    Please help me, I want to live a normal life again. How can a person become strong minded with all these pathetic feelings during panic attcks ? It just makes me a weak person thinking of the next day, when this will all repeat again. I was such a lively and happy person. I still don’t get why I am going through all this ?

    I tried what you provided, but I keep fearing these symptoms. Everyday there is a new symptom emerging, and I keep thinking about them, and then there is another panic attack. I need to ask u some Q’s. My hands feel so numb b/c of these panic attacks happening over and over. Is this in my mind or what? They feel so weak, I am scared they will stop working some day or something. Are these feelings temporary or forever ?

    I need someone to guide me through this. I’ll appreciate it, if u can get me out of this please. Life seems so dull and I am only 18. I want to enjoy my life but how do I. Show me a natural cure of this plz.

  33. Thanks a lot for the encouragement you’ve provided. I’ve been suffering from panic attacks since 1.5 years, and it’s probably the worst phase anyone can go through. It’s a real illness, and yet it’s all in the mind. I wish I can go back to my life again, because for some reason, I can’t find a way out of these panic attacks. My problem is hyperventilating which brings these panic symptoms, and then the whole cycle repeats.

    Please help me, I want to live a normal life again. How can a person become strong minded with all these pathetic feelings during panic attcks ? It just makes me a weak person thinking of the next day, when this will all repeat again. I was such a lively and happy person. I still don’t get why I am going through all this ?

    I tried what you provided, but I keep fearing these symptoms. Everyday there is a new symptom emerging, and I keep thinking about them, and then there is another panic attack. I need to ask u some Q’s. My hands feel so numb b/c of these panic attacks happening over and over. Is this in my mind or what? They feel so weak, I am scared they will stop working some day or something. Are these feelings temporary or forever ?

    I need someone to guide me through this. I’ll appreciate it, if u can get me out of this please. Life seems so dull and I am only 18. I want to enjoy my life but how do I. Show me a natural cure of this plz.

  34. I had my first panic attack when i was in the 7th grade, i had one before that but i was at karate ( i am a very active kid) and i just thought i was tired but when i had one at school, i freaked out. I started crying and i didn’t even know what a panic attack was at that point and time in my life i thought it was asthma. I didn’t have anymore till i was in 8th grade in the middle of a prep rally i was a cheerleader, and i was tumbling and i felt dizzy before i tumbled and i blacked out and messed up my collar bone and from the dizzy-ness was the only symtom and i blacked out many times after that…. And i still wasn’t sure about what was going on with me.. Till my freshman yr in high school. I had just moved in with my mom and abusive step dad(he never hit me but her) i started out with becoming majorly depressed… then it came out of now where. My chest which it is alway over my heart where it hurts. It felt like a knife was being stabbed into my chest over and over again like it did the day in 7th grade and when i couldn’t get it to go away thats when i couldn’t breath and i started to cry. Only causing my panic attack to get worse… and along with my black outs…. Which i had panic attacks ever other day just about when i lived with my mom went to the er 2 times in one week because the pain wouldn’t go away… they said nothing was wrong with my heart… and they would sent me away the first time the second time they said my acid reflux caused it… wrong the meds they gave me didn’t even help me… i continued to happen.i missed half my freshman yr due to panic attacks i would leave early and ect… until i moved out of my moms’ house .Now i have had only 5 in the past two yrs since i moved out and back in with my grandparent(meaning i’m a jr in highschool*) the only i had a panic attack was when i talked to my mom also when someone yells and continues to be upset with me and now with my bestfriend because she has alot of problems in her life.. and i put presser on my self to fix them for her which i know i can’t …and school.. i freak myself out. But the only thing i have found to help them settle down some is to take a HOT shower.. or to tell my self it will be okay and to breath slowly.


    but i’m sorry for those who also have these .. It sucks, but you wont die, jst stay strong read about your condition and try out new things and if it’s someone that causes you to have panic attacks move away from them or drop all contact with them. that has also seemed to help me… Thank you for your blog.. it has given me new ideas to think about when i have an attack.

  35. Usually when i start panicing, i stand up, or “take a break” take a few deep breaths and say to myself that everything is ok. Then i try to calm mysely down, and usually thinking of something funny helps me.
    Fresh air really helps, too. 🙂

  36. So, I had a about 4 panic attacks in 2008. 3 of them I fainted and the other just about had me had my boyfriend not found me a place to sit. But I hadn’t had one in at least 6 months. Until last Saturday. I was doing some fashion show and i was really hungry and there all day long and the show wasn’t until like 1 in the morning. At about 10:30 or 11, it was a full fledged panic attack. I was shivering, didn’t think I could walk, felt like I was gonna throw up, the whole shebang. But then my ex boyfriend text me and happened to ask if i was ok. I told him I wasn’t and he was there in 15 minutes. We waited until the show and immediately left afterward and i went to sleep. We’ll the next day he took me out to eat dinner, and I started having a panic attack in the restaurant so we had to leave. And today! I was sitting at the bus stop when all of a sudden it was on me. I couldn’t breathe, wanted to puke, tried to walk away but the bus was there. So I got on and was immediately wigged out. I kept thinking i was going to puke on the bus or i was going to faint and someone would have to call and ambulance and i don’t have money for the doctor and it went on and on. I made it to the metro station to wait for my train and it was just so bad man. And i tried and tried to keep calm, but i must have looked like a junkie or something, wigging out. By the time i got on the train, i was so close to collapsing that its not even funny. Thankfully some guy asked me if i was alright and i said i wasn’t and asked him if he would help me get downstairs when i got to my station so i could get to my friends car. I asked him to just make sure i didn’t fall down the stairs or fall and hit my head if i fainted. He helped me all the way downstairs and to my friends car. I told him he was so going to heaven for it.

    So yeah…. that sucked, sorry i wrote so much. i just needed to get it out. Im only 20 man, and i am soooooo over these attacks…. BUT i did note what that one person said about eating when they start to feel dizzy. No lie, i should probably be keeping an eye on that too.

    I don’t really have anything else to say, but thanks for letting me have a place to say it..

  37. you need to do hyperventilation therapy. It worked for me. They help you to learn how to hyperventilate so that you loose the fear of it. It’s scary but so worth it. Do it! Believe me it will cure you

  38. Hi everyone, I have been dealing with some pretty scary panic attacks lately and wanted to check out this site.
    I dont even know what started them really. but i feel like im having a heaert attack,short of breath,dizzy and so scared. I had one while driving today and my kids were in the car (age 2 and4)
    I just dont know how to deal with this, im so afraid its gonna take over my life. I dont want to loose my job etc… I need to be able to drive and live life. Liz

  39. My Mother Heidi Patricia was of Finish descent, while my father, Haim Reuben Hachain, was Israeli. My Father died in Israel when my twin sister, Liberty, and I were just 4 and ½ months old. My Mother got a letter from him before he died from Leukemia, at age 50. My mother other was only 30, grieving, and taking care of 6 children, including newborn twins!

    My oldest sister is named Ravin, then my oldest brother is Will, next is my sister Rhyme, then brother Aidan, and last “the girls”. Inside the letter that my dad sent my mother, there was a list of names that he would like us to have if we were boys or girls, and my mother chose the first two girl names for our middle names. Shiloh Rebecca and Liberty Rahel. He also requested that she would give us the necklaces he gave her to us for our bat mitzvah or bar mitzvah; at age 13, depending if we were girls or boys.

    The necklaces were silver stars of David, because my dad was Jewish. I lived a life in Hemel Hempstead, England. I attended Boxmoore Primary School until I turned 8 years old. When my mother was having obvious financial problems because she was a stay at home mother, with 6 children. My Grandpa, William C. Penttilä (Who worked with discovery of oil in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska), lived in Houston, Texas, and came to visit us.

    He saw the problems she was facing, a few months later he offered to pay for all of us to move to Houston. He paid for our 4-bedroom apartment, to fit all of us. I remember my mum crying because we had a dishwasher. I started going to school in America, where no one could really understand my accent. A little while later in the year, we moved to a trailer complex.

    Ravin stayed in the other area because she was 15, had a job, a life, and a boyfriend, which she refused to leave AGAIN. My Grandpa died soon after, and we met my Uncle Paul and Aunt Michelle when we had the memorial service. We were living in motels and hotels for a while as well. My mother decided to get away from Texas and move where her brother Paul (who she hadn’t seen in 9 years) lives. [My mother traveled a lot as a child as well, and used to live in Alaska.]

    We got an apartment in the same building as my Uncle and Aunt and my Cousin, Silas. We lived right next to the schools, so we would just walk there every morning.

    My mother suffered from her first heart attack when my twin and I were10, in 5th grade. We had to stay at the lodge with my uncle and aunt for a couple of weeks until she could come out of the ICU. My mum had blood clots, and heart conditions, but still made time to help out the community.

    We lived a peaceful, and cold life in Soldotna, Alaska from 2001 until 2005. We went to the Christ Lutheran Church. Since the age of 12, I have been also dealing with my own health issues. I have agoraphobia (which is the opposite of claustrophobia) it is a type of anxiety disorder where I get panic attacks that affect my daily life to an extent where I can barely manage to do normal things. I can’t go to many places with tall ceilings, lots of people, loud noise, and highways. My hands will start sweating and get all clammy. I can’t hold still, concentrate, or even breathe unless I leave the area. It has affected me dramatically throughout the years. I am still struggling with this daily.

    2005 was the year when my mother told me she met a man online. She asked us to guess where he lived. Who would have guessed? China. So in January my mother went there to visit him, and married him officially. I was so happy to see her when she got back.

    April of that year we left Will, Rhyme, and Aidan to the apartment we had been living in while Liberty, Mum, and I went on a 13-hour plane ride to China. It was an odd but good experience. It was like nothing I could have ever imagined. We had to ride a 17-hour night bus to get to Quinzou City.

    Everyone stared at us like we were aliens. I was 13, going on 14 at the time. Months past and this took a toll on my self-image, confidence, both good and bad. Piles of papers were filled out, but just because we were Americans, it kept taking forever for Wu Xiongdi (My stepfather) to allow him to get his Visa so he could travel to and enter the United States.

    Liberty and I were getting restless from being at home all day, getting stared at, and wanting to go to school, so we begged mum to let us go back to Alaska. We talked on the Internet to some connections to the family and we eventually went to my Aunt Cindy’s house. (My Uncle Paul’s ex-wife; mother of my cousins.) She let us live there, but it was getting hard for her because she had to keep track of three 14 year olds; Liberty, Silas, and I, and my brother Aidan eventually, at age 17. Cindy worked all the time so she had a hard time with us. We lived there for our whole freshman year but when summer came, Aunt Cindy had no clue what to do with us.

    Ravin, my oldest sister had called right on time. We came to the conclusion after consulting with mum on the Internet that we could go to Dallas Texas to live with her until mum could make it back to the U.S. We had to wait until our 15th birthday to go on plane unaccompanied. We got there on June 11th. And finally started to settle.

    Exactly one month to the day that we got to Texas my mother died from another heart attack on July 11th, 2006. Ravin came to Alaska for her first time for the memorial service. After mum died, Liberty absolutely did not want to go back to Texas, she had her best friends in Alaska and she wanted to be with more family. She was forced by our family to come back with us.

    It was hard to start a brand new school with different rules than what we were used to. We also worked at Subway with Ravin, who was the manager. We lived in a 1 bedroom with Ravin, Will, a snake, spider, and two puppies. Rhyme came up with the lovely idea to help out Ravin. So she could help her take care of us. They were just 19 and 22, and within their grieving, having a fun time together, they would leave to clubs and not come home until the next day, even days later. They turned off their phones so Liberty and I could not get a hold of them. We had no idea what they thought they were doing at all. Eventually we found out what they were doing. This would keep me up at night. It was hard to look up to these sisters of mine. Now there was one other person added to the 1 bedroom apartment.

    I went off, I did my own things for a while. It sucked a lot for a few months until we found a much better place to live down the road. Eventually, Rhyme’s Boyfriend Chris came to live with us until he and Rhyme could get themselves their own place. Rhyme wanted to stop doing all the bad things with Ravin, but Chris continued; resulting in Rhyme packing up all her stuff and move over to the neighbors house. Chris stayed with Ravin, and they were seeing each other. Rhyme and Ravin weren’t talking because of this, and then Rhyme keyed Ravin’s brand new car, so ’till this day, they still have not spoken to each other.

    Around my 16th birthday, after Rhyme moved out because Ravin was mad about her idea of quitting drinking and everything else, Ravin wanted to continue, and apparently Chris as well. The night before my “Sweet 16” Ravin kicked him out. So Rhyme and Chris got together again after Rhyme went to jail on my birthday for breaking an entering and assaulting a minor, who was my best friend Marcie. She was there for 5 weeks. She got out and soon went to Seattle after reporting Ravin’s habits.

    Enough of drugs and Chris Rhyme moved back to Alaska to straighten out her life. Meanwhile, Ravin was working the night shift for Texas Instruments and doing everything she could for Liberty and I. This was a really hard time for all of us. We were forced to move into a strange neighborhood because the other apartment complex said we had domestic violence, and could not live there anymore.

    We moved abruptly into our apartment in July, but then Child Protective Services found Ravin, because her drug test was positive at the other apartment. Somehow CPS found us in days and told us to go live with someone until school started. Ravin quit drugs and did everything in her power to get us back. Luckily, Ravin has a best friend named Kym who offered to take us for the summer. She lived in Houston; where we lived after England. I stayed there for a while but eventually they dropped our case and I came back to Dallas with Ravin, but Liberty stayed in Houston with Kym. We were separated for a year! It was crazy but I was finding myself.

    In November 2007 we finally got CPS off of our case, with Ravin clean. Finally. It was just Ravin and I for a while after that. We worked, cleaned and loved each other. She would take me to school in the mornings after getting off her night shift. At her job she met the man of her dreams, Sheldon. Ravin’s best friend, Jesse Jordan age 31 had her lease ending in May 2008 so she ended up staying with us for a while. She didn’t have a job and she has many medical conditions. She was my mentor when Ravin was either at work or sleeping. She gave me advice about God, guys, and life in general. I started to believe in God for the 1st time.

    I was still really stressed and needed medical care for my panic attacks. They were getting much worse for me. I couldn’t look up in hallways or even go to school. I hated going out, I felt pressure on my chest and everything just seemed so bad no matter what I did. I really just wanted to spend my senior year with my twin, so I kept thinking about moving back to Alaska, off and on. Liberty was extremely depressed at Kym’s and ended up coming back to Alaska in June 2008, and I came up in late August staying at Rhyme’s place. Liberty was staying with my aunt Cindy again.

    I started my senior year in the same little school was totally different from what I remember about the one I went to in Texas. I was overwhelmed and still desperate for medical attention to my anxiety. Rhyme’s place wasn’t working out for me, so I ended up going back to Cindy’s. We waited so long for my health insurance. I would have to leave school; my anxiety was so bad that it scared my life away! I finally saw Doctor McIntosh (our family doctor) I asked her about my mother because I missed her and Dr. Mac loved my mum. She was a patient and, was a member of the Cottonwood Health Center board. I wanted to hear what Dr. Mac had to say about her because I miss her so much. She told me my mum had a big heart. This meant bad, because it was oversized and damaged, yet good at the same time, because she was so wonderful.

    I am kept up my grades, I got 2 scholarships, one for 2000$ and one for 250$. I graduated after a long year!

    I finally went back to Dallas to live with my sister Ravin and she is now pregnant and we got a house, but I am still not treated right. I have to fend for myself in everything I do. Thank god I have a job at a saw & tool company as a receptionist. I got the job offer from my brother, Will. If it wasn’t for him I don’t know where I would be right now. Ravin’s boyfriend Sheldon hates me so I couch hop most of the weeks and weekends. He freaks out on me over the littlest things and accuses me of things I don’t do just so he can give Ravin a reason to kick me out. I need help!

    I would love to be the first one in my family to go somewhere, be free, worry less, be successful, and happy. I don’t want to worry about my future. I’ll have to let it happen, but I hope I can shape it in a productive and positive way. I have always wanted to be a Model. That was my dream, my mum wanted me to be one as well, and I know I can do well. I have had people call me for interviews, but had no transportation so I am just saving and struggling with my money so I can get a car, and eventually an apartment. I don’t even know how to drive! No one will teach me!

    Now I have panic attacks, not just in big areas. It is everywhere.EVEN AT HOME Not to mention all over my body! I am at work right now and my back is so tense, along with my chest and i just CANT GET OVER THIS @#%$^&!!! It’s so ANNOYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! JUST GO AWAY ALREADY I AM TRYING TO BE AN ADULT!

    If you could help me in any way shape or form It would be so much appreciated. Thank you so much if you are even reading this all the way through

  40. Listen guys
    From the bottom of my heard I’m sending you a part of my wisdom I benefitted from having panic attacks for seven years now. It started after my mother’s death and being a very emotional person this has been a long ride for me. But as TMD said, every hardship makes us grow, and I’ve grooown, I can tell you that.
    I found that panic attacks were a way of my body saying to my mind that it cannot go on like that. So again,these attacks proved to be one of the greatest and best things that ever happenes to me. They are a way of improving your life-and a fact is , we don’t listen nor react when sth good happens. Life just has to smack us with a saucepan for us to start listening. Embrace them,go through situations which dread you,you will see the pride in you when you do the impossible. I wish you all the best.

  41. Dear Shiloh.

    That is one amazingly long and detailed comment! How long did it take you to write?

    I read the whole thing through with great interest. You have had quite a journey.

    I have to advise you that I am not a professional and I cannot give you any advice as such. All I am really here for is to talk and to tell you what works for me. I wish I could do more for you but I really cannot.

    Firstly, it is clear from your comment that you have a big heart like your mother. Not in the “blood pressure” sense but in the sense that I can tell you are a truly good person. Some people lose that heart when they go through a tough time, don’t ever lose it. It is your greatest gift.

    As for the panic attacks, have you talked to anyone about your mothers passing? Did you ever go through a proper grieving process? It seems as though you have been so busy you might not have had time to sort it all out in your head.

    Feel free to email me if you would rather talk in private.


  42. Comment by Rachel K
    2009-02-06 23:22:42
    Instead of calling a friend, for me, I prefer to either text message or talk on chat.

    When I talk on the phone, the conversation will ultimately shift to how I feel like I am going to die in the next two seconds, since my panics are related directly to death. For me, talking about why my panics are legitimate does not help subside them.

    Yet, when I am texting/typing the conversation progresses slower and it allows me to focus on creating a perfect message via keyboard, rather than just saying the first thing that comes to mind. (I hope this makes sense).

    Additionally, using my hand/eye coordination as well as my sense of thought, allows me to preoccupy myself more thoroughly, causing the panic to subside.


    ok, wooooow.. it is EEERY how similar we are. i too panic about death only, and since our overall situation
    is being human, mortal… then that situation will obv never change and if you percieve that as bad, which’
    dying is usually percieved as, then everytime your brain realizes the world its in, its going to start
    panicking, and if that situation is never going to change, you can see the cycle that could develop..

    learning to deal with life/death is key, a perfect
    way is to use the panic as a challenge to master/control
    your mind/self at a higher level.

    it is UNCANNY how we do exaaacty the same things to calm down, texting/chatting as a way of comm
    because obv. our state would be instantly sensed by anyone else, which could bring more judgement, leading
    to more panic etc…

    the strangest thing is how you use hand-eye coord to “override” the panic… i thought i was the only one
    who did that and i learned it by watching a golf instructional video that taught that practically our whole brain is devoted to hand-eye coord so it makes sense that if my focus is on catching something or whatever, it might get in the way of any emotion.. and it kinda does so,
    grab the nearest thing and start tossing it up and catching it, trying to breathe easy and just focusing
    on the simple task at hand.

  43. I’ve been having panic attacks off and on since Sept 2008. I’m just now getting over one right now. The things that happen to me when I get an attack is my left arm goes numb and it gets tingly. Then I get cold chills, if I cover up in a blanket then I get too hot. I breathe with my chest and not my stomach and that strains my chest which makes it seem like it’s harder to breathe. For some reason I find my tightening my stomach. The whole left arm thing really freaks me out. I notice I’m very tense.

    If anyone has any suggestions or feels the same/similiar feelings, please let me know.

  44. Yes I have. He prescribed me meds which I take sometimes but I don’t like to be on them all the time. In Sept 08 I went to the ER, and October 09 I went to the ER…They run tests, EKG, X Rays, etc…

  45. I’ve been having these panic attacks since last month. And it seems like the fear is consuming me. The more I think about it the worst it gets. I really long for the days when I didn’t have this disorder.

  46. Hi KC.

    I know it seems bad right now but it doesn’t last. As soon as you feel the panic attack coming on just gently remind yourself that it is just a fleeting event. It has never lasted before and this one won’t last forever. In ten or twenty minutes you will be wondering why you got so worked up about it!

    I highly encourage you to use the tips in the post as well as what other people have suggested in the comments. It is a really interesting idea to go outside and throw a ball around because it is said that it distracts your brain from the panic.

    Also, I’ll always be here if you need to chat. So don’t worry. Its just a little bit of panic. Its never killed anyone.

    Good luck.


  47. My panic attacks has gotten so bad that I think I developed socialphobia, agoraphobia, and extreme embarrassment over it. Next week I have a couple of interviews and I’m afraid that i’ll have a panic attack then. In fact, I’m pretty sure I will since I have been dwelling over it so much. Are there any tips you can give me. I’m panicing just thinking about it.

  48. Other than the tips in the article, its important to remember that they are just interviews. They are not the end of the world. If you do badly you never have to see those people again. Its no big deal. Remember that you are not alone, thousands of people go for interviews everyday. There is no reason to get panicked.

  49. Thanks TDM. I will put your tips to use and see if my conditions improve. I’m really hoping that it does. Thanks again.

  50. I am only 14 years old and I am having panic/anxiety attacks they are the scariest things ever. They always happen when I am about to go to sleep. Any advice?

  51. I have been suffering from severe panic attacks for a little over a year now. I have 4 small children and fear for them knowing how I cannot control my panic attacks. I usually get them really bad when my husband goes to work at night and I am left alone with my kids. I feel like the panic attacks will continue until he comes home 8 hours later. I have no friends or family to call where I live either, I need help & tips because I feel very unhappy at this stage of my life :*(

  52. Thanks for writing this article, I was in the middle of a panic attack, trying to Google some help to settle down. 🙂

  53. Hey everyone. I’ve been dealing with panic attacks for 3 years now. When i was 11 (14 now) i just stood up one day and felt dizzy. which is normal for me becuase i have low blood pressure. but all of a sudden i had a panic attack, i was so scared i didn’t know what was wrong with me. My mom almost took me to the hospital but medical stuff scares me more. So that entire summer was horrible..i couldnt sleep..had them all the time. My condition has gotten a little better. at one point and time they went away for about a month. But not they are getting worse and worse, and i have them in school which is horrible becuase sometimes i have to ask to leave the classroom!!! All my friends dont understand when i try to explain this to them. i tell my mom about them somtimes, and she just tells me to tell myself its all in my head..and somtimes it works..but most the time it dosent.

    I just want to live a normal teenage life, i cant be freaking out like this all the time!! Also what tends to trigger my panic the most is talking about blood or medical situations. Just talking about it can set me off :/

    Please help! and when you guys say “face your fear” what does that mean exactly? do you put your self in a panic situation?

    By the way- i used to get them everywhere..but now its just in school or sometimes when im in the car.
    Thank you for the advice written in the article..i will try to use some of these methods i havent used before.

  54. I’m 15 years old. My panic attack happened at school. During Class! So you could only imagine the situation. It was my second time so i wasn’t used to it. It started off when I was in my computer class, and was feeling very nauseas but that was it. I figured i was just sick.

    After class i made my way to my science class. As i walked in i felt my nausea increasing. I walked over to my freind and began talking to her casually. The class was beginning so i took a seat. Then things got weird. Everyone was talking amongst themselves but their voices were so loud in my ears. The noise made me plug my ears. That didn’t help, i wanted to go somewhere quiet. I put my head down on the table thinking it will help. When i lifted my head, that’s when the panic attack occurred. It was too much for me.I felt my pulse in my throat, and I sat up straight looking around my self nervously. Everyone looked like strangers. I felt like i was in a whole different realm. Basically i thought i was going crazy.
    I knew it was a panic attack so i didn’t want to call for emergency. But i still thought i was hallucinating.
    I wanted to run out of the room. But i resisted the urge as i sat there trying to look normal as possible. I forced myself to not let the panic over come me. I battled it like a war saying to myself, “i can either let this panic convince me that im going crazy, or i can show it that it can’t take over me just like that.” I was basically repeating things like that in my head, conquering the panic like it was some monster. I was giving myself pep talks. “Are I gona let this take advantage of me? NO. I’m gona show it what I’m made of. That you I can conquer anything.”
    It wasn’t easy to do, just like it wouldn’t be easy to defeat a monster. Eventually the panic faded away. I had small impulses throughout the class, but like you said, It takes time for it to go away completely.

    I found that after the panic attack, i was participating more freely in class, putting my hand up for things and sharing my honest personal opinion on things. This is not normal for me because im not that talkative in class discussions.

  55. Hello,
    I don’t know if anyone can help me. I am not sure if what i am suffering is a panic attack or something else.
    Just recently i have become increasingly dependent on my boyfriend of nearly 2 years. When we are together i feel perfectly fine, but as soon as we part i immediately feel sick to the stomach, anxious and very helpless. My heart beat races a mile a minute, i find it difficult to breathe and i either start to cry or i am on the verge of bursting into tears and i have to mentally fight really hard to hold it back, which is exhasting.
    I don’t understand the reason for me suddenly feeling like this, i have been in a long term relationship before and never felt this desperation and actual need to be with someone. Also there hasn’t been a trigger at all, it has come on completly out of the blue.
    We are both going to different universites in a few months time, meaning we will only get to see each other a handful of times a month, and i am absoloutely terrifed about how i am going to deal with it. (We currently see each other roughly 5 days a week.) It fustrates me greatly because i know these feeling are phycological and completly unreasonable. I feel like i’m losing my mind, and i am constantly worrying that i am going to push him away with my anxixety and constant reliance on him.
    I have tried the techniques above, and they do help me relax and calm down for a certain period of time, however i feel like i am not addressing the problem itself, because i don’t actually know what it is. I’m too nervous to see anyone about it because i know it all sounds terribly pathetic, but it is far, far more than your average clingy girlfriend.
    I hope someone could shed some light on this because i am so tired of feeling like this anymore.

  56. Hello,
    I don’t know if anyone can help me. I am not sure if what i am suffering is a panic attack or something else.
    Just recently i have become increasingly dependent on my boyfriend of nearly 2 years. When we are together i feel perfectly fine, but as soon as we part i immediately feel sick to the stomach, anxious and very helpless. My heart beat races a mile a minute, i find it difficult to breathe and i either start to cry or i am on the verge of bursting into tears and i have to mentally fight really hard to hold it back, which is exhasting.
    I don’t understand the reason for me suddenly feeling like this, i have been in a long term relationship before and never felt this desperation and actual need to be with someone. Also there hasn’t been a trigger at all, it has come on completly out of the blue.
    We are both going to different universites in a few months time, meaning we will only get to see each other a handful of times a month, and i am absoloutely terrifed about how i am going to deal with it. (We currently see each other roughly 5 days a week.) It fustrates me greatly because i know these feeling are phycological and completly unreasonable. I feel like i’m losing my mind, and i am constantly worrying that i am going to push him away with my anxixety and constant reliance on him.
    I have tried the techniques above, and they do help me relax and calm down for a certain period of time, however i feel like i am not addressing the problem itself, because i don’t actually know what it is. I’m too nervous to see anyone about it because i know it all sounds completly pathetic, but it is far, far more than your average clingy girlfriend.
    I hope someone could shed some light on this because i am so tired of feeling like this anymore.

  57. Hi Rose.

    It sounds like a panic attack but I can’t be sure. The absolute best thing you can do is go to your GP and ask for advice. He/she will be able to help you in the best way. Don’t put it off either – I sometimes wonder why people put it off when help is so close.

    In the meantime don’t worry too much. Just think to yourself, if I have a panic attack that’s fine, it doesn’t matter and it won’t last. Lots of people get them.

    But go and see your doctor and let us know how you go. Thoughts go out to you.


  58. Hey all! Ive been having panic attacks for about a month now (literally just had one ten mins ago). I dont hyperventalate or anything but I get really hot flushes and panicky in my mind that something bad will happen and a fear of dread that makes me feel sick to my stomach. I have been unemployed for a year now and I think this is partly why it has started up. Seeing the same four walls day in and day out is really getting to me.
    I’m usually quite quiet with my panick attacks i.e if Im having one i will jus quietly retreat to my room and put on a funny film which really helps or as previous pple have said talk on msn.
    What triggered it off for me was a week after I had gone to a friends party and stupidly taken a party drug I started thinking had it changed me for life as certain deaths kept cropping up in the news about this drug (and a cocktail of others). This was when I had my first panick attack, listening to the news about a death from this drug. I will never take any sort of drugs again but I have to keep constantly reminding myself that I have been scaring myself through these panic attacks into thinking that I have changed because of one stupid mistake.
    Ive booked the doctors for Wed anyway so I feel much better about that.
    Just remember that the mind is a powerful thing. Did you know the term ‘sick with worry’ comes from the actual feeling we humans put ourselves through….think about it!
    And its so odd cos now i feel fine but its best not to look as it like will I have one tomorrow….just deal wtih here and now.

    Good Luck to everyone and nothing is as bad as it seems. Remember there is so much to see in this world and so much to do! Lets beat this fear of the unknown!

  59. Hi

    I have had panic attacks since I was at college, and in the last few months they have come back. And yes, I feel like I’m dying – it’s horrible, I get pins and needles in my stomach, and my hearing and sight get disorientated, which is very scary. I have almost turned into a social recluse in some ways. Again, like so many of you, I have no idea what so ever what is causing them, and I have a loving and very understanding boyfriend who is always there for me, and I have gone to the doctor many a time about my attacks. He suggested to me last week hypnotherapy to try and see what the cause is, as I am getting to the stage where I cannot go out – public spaces are ok as long as they aren’t crowded, but shops, especially big ones such as supermarkets or department stores are out of the question – as soon as I lose sight of the exit doors I freak!! I am hoping I am strong enough to get through it and will keep you posted on how the hypnotherapy/ counciling goes! Out of interest, has anyone tried hypnotherapy, and did it help?

  60. Hello fellow panic attack sufferers. I’m 20 and I have just started getting panic attacks yesterday, Tuesday May 4th. I’ve had one yesterday when I brought my dog to the vet and another later that night before I went to bed and it frightened me terribly, which I suppose happens to most people who have their first panic attack, I had my second today after driving in a new car, I almost had a third after reading about other stories of sufferer. I managed to fend the third one off. This is all I’ve had so far and I already want it to stop or just lessen. I can’t imagine having them for years like some of the other sufferers. I currently don’t have health insurance so I don’t want to go to a doctor. I have read that attempting to fight it when the symptoms occur could prevent or even stop you from having them all together. I am going to try breathing meditation.

    I’m trying this currently and I think it will help. I try to watch TV, play video games, pet my animals and roll a rubber ball in my hand. some times these work and sometimes they don’t. I’m under quite a bit of stress lately because a lot of things are going to be going on these next two weeks. I’ve told one of my friends who I plan on visiting Friday about my panic attacks and I plan on telling her everything about them so she doesn’t worry too much and can maybe help me calm down. I do believe that I know where the root of the problem is besides stress. When I have my attacks I fear dying or I feel that I need to go to the hospital or need to get medication for it. Even though I know whats going on sometimes human nature takes over and I start freaking out.

    My panic attacks start when I either feel tingly or have a hard time breathing. I then become clammy or cold and start to shake a bit. I find that during these symptoms if I can keep my cool I sometimes can fight it off. I also find it helpful if not odd to watch either videos on the internet or watch TV shows with characters under stress and dealing with it without freaking out. I suppose it tells my subconscious that if they can deal with their stress then I can too, as ridiculous as it seems. I also find that it helps a bit to either talk about it or tell my self exactly whats going on and why it’s happening. Sometimes logic wins out and other times it doesn’t. I don’t really know how to explain it.

    I’m posting here because I would like to know if there are also other non-medication ways of calming, preventing or stopping panic attacks. I’m also posting so I can read about others and talk to others who understand whats going on.

    As odd as it is, I feel that panic attacks could be considered a right of passage towards adulthood since it seems that a lot of people start getting them around my age. It’s like a way for you to prepare for the stress of adulthood in the future. I know this is a weird thought.

    I do have a question though. Could panic attacks be caused by a change in sleeping habits like waking up earlier and trying to go to bed earlier?

  61. im 12 years old and had a panic attack, i cried so much cos i was scared it would ever happen again. its been about 6 weeks since ive had it and its still on my mind, any ways to get it out of my head completely and how to move on? im crying right now cos im scared of just losing myself. I think im ok but the thing is its stuck on my mind and then i wory. I really want to be normal again. By the way i have a cold at the moment so does it really make my breathing a bit harder?
    Please help me someone:)

  62. Hi Bee.

    I tried hypnotherapy when I was a very young lad who was still wetting the bed due to some trauma I witnessed. I remember that it was nice to just listen to someone and have some strategy for coping. Give it a try.

    My little brother used to have panic attacks every time he went to public places or a party or a cafe. He developed an eating disorder in high school and then any time he was around food or had to go to a food related social situation he would have an attack. He talked to the doctor and then just decided to deal with it. Instead of canceling his dinner engagements he would rock up, say hello to everyone and then rush into the bathroom to have his attack. After five minutes he’d be back, fine. Now he is a doctor and has no problems at all. I think he dealt with it.

    Try to be gentle with yourself. You are getting help and I’m sure in no time at all you’ll be feeling normal.

  63. Hi Abby.

    Sorry to hear you have started to have attacks. I think it sounds like you are approaching it well though. The most important thing I found for myself is to not add to the panic by freaking out when it starts. Towards the end I would just say to myself “here we go again” and laugh as I started to have another one. It made it a lot less difficult as I didn’t stress myself out trying to stop it.

    I have no idea about the causes of panic attacks. I have done a lot of reading about them and its still a pretty unknown thing to the medical world. I really think you should visit a doctor though, just to be safe. He/she can also give you some herbal tablets that help you calm down.

    Good luck! And don’t worry, you’re not alone at all.

  64. Hi Emily.

    Don’t worry, you won’t lose yourself, die or anything like that. Lots and lots of people go through what you are going through so don’t feel alone.

    The best thing you can do is talk to your mum and dad about it today. Sharing the problem will make you feel so much better.

    Just remember that these things don’t last. You’ll be fine soon.

  65. I have this every night, as I just had my second son. My first is 2 and a half, and my second is now 6 weeks old. They started when I was 8 months pregnant with the second and I can’t get them to stop. I can’t stand them but know so many people who became a zombie for years because of medication so I am even scared to go to a doctor about them. I have the same symptoms only at night… did you ever get this resolved? or does anyone know what I can do to STOP having them, without seeing a doctor. When Im not in one, I think how stupid was that, Im fine, why did I just freak out like that… but when Im in one im convinced that Im dying, or other things and I have a million thoughts running through my head, thinking im going insane and need to go to a mental hospital but i cant because my children need me. Anyone else have any ideas?

  66. I had quite a lot of panic attacks when I was a child and a handful as an adult but this past fortnight I have suffered from them almost daily…some brief and some more severe. This means I haven’t slept properly which has left me exhausted and only adds to my anxious state!

    I decided enough was enough today and have made an appointment with a counsellor to look at cognitive behavioural therapy as I am wary of taking medication.

    Has anyone had any experience of this?

  67. Hi. I found your article while browsing the web today and find it uplifting. I am a 31 year old female who suffers from panic disorder. It’s hard to explain my panic attack development but I can say I’ve had the panic attack feeling since I was a kid. I avoided public speaking at all costs and fainted twice (age 8 and 16)! I had my first “omg I’m going to die” experience two summers ago and was taken to the ER in an ambulence from my apartment. Long story short, I live in NYC and the subways used to give me many little panicky episodes and a couple times I had to flee the train and get “above ground” where I can breathe. One Sunday evening I was at home watching a movie with my boyfriend but all that kept racing through my mind was the train ride I have to take to work the next day. I was terrified of getting panic attacks on the train since at times there is no way out. This constant worry provoked the panic attack and it was bad. 🙁 My boyfriend called 911 and as soon as the paramedics got to me they said that it was just a panic attack. JUST A PANIC ATTACK!??? I couldn’t believe they took it so calmly…didn’t I almost die? I laugh now thinking about how scared I was, though not a laughing matter. They offered to still take me to the hospital and get an evaluation. The following week, I started seeing a therapist who prescribed me with zoloft and klonapin. I never took klonapin unless I knew I was going somewhere that might trigger it. I weaned myself off the zoloft after about 1 1/2 years. Well I am now fine on the trains, I must take them everyday for work so there was really no going around that. An IPOD definitely helps. I read a lot and now buy books online, download into my ipod and that’s where my mind is during the trains now. However, my current “fear” resides in restaurants and/or bars. This is really annoying because I love trying new places to eat. I thought I was fine for a while but had a mini-attack (that’s what I call them when they do not unfold into a complete panic attack) this past weekend. We made plans with friends (that sometimes triggers my panic feeling…just making plans) to have dinner at a cute restaurant by our home. I always, no matter what, think about panic attacks whenever we make plans to dine out somewhere. Well again I thought about it beforehand and sure enough after the drinks came, before the meals I felt “dizzy” and “nervous”. My boyfriend took me outside for some fresh air, I knew the symptoms so I kind of knew what to expect. The first thing I told him when we got outside was, “I want to go home. Can we pack my dinner in a box?” There I go, running. He is wonderful and was willing to do whatever needed to be done so I will feel comfortable. Even if it meant walking me home then going back to settle the bill and get my purse & jacket from the restaurant. Aww. SOunded perfect but I knew that I couldn’t run and hide from this. I MUST fight and beat it. (I’m pretty competitive and see it as a game: me vs. my mind). Well after about 2 min I made the decision to go back inside and see how I feel. I told my friends that I was feeling a little under the weather, they were totally supportive and even complained that it was really hot inside the restaurant. Well, about five minutes passed and I was fine. I had lost my appetite but that’s better than having a panic attack. I usually do the breathing advice and quietly took deep breaths in and out while everyone was talking about a different topic. By the time dinner was over I was completely fine. We all came over to our apartment for drinks afterwards and no more panic feeling.

    I’m just so afraid of having panic attacks, that it triggers panic attacks. It is really annoying and here’s a perfect example. Ever since that evening (Friday night) I have been worrying about panic attacks since! Now I’m at work spending most of my day browsing the web about panic attack/disorder. I even scheduled an appointment with my old therapist whom I stopped seeing because I thought I was fine. How can I prevent being scared of them?? I know I will be fine but can’t stop thinking about it. I’m just really scared that I will never be normal.

    Thanks for listening.

  68. OK, I don’t know whether or not they are panick attacks, but here are some symptoms I have been getting over the past few months..
    Feeling that I can’t breathe properly (kind of like I need to yawn but can’t) every 10 minutes or so; Heart rate climbs; Feeling suddenly very hot; cold sweats; dizziness.. these are the main symptoms I have noticed.
    On 1st March, I woke up and felt in a dreamlike state. I thought nothing of it and expected it to go away on its own through the day. I still have the same feeling, though it worsens, and I continuously lose fous when looking at things, and end up stuck, staring into space. The symptoms are worsening still, so much that I had to quit my college course as I found concentrating impossible. Words were not making sense, I forgot things after seconds of learning them.
    Since it all started, I’ve not stopped worrying for one day – I can’t!! For the first month, my Dad had to take me to work with him, in his lorry, as I could not function properly at-all. Couldn’t cook, make sense of time, I became afraid of being on my own, and of the dark. I can be on my own now (I have to be because Dad’s hours are long) but feel uneasy about going out.
    My breathing is worse – it gets harder to regain my normal breathing, and my heartbeat seems to be faster all the time now.
    I feel absent from everything, detached from my body, have various different pains in my head that happen at least 20 times a day, I lose focus when I read, watch T.V, play games, or anything, it seems.
    Here’s my current situation:
    Please don’t judge me, or else stop reading now..
    Last May, I was diagnosed with anorexia. After being in a Child Rehabilitation-kind-of place for only 2 weeks (I couldn’t cope being there any longer), my dad brought me to his house, where I have continued to live. This caused my Mother (suffers from Bipolar Disorder) to get very angry and upset (she said that what I was doing was unfair to her; told me that I can’t love her; asked me continuously when I would be “coming back home”..). At first, Dad was home all the time, having been made redundant from his job. Now, he has a new job, but we’re short of money, as my mum keeps borrowing it from my dad and not paying it back, and, as they are short of money, too, Dad has been feeding my brother regularly (who lives with Mum). Since leaving rehabilitation, I have had to gain weight to reach my target. All was going well, until January-ish, when my weight dropped to almost what it had been in the beginning. This obviously made me panic, and since, I have struggled to keep my weight high. I must reach the target by early next month, according to my doctor, and if it is lower than it was when he started monitoring me, I am told that I will be sectioned. Another panic. I’m on my own, being made to gain weight, still finding it a little hard. I have these various symptoms, lots of things going on all at the same time, and I don’t know what to do. I’m 16 and in need of help. Please, please can anyone give me some advice??

  69. Hey I have also heard that the panic attacks I’m having could be a thyroid disorder is that so? Because I’m a healthy 23 yr and have no stress or anything good job no money problems nice house and great gf so I have no idea what this stuff is all about

  70. Hey I have been having panic attacks but have no idea why I heard it could be a thyroid problem is that true? Also I took a blood test and have a slightly high white blood cell count could that also have something to do with it?

  71. Please can ANYONE help me?? I wouldn’t usually post info. online, but I don’t know where to turn.. I’m terrified of what’s happening.. Please, if anyone has any advice, I would really appreciate anyone’s help.

  72. This really helped, thank you. I was young when I had my first one. I got put into a hospital for it, it was so bad, haha… but anyways I learned in their if you think about the one thing you love or thing you love doing, just picture yourself in that moment or doing that thing, and it helped me alot. The breathing, medatating, and talking someone worked the best.

    Thank you so much.


  73. It seems wierd or strange and I feel that some people might think this is odd and will never work but it does for me. I’m 12 almost 13 and not many things I can do about panic attacks due to my age so one thing I mainly do is I go in the bathroom, shut the door and lock it, turn on the fan, and sit down and think about happy things like being with my boyfriend, playing with friends, or havin fun at “Pirate All-Star Cheerleading” practice where I have fun doing a competative sport with friends and learning how to do some pretty amzing things.( Pirate All-Stars is located at Scotia NY , 127 Mohawk ave. Feel free to join you can check out our website “”.) So just try and go think to yourself about good times.

  74. hi,I have been dealing with panic attacks for three to four years now. they are horrible and it has been really difficult for me.mine would last for two hours at a time and my therapist( after I broke down and went) told me they were severe. She put me on zoloft, for the depression I was also having, but also is prescribed for panic. this and xanax. She put me on 100mg of zoloft and .25 of the xanax. Her advice to me because I was a single mother of three and worked full time and was terribly afraid of getting hooked was to only take 1/4 of the xanax under my tongue for instant relief. well faster that is. and it did help and I didnt have the fear of getting hooked on the meds because it didnt zone me out i could still function and I havent had to take one now for over 6 months.There was no withdrawel from the xanax cause I only took them at onset of attack. It helped to get a handle on my attacksbut I face them now and try to overcome them myself. I still take the zoloft however. I really hope this helps because I was in a very scary dark place for quite some time and this helped me come out of it.

  75. Panic attacks are the worst! Does anyone know why they happen? I mean, I understand what is happening in my body, but why now? I got my first one on June 18th of this year and have had smaller ones pretty regularly. I hate them. I feel like now that I know they happen, I won’t be able to ever avoid them. The worst thing about them is that I am now in therapy and we are trying to find the cause- at this point I feel like we are going to “invent” a cause b/c there is no reason this should be happening to me. My biggest fear is that the therapist is going to convince me that I am not happy with my life..even though I am happy with it.

  76. When I first started having panic attacks I was eight years old, I’m twenty now. My panic attacks have always been at night. Unlike many people, I know why I have them. One word:Phobia. I have a severe phobia of vomit. As petty as it sounds, it scares the death out of me. I am always scared I’m going to blow chucks, or that someone else will. It causes me to have these horrible anxiety/panic attacks where I convulsive, cry, sweat, break out in hives, and of all things… I get extremely nauseous. And when I think it’s over, it’s not. I wait for the next wave, the next attack.
    What seems to help me part of the time is deep breathing, but that’s really it. My phobia and panic attacks are stopping me from living my life. Hopefully someone will shed some light. I’m tired of living in fear, and I feel no one can relate, except for people reading this article looking for an answer, just like me.

  77. I recently went to the doctors and found out I suffer from panic attacks and I just cant seem to relax, breathing slowly makes me panic more and they last ages because of this. I can’t seem to distract myself at all 🙁

  78. I hate this. I’m 15 and having them often, It’s ruining my childhood. I’m starting to hate my life and now i feel hopless and no one can help me.

  79. I have had panic attacks since I was % yrs old, things
    quited down fo some time, in 1999 My wook got very stressful and they came My Doctor put me on zoloft and it helped for years,in April I was fired for having panic attacks, after & months of torment form My boss and co-worker,My Doctor triplef My meds. I am still getting 3 to 7 Panic attacks a Day, any ideas (I’M lost)
    David in wisconsin

  80. My name is Sarah Spear and I am 26 years old. I have been diagnosed with GAD and anxiety with agoraphobia. I have been divorced from my husband for over 5 years now. I first started having panic right before the divorce. I was put on 10 mg of lexapro and took it for about 4 months and went off of it. I haven’t been on them again because I really didn’t have that much anxiety or anything and was doing fine.

    Well at the beginning of august I started having panic attacks in the car. Once I would get home I would feel fine. Well, right before I got my period I was having full blown panic attacks even at home safe in my bed. After I finished menstruating the panic attacks stopped. It went from panic attacks to anxiety attacks. My fiance works nights, and this is usually the time that I freak out. When he gets home from work I mellow out and I am fine until the next night.

    I feel short of breathe, my neck and throat feel tight, I want to cry, and I yearn for my fiance to be home because I know it will go away.

    I was put back on the Lexapro on monday, but I am terrified of the pills and I really don’t want to be taking them.

    I try to calm myself down when the anxiety flares up, but breathing and those type of things just bring me to tears. Once my fiance gets home, then I am fine.

    Can anyone help me come up with a way to get rid of this or offer some good advice?

    Please and thank you!

    Sarah in North Dakota

  81. Hi,
    I just wanted to thank you for the post, it’s nice to know a few tricks to getting over panic attacks and that I’m not going crazy.
    I’ve had a few small ones, that didn’t scare me but left me breathless, but two days ago I had a very strong one. I think it was caused by the excitement of a competition with the added stress of cutting my eye.

    It helped having someone around me, especially people I trust completely, or even someone who didn’t look just as scared as I was. Also, it was really good that I realized what was happening from the beginning and could rationally force myself to calm down and take a break at times.

  82. Hi, I am a healthy 23 year old as well and I recently got blood work done after having a set of panic attacks. Everything came up normal except for my thyroid…did you find anything else about where it is related or not?

  83. I’ve suffered with P.A. for 7 years now. I wasn’t able to read all the posts so sorry if I add something that someone else already spoken about. In therapy I’ve learned 2 tech. that help me. The 1st one is sometimes called the “tender spot” Place your right hand fingers closed and flat over your left clavicle ( collar bone) then move your hand down from that point one whole hand size. At that point press your first 2 fingers gently into your chest and you should feel a “tender spot” It’s a lymph node. Rubbing clockwise (although I do both directions) slowly with both fingers and slow breathing you’ll notice that the area isn’t tender anymore and you’ve have calmed down. I also had a little mantra that I spoke aloud such as; I am safe, I am healthy, I am in control, I am ok. Etc. Doing all these things at the same time I thinks helps to channel your body and mind into different spaces and places. Redirection. The other one I do is called “over energy” Sitting down stretch your arms out in front of you with your hands facing away from each other fingers spread open. Cross your right arm over your left and now your fingers should be facing each other. Clasp your fingers (hands) together and then pull your arms in toward your chest. Your hands will automatically start to flip down and then head up toward your chest. Once they are facing up rest them on your chest. Then cross your right ankle over your left ankle and do slow breathing. I know that this maybe hard to picture I hope these help. Good Luck.

  84. I have been having attacks for about 2 months now. When I found out what I was dealing with, I learned to deal with it by keeping calm and breathing. As soon as I would feel one coming on , I was usually able to cut it off by breathing slowly. But today an attack came on so suddenly I was unable to thwart it and it seemed 10x’s more intense. I have taken atavan but I do not like medication at all and it seemed tomake the situation worse. Any natural aromatherapy suggestions anybody? Or natural ways to combat this ? I really hate to think that I have to rely on drugs for the rest of my life. Thanks for the great blog btw!!

  85. Hi

    I agree that finding the cause or causes of your panic attacks and finding the way to feel ok about the cause/s is the key to overcoming them. If the cause doesn’t seem evident to you, having someone help you think through your thoughts should unearth it/them.

    In the meantime, I found that tackling a pile of ironing helped me calm down during my year of attacks.

    I hope those of you who are still having them find your way out of these dreadful attacks soon.

  86. This is in response to a post from a couple of monthes ago…

    How are you?!!!
    I was just looking at this site because my panic attacks have returned and I am determined not to let them get the best of me.
    I noticed your post and I noticed that no one replied… Are you ok?!! Breathe deep and know that you are not alone.
    None of us are alone, we are all in this together.

    Positive thoughts and energy to all of you out there like me, who feel like the walls are closing in..

  87. I am so glad i found this site, i suffer from panic attacks since aug this year.. They are truly terrifying and as i type this im just after getting over another one.. My doc prescribed me lexapro 10mg while im waiting to go to therapy, but upped the dose to 20mg.. the tabs are making me very sleepy and down so i came off them, i decided 2 face it myself and thankfully i have an appointment next week for clinic.

    All i can say to someone suffering is listen to your fav artist or as i just done logged onto facebook and a friend chatted and i completely relaxed.. Go outside if you feel you cant breathe and breathe n the fresh air.. Go into a room with light n it, the dark can make you worse.. Keep telling yourself that you are going to be ok, try not focus on whats happenin as it will make it worse.. Always remember that it will pass within mins and you’ll be fine… Love to everyone xxx

  88. I was just coming out of a panic attack when I started searching how to help it and found your site,I am 39 yrs.old and never had them before 2 years ago.The first one I had I passed out and for the first 8-10 I came close to it again,everyone of them was horrible.but, I was lucky enough to always have someone around to help remind me to breathe slow.that was a big help.I still have them but not as many and not as often” thank god” because my family has heart issues and that causes my attacks to be worse when I do have one I am convinced I am gonna die everytime.I have been to the Dr. and nothing ever done they just say I had a panic attack and send me on my way.So I started talking to myself”not all the time i’m not” when I get an attack I just remind myself that the calmer I am the faster it will pass and I will be ok as long as I slow down and’s amazing how one can trick themselves.Just learn to stay calm and dont rely on others cause your not always going to be in a position to have someone there.and if you have time to prevent an attack just calmly walk away from the stress deal with things that stress you with a diff. approach. I wish you all the best and good luck!

  89. For some reason I am finding it hard to make replies on this thread.

    Sorry for all of you who didn’t get replies.

    Please go and see your doctor as your first step. I wish I had done that right away.


  90. I have had two one back in May and one last night 6 months apart. My first one was very scary and emotional, i didnt know what was happening and i swear to this day if my boyfriend wasnt with me to tell me what was happening to me, i would have drove my self to the hospital. My first one came out of no where, one minute i was laughing and relaxing and i began to panic, i thought i was going insane. I thought my heart was going to explode and that my legs would never stop swaying back and forth. The scary part was that i was driving and i just wanted to give up and let me car take control. When i finally was able to pull over i was hysterically crying and i didnt want to be touched. Once i calmed down a little bit, every time i would start talking about it i would burst back into tears. I do have to say it was the worst feeling in the world, but once i stopped and my heart rate lowered, i felt better then ever, so relieved it was over that i felt like million dollars. However last nights attack was not very similar and i didnt not feel as great after wards. The good news is that it did stop and i am ok, i was lucky once again to not be alone. Last night i wish i knew what was happening, i would have been able to relax and tell my self that i was going to be ok, bc that is the main focus during a panic attack to remind yourself u will survive. But since last night’s was completely different and six months apart, i had no idea i was having another panic attack. Last night i felt like i was going to die, i couldnt breath, my heart rate was insane. but it stopped and i survived and i dont feel as great today as i did after the first but i just read a bunch of articles and they say u never know how it starts how it will turn out and what you can do to prevent them. But i know i have to start remembering that its ONLY a panic attack and i will be ok….. good luck to all of u out there that have or will have a panic attack… the best advice i can give you its while its happening embrace it, dont try to beat it.. take deep Breaths. and wait they only last 10 mins…. If u are with someone at the time and they begin to over reach tell them that you dont know what is going to happen so they should just relax and stay close….good luck all… stressed out people.

  91. i have had lots off panic attacks recently been to doctors loads about them and he put me on medication and they done nothing to help my panic attacks then he said try different enviroment stay somewhere else i am house bound because scared am gonna have panic attack, blowing in a bag dont seem to help for me, i just want them to go they are really scary dont like them at all and when i go to my mum she dont no what to do when i have one and there not much help out there for panic attack, everytime i have one i cant seem to calm my self down then i get worse just wish there was some way i can sort these out and calm them but cant ..

  92. hi,

    i am 30 years old. i’ve been suffering from panic attacks for a little more than two years now. the trigger, i believe is fleeting pain in the chest. i got all tests and reports under the sun done – that too multiple times. i have been told by multiple doctors that i have no physiological problem. i was also recommended to see a psychiatrist to help deal with the problem. every once in a while, i would think my problems have gone away but i would still get panicky again, especially when i get fleeting chest pain or pain in the hands. i am hoping and praying my panic attacks go away.

  93. I started getting them again. I was good for about four years, and now its happening again. Mine are derived from bad thoughts and the fear that I’m dying or having a heart attack. My Dr gave me a fer tips to slow the heart rate. Massage your corated artery on your neck, softly. Or bear down and grunt like your having a bowel movement.

  94. About six years ago, my friends and I wanted to experiment with Exctasy. We all bought one pill each and I only took a little chunk of mine. About an hour later, my heart started to race, I sweat horribly and it lasted for about two hours. I’d never experienced anything like that at all until that night. Take into consideration that before this, I’ve never really done anything illegal. It was just a bunch of us being curious as to what all the rave was with this drug. I never touched it again, and since then – I’ve been scared beyond belief about any and everything.

    I never had a panic attack until after this episode. Now, it controls my life. The panicking comes on over nothing. I don’t sit around and think about how bad life is or how nervous I am about something – my heart will just start racing out of nowhere when I start to think about when I am going to have my next episode. The one thing that helps me get through these things is looking up stuff on google about how to calm panic attacks down without medication and while at home. If I focus my time and energy on reading that other people go through these things all the time, it makes me realize that I’m not dying and eventually, all will be fine.

  95. It’s the opposite for me, it makes me calm down knowing that others go through this all the time. It makes me realize that I am not alone, and it helps me come to the conclusion that I am NOT dying… Which, is what I feel like I am doing when I go through one of my panic attack episodes.

  96. I started experiencing panic attacks about 2 years ago.. It’s the most horrible thing i have experienced… I love kids and i was the happiest person u could ever meet… i got sick with a cold and from then- continuing i have had these horrible things… it has gotten so bad that i dont drive,i dont leave the house,i dont look outside much, and i hate light and can not stand to be alone.. i always think im going to die and i think about how final death is i mean duh we all know it happens but i mean the thought of no longer being here scares me !! I am 22 years old and i have a 8 month old daughter that is my world and my worst fear is not being here with her or what if something happens to me .. i dont trust anyone enough to help her daddy with her !! I dont like the way i feel at all and i dont believe it is fair for anyone person to feel the way i do… I have been prescribed Xanax and that again is another fear i have i will not take any medicines because i am scared of what the long term affect could be …. Its crazy i want to be me again and i dont understand why it hit me so hard !!! and i too like to read others stories so i dont feel alone !! my sister has attacks to but hers isnt to the point she want leave home like mine are…

  97. im 15 years old and recentley started gettn panic attacks . i feel like everytime i leave my house something bad is going to happen . im realy independent and usualy never home on weekends and vacations and after school . but recentley i just stayed home from school for a week because these panic attacks where happening during my breakfest time at school & just felt the need to be home . no body in my family had have panic attacks before . i have this best friend and her family is like my family and they always have panic attacks . So there the only ones i can realy rely on too help me with this . i feel like these panic attacks are ruining my life , its like i cant have a social life because when i leave my house i feel worse .

  98. I used to have panic attacks 2 years ago, went to the doctors, the hospital and they put me on anti-depressants and ativan to calm down during an attack. I started to feel better so i stopped taking them a year later. 3 weeks ago now, they’ve started again, but worse, it’s not just panic attacks now it’s 24/7 anxiety and panic attacks. I think i’m dying, there’s something wrong with me, i’m contstantly worried and thinking about my breathing like i’m going to stop anytime, my head and throat feels numb, i feel dizzy and light headed – and these symptoms are not going away, i feel like i’m going through a panic attack all day and night. I just started seeing a councellor which hasn’t helped yet and i don’t want to go on meds. Can someone please respond to this and help?????? 🙁

  99. i also have panic attacks, but these are to do with retching, and every time i have a panic attack, i either lose the will to live or i want a quick and snappy remedy.
    i know that there arent any quick and snappy remedys, but i think that that is only way i can calm down before i do the things that i think will make me retch.
    now i have read through all these remedys, and i dont think that any of them will work, so i wanted to try hypnotherapy, is this a good idea?

    oliver smith. 🙂

  100. Creative imagery does wonders for me. Find a place in your mind where you feel safe and warm and practice going there often. Then, as soon as you have a panic attack, you can escape there in your mind. It instantly stops the physical symptoms of the attack.

  101. Thanks for all of the great info. I, too, suffer from panic attacks occasionally. They feel terrible but the feeling never lasts. I try to distract myself with tv, or happy memories, funny things…. but when I can’t head them off like that I have a few techniques that help. One is to look at a clock and I tell myself that in 5 minutes I will feel dramatically different than I do in that very moment, and having something to focus on like that really helps. And it’s true, that in 5 minutes from that time I will feel much better, if not all the way. Also, trying to use affirmations when I’m feeling panicky and also when I’m not help to keep a positive mental attitude. Some of the phrases that are helpful are: “I am calm and relaxed. All is well in my world.” “I now attract soothing and calming energy into my body.” “My mind is constantly in tune with the positive. It is bright and cheerful, enthusiastic and full of good, positive thoughts and ideas.” Hope that this helps someone else out too.

  102. I have been having anxiety attacks since I was little. I always get them at night when trying to go to sleep. I always think there is something physically wrong with me or my kids, or scared that they are dying, even though they are pretty healthy. I actually just had one that’s why I came to this website. I’ve been taking medication for it, and it does help me because I really just can’t get control of myself, mentally and physically when I’m having one. I just keep thinking about it over and over. I’ve been to busy to refill my meds, its been about 2 weeks. I really shouldn’t have procrastinated and now I’m paying for it! I keep thinking my 3 year old is going to die and scaring the crap out of myself! It sounds kind if funny when I read what I just wrote, but its honestly what I’m freaking out about. Its very stressful and I can’t sleep. This sucks.

  103. I started having panic attacks about two weeks after I found out my mom had stage four lung cancer. My mom died 9 days later. I continued having them for about a year and kept myself doped up on a combinatin of Klonapin and Lexapro. After I had my first couple of panic attacks, I was consumed by the thought of having another one. Any sensation (i.e. being full, being tired) would make me feel like a panic attack was on the way. It was so scary.

    My panic attacks consisted of my heart racing, nausea, feeling like I couldn’t breath, etc. I made between five and six trips to the emergency room because I was convinced that I was actually dying. It was terrifying.

    I decided I wanted to be able to get off of the medicine and deal with my mom’s death. I had been through many things growing up; foster care, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and had never had to rely on medication to cope.

    I began seeing a counselor and I am now drug-free. I had to talk about my feelings towards my mom and the outstanding thoughts I hadn’t quite considered. I cried and still do cry whenever I feel like it. Bottling up the emotion and trying to be “strong” was a main factor in the onset of my panic attacks.

    Good luck to everyone on here. You’re not alone!!

  104. I just read your post and can understand. I took antidepressants and anti anxiety pills for several years. Then my husband lost his job of 30 years and I went back into depression. Pills started making me sick and I made the mistake of getting off the antidepressant. It’s been a few months now, and I have panic and anxiety with the same symptoms you describe. A good counselor will help, but you really need your meds. This will affect your physical health too. And prayer helps me a lot. Please let us know how you do!

  105. Hi to you all,
    I only used to have attacks when I had to stand in front of a group of people and talk. At school and at college these situations were unavoidable and extremely embarrassing. Now my attacks are triggered by the smallest amount of pressure. Being the centre of attention, even with people I know, is unbearable and guarantees a panic attack. My work colleagues don’t seem to understand what’s going on and I’m too embarrassed to explain.
    I’ve read through all of the messages and will try to incorporate some of these techniques in my life and hopefully things will improve. Good luck to all you fellow sufferers and be sure that my thoughts are with you.
    Great site by the way


  106. I’ve decided to be pro-active about my “anxiety-disorder”. It’s a great opportunity to finally learn mastery of the mind. I’ve been putting off learning real meditation for years. All of my anxiety and panic-attacks stem from the little “chatter-box” in my head. With very little effort you can silence this counter-productive inner voice. The hard part is learning to catch it before it starts. Eventually, taming it completely.

  107. Caffeine? I just had one out of nowhere again and Im trying to think what I did today and at work I drank a redbull .. I fell asleep at 8pm woke up at 11pm and had one outta nowhere Ive been on ativan for 2 years now but I ran out. I am gonna cut out caffeine for a while and see I would pay for a way to stop this I have em all the time. I have emergency room visit bills stacked up from this.

  108. I had panic attacks a lot and i always got them in school which meant i had to go home as i didnt know wat they were. I went to the doctor and he taught me breathing exercises which, to be honest, didn’t help me in a panic attack. I went back and am on tablets now but wat help me in school is chewing my pen lid. Don’t know why but it does. Any one have info on how to stop a panic attack other than breathing?? Great site.
    Thank you

  109. my father passed away from a sudden heart attack on 3/2/11 at age 55 the following day i drank an excessive amount of liquor and the following day after that i was rushed to the hospital my heart was racing i was dizzy nausea and my legs were very weak i felt like was catching a heart attack myself . i was told i am having anxiety issues . i was sent to a cardiaolgist had a stress test a hole physical everything was good the only thing that came back low was my vietmein D . I have lost almost 20 lbs since . i was prescibed HYDROXYZINE HCL 25MG i stoped using them . but i still get a anxiety not as bad as my first experience but a little chest pain, burning , out a breath , abnormal heart beats , pulse on my throat , a little numbness in my left shoulder arm area . but i have been noticing i been getting better . has anyone ever gone through this and have u gotten back to normal , has totally overcome anxiety and return back to there normal routine in life ?

  110. Thanks alot for this post, i sufeer from about 10 panic attacks everyday, they are horrible because they come from no were and make you feel as if the world is going to end. I normally gut adgitated and uptite in public situations, like on buses or trains for example but im a bit more relieved now because i can use the breathing techniques and calm my self down. Thanks alot for posting this

  111. I just found this blog on google as Im having a panic attack right now…
    My mind loves to be stubborn because I can’t find anything that really really helps.
    Panic attacks have been a huge part of my life for the last 2 years.
    Theres medication but because I’m so young (under 18) my doctor said it’s not an option.

  112. hello,
    i am 13 years old and i have been have been having frequent panic attacks since I was 9 or 10. I have tried multiple techniques and none have seemed to help my panic attacks for long. But my one piece of advice to anyone with frequent panic attack is not to get dependent on anyone to make you feel better. I became dependent on my mom when I was younger and was completely unable to function without her on a daily basis because my entire day would just become one entire panic attack without her because I was having a panic attack because I was afraid of having a panic attack and not having my mom there to comfort me. I would have to stay on the phone for hours because I couldn’t fall asleep without my mom with the fear of having yet another panic attack. It is best to deal with it on your own for the most part. Not to say that it isn’t good to have a support system. Just learn to be self dependent.For anyone who may have any suggestions for my panic attacks i would love to hear anything you have to offer. For those of you who have them, you know that panic attacks are one of the scariest things anyone can experience and i just want a way to make it go away.
    thank you,

  113. Hi everyone my name is Fabian and I’m 25 years old I honestly feel that I’ve been suffering from anxiety since I was a kid, I remember being young and telling my mom help mom I can’t breathe, i was only in 5th grade when I had my first panic attack we were doing plaster masks for a school project and as a result we had to have the masks made over our faces with just our mouth uncovered so we can breathe, sounds crazy huh! Lol but I was actually doing fine until for one moment I thought hey I can breathe throug my nose so that means I can’t breathe! I don’t know what happen but in that instant something triggered in my mind and before you know it I could no longer continue the mask project, after that I would then go home and once in a while start hyperventilating out of nowhere just thinking of the thought of not breathing. After a while though it all went away due to the fact of going to shool and different things like that Which I think helped it out, then as a teen it all came back After feeling guilty after a numerous amounts of things I would do as a teenager I felt the panic attacks coming back time after time, but just like before it all went away due to school and etc. After everything I was 100% fine nothing could stop me, I was in high school and everything was great! Until one night triggered what I want to call a constant panic attack cycle from then till the present to change my life for the worse. It was prom night and everyone was having such a good time that I decided to let loose and party like I’ve never had and all it took was one night of drugs to ruin it. I haven’t been the same since, from then till know I find myself in a life that I myself cannot control after a drug overdose accident It took weeks to come to my senses, everyday was a constent struggle I would repeatedly think “I’m I here right now? I’m I ok did I cause something in my brain to slow me down?”. I would literally be fine one minute then the next minute all of a sudden I would think omg! Were am I?!? Help help! It was pure madness. Fortunately after months and months of attacks and fears I started having a better social life, hanging out with friends, going out, partying, meeting people, never home, while doing that all in a drug free manor really helped me forget about my anxiety. I was going strong again, but after a while I ended up meeting my would be wife then got married and thus the stress of marriage, children and work all of a sudden I felt myself having panic attacks AGAIN! It’s a constant life cycle that I just can’t get rid of…what advice can you guys give me? What can I do to have my life back?

    Here is what I’ve suffered from or fear on a daily basis even after Ive had an EKG done and an ultrasound of my heart done and everything checked out fine, the only actuall medical problem that I suffer from is high blood pressure Which also triggers my anxiety pretty badly at times

    Heart attack or if I can give myself one
    High blood pressure leading to stroke or heart attack
    Fear of losing my mind or self control over things
    Dehideration due to excessive heat
    Heart attack symptoms that I feel or think I feel at times such as chest pains, heart palpitations, left side of body numbness or pain etc.
    Thinking of something way too much whether stress or wutever it is and can’t stop thinking about the problem
    Any little thing in life that I can bulks up and make it way worse then it is or make it into a fear
    And ofcorse the number one thing DYING too young!!!

  114. I have been have never had a panic attack before but recently I had a pretty major one last week. Last night I had one again, I was having trouble breathing and felt like my throat was constricting I was very scared and It lasted for 2 hours until I eventually fell asleep. When I woke up in the morning I was still having trouble breathing, I went to the doctor and was told that my lungs and throat looked find and that It was anxiety. Is anyone else having this problem? Can you give me some advice on how to cope with it?

  115. This has been very helpful for me so thank you very much. I have been suffering panic attacks for about the last 6 months on and off and at first it was a really scary thing as I didn’t know what was going on with my body and why it was doing it. I have found that learning and understanding what your body does during a panic attack and why, helped me to cope. Also I find that going for a walk with a family member oer friend helps a lot during a panic attack and also talking to someone. Another massive help as silly as it sounds is playing with your pet dog, stroking it or being in its presence is a really calming thing.

  116. I used to have the same problem with high anxiety/panic and had the same symptoms as if I couldn’t breathe or get enought air into my body. The way to get through this is through your mind and your thoughts. Uve got to try and replace all the negative thoughts such as ‘I can’t breathe’ with thoughts such as ‘everything is ok with me, I can breathe, my lungs and throat are fine’. I know this is easier said than done during a panic attack but it really does start to help as panic attacks are brought on by negative thoughts. Also trying to distract yourself is helpful and trying to take your mind off it by reading or watching a favourite tv programme. Also talking to someone close about anything helps you relax.

  117. Hi All,
    So many sad stories here.
    My panic attacks started over a year ago but not daily and I put them down to a funny turn until 8 weeks ago and I hit crisis. My syptoms occured while in the car but that I realise is only because my first attack happened in the care and most often suffers avoid where they had their attack.
    I no longer can get on a dual carriageway and wont make my own mother’s funeral (she died the day before mother’s day).
    Its not the attacks you should concentrate on though I realise this absorbs you and engulfs your every thought when you are suffering; rather you need to look at why you would ‘give’ yourself a panic attack rather than deal with the real reason as to why you have them. Now my couselling hasnt started yet but I hope it does soon as I am now reclusive yet I know its in my head! Unfathomable.. ‘Tricks’ to deal with it? Well I go for a walk, talk to friends etc but tonight I am in and should be at a close friends wedding reception… Couldn’t face the 20 min drive..
    Anyway on the upside! I find quite a lot of people I know have had this and they ALL say I will be ok in the end and better for it – keeps me optimystic.. You need not to be hard on yaselves and learn ‘BLASE’.
    I am out of work now on SSP. Money will run out soon.
    Hey I’ll live! Need to sort out my head and its just anxiety.. OCD.. Too hard on me.. Too particular… Need control and realise after redundancy, bad relationship, bad childhood etc that you have none really.. Hey ho eh? Change your life! Do something else cos this life you are living is not healthy!
    Sorry – I was thinking out loud but I know some will relate.
    TC ALL xx

  118. My panic attacks are really bad. I feel like my throat is closing up, i get dizzy, nauseous, heart palpitations, i start shaking and sometimes i get tunnel vision. I am convinced i am going to die each time. For me, showers don’t help at all, they even make it worse sometimes. What I have found that helps the most, is standing outside where it is nice and quiet and open. it is peaceful and helps regulate my breathing, which helps the other symptoms go away, too. That’s my advice

  119. Great to know its not just me. I’m 23. I thought they were anxiety attacks. I get them while driving. It’s my trigger. I dread driving, and I just noticed that I’m starting to rely on other people. My family members have been driving me places. It’s so embarrassing!
    But I feel that I know better than to let these get to me. But in the moment, it’s not so easy.
    I was prescribed Zoloft and was told that I have PMDD. I took them, but felt to much like a zombie. I resist the, as much as I can. I only get them while driving. But I realized that I don’t feel safe in my car. It doesn’t have air condition (in Texas!) and I feel like I’m going to faint. Also, it isn’t in the best shape.
    But I have realized a couple of things.

  120. I have realized that my panic attacks are when I’m waking up late, and not exercising. Also, like right now that the semester is over, I have a lot more time on my hands. During the semester, it’s like I don’t have time for panic and anxiety attacks.
    My advice would to be to engage yourself in something. (Taking my own advice)
    Give yourself a project. Keep yourself communicating with people. Do things that make you feel proud of yourself.
    I love the idea of facing it and confronting it. I wanna try that next time.
    Thanks everyone for advice and comments.
    It made me look at my situation and try to understand it. That seems to be helping.
    We’re not crazy and CAN overcome this.

    I get mine while driving, and have realized (by reading all of this) that it is for several reasons.
    1. I don’t have air condition and the heat makes it feel like I’m gonna faint, which then freaks me out.
    2. My car isn’t in the best shape, which makes me worry about that while driving.
    3. I’m alone. And I’ve realized that I out of touch with reality when I’m by myself. I’m left alone with my negative, worry-filled thoughts.
    4. I worry way too much, about fainting, dying, crashing, not having anyone with me, etc.

    But now I’m able to say I do have these attacks, and even know the probable causes of them. Now I can try to deal with them. I think the key is to understand yourself. Try to sort it out while relaxing, and not only in the moment of an attack. Like try to prevent it beforehand.

  121. Im 14 and have been suffering from severe panic attacks for 2 years im scared and angry ag myself for it, im scared to go to school and most places, i usually make up excuses not to go into school, they are really bad and i do breathing exercises but they dont wont please someone help im getting to the point of giving up

  122. If you have panic attacks like i had (now i can control them thanks to this) take a look at this site:

    I’m really sure that it will help you the same way that it helped me and lot of people more. Please, take a look at it.

  123. I usually drink some water, it calms me down and give me something to focus on. I have the choking and shortness of breath symptoms and often throw up during or after and attack so the water gives me peice of mind even if it really does nothing to stop me from vommiting.

  124. It helps mecto tell other people that i suffer from panic attacks. Trying to hide it, or having hidden shame adds more pressure on me. I found by doing this lots of other people have them as well. Sometimes they fony even know what it is. You are helping them by educatuing them about panic attacks. Ativan always helps when having an attack , just. Carrying ithelps keep me calm knowing ihave it if i need it

  125. Hello, I have suffered from panic attacks for 7 years, I’m not going to lie I have had massive panic attacks that have lead to me doing silly things, I am at an age where I am deciding what to do with my life and having panic attacks is a massive part of it, anyway, I ain’t gonna let them stop me anymore, I have learnt different ways to deal with them. Over the past 7 years no one really got them. Everyone thought I was lying until I had a nervous break down wouldn’t leave the house for a month, I didn’t have a social life but now slowly getting back in to a normal life, I still have them now and again, some are bad and some are ok to deal with. I freak out a lot about having one mostly. What I am trying to say is don’t give up, I found this website so use fall. To deal either them myself, without seeing my councillor, let’s hope I can get them fully under control, would be good ah feel free to inbox me

  126. Hello, me again, would like some advice tho, some days I feel like giving up, that there’s no point anymore, these panic attacks do get to me a lot:'(just need some advice on what to do? I find it hard to relax:'(

  127. Hi, I’ve suffered another panic attack tonight. I’ve been getting these attacks for almost two years now I guess, but I’d always thought it was my athsma jacking up. I’d mentioned this to my doctor and they had asked some more questions on it before telling me this was a panic attack. I’m actually only a teenager and very young. I do suffer from an anxiety disorder, disthymia, and major depression. I hate to say this but i am on two medications for these relentless disorders and my journey has been slow and unrewarding. I have to keep reminding myself that I am fine and that no one is going to hurt me. My heartbeat NEVER seems to calm after these. I’ll use all of these wonderful tips next time i feel the symptoms over taking me. Thank you all, Victoria

  128. Hi All;
    I’ve been suffering from panic attacks for more than two year now. Have been in Clonazepam (my new doctor, refused to prescribe them to me, because they are addictive). Then he prescribed me with Lexapro which works long term and it’s not addictive as Clonazepam. But now I’m 6 weeks pregnant and my doctor stopped the Lexapro. I had confidence that everything was going to be alright… but it wasn’t. My panic attacks came back four days ago, when I was in the Subway Train and the train stopped due to a sick passenger. From that day on, I have been panicking in the subway every single day. I know this is horrible on my baby, but to me, breathing makes it worse, playing games on my cellphone don’t always help, reading a book doesn’t help, and I have no reception down there to call my husband or a friend. There’s an app called Brainwaves that sometimes soothes me. I will start using some of these suggestions anyways. But it’s a horrible feeling, you feel so enclosed and trapped and like if you are by yourself and nobody will be able to help you at that moment…

  129. For those of you who, like me, experience panic attacks at least once a month, please help! I PROMISE this is not spam. I’m looking into helping those of us who suffer with panic attacks. I’m conducting research study as part of a course requirement for my clinical psychology PhD program at Alliant International University, Los Angeles. My study has been designed to assess anxiety, and the relationship between panic attacks and any residual/lingering symptoms or impairment immediately after the panic attack itself has abated (referred to as “post-attack symptoms”). It’s like the fatigue, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, etc. that continues after the panic attack has ended. Nobody seems to have the answers for it, and I decided to look for the answers. I truly hope to bring about awareness of the fact that there is more to panic attacks than the attack itself…there are the lingering symptoms! Your participation is completely anonymous and confidential, and you could enter for a chance to win a $50 debit gift card! Please click on the link below to be directed to my survey.

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