I encountered several PTSD pages on Facebook. This is one of them:
Some notes to add, it takes only 10% increase in oxygen for hyperventilation to kick in. Things like dizziness, tingling in the fingers, passing out to name a few. If you don’t have a paper bag breathing into your cupped hands can create the same affect of changing the oxygen mixture going into your lungs. Just shows that too much of a good thing can be bad for you.
Judy, my sister, added this comment, “I learned I could head them off if I caught them early. It requires being extremely self aware. I recognize the racing thoughts, the quickened breathing. I stand still, choose a single spot to focus, and concentrate on slowing my breathing as I repeat, “I’m all right. I’m all right…” I don’t have much trouble with the panic attacks anymore.”
I also pay attention to things that cause panic attacks then, when possible, avoid them. Large crowds is a biggy for me. Not knowing where I am going. I am delighted to find out that I have a gps app on my phone. I also use my phone to contact someone that I am with if we get separated from each other. I try to set myself up to succeed instead of sabotaging myself to fail. Like Judy, I substantially decreased the number of panic attacks I have.
Do check out PTSD Break the Silence on Facebook if you have an account. I am impressed with the posts and comments on this page.
PTSD and Panic Attacks – Overview and 8 ways to cope with them
Panic attack may happen when something reminds you of your trauma.
During a panic attack, you may be afraid of dying or afraid of losing control of yourself. It may seem like things happening around you aren’t real. An attack usually lasts from 5 to 20 minutes but may last even longer, up to a few hours. You have the most anxiety about 10 minutes after the attack starts.
You may have physical symptoms, including:
If you’ve had more than one panic attack, or if you feel worried about the next time a panic attack will happen, then you may have panic disorder. Worrying about future panic attacks can cause stress and interfere with your life. You may try to avoid things that bring back memories of your traumatic event.
Panic Attacks – 8 Ways to cope with them
If you are in the middle of an attack try to remember and recognize that you’re having a panic attack. You’re not really in any danger. You’re not losing your mind.
Here are some steps to take to control and end your panic attack:
1. Take deep breaths
2. Rub your temples in a circular motion
3. Drinking a glass of chilled water can actually help you get your nerves in order.
4. Force yourself to get your mind involved in a funny television show.
5. If you can’t sit for obvious reasons stand up and watch it and pace around or walk or jog in place until your mind eases.
6. Rational thinking – All kind of negative thoughts pass through your head when you experience a panic attack. These thoughts are unfounded. It can help to shout STOP!!! inside your head to stop your negative thoughts in their tracks.
7. Breathe into a paper bag. This trick really does work. The carbon dioxide helps to slow your breathing down and makes you feel calmer.
8. And my favorite tip, this trick helps me to prevent an attack if I feel one coming (especially helps me on the plane) and if I do have an attack, it ends it sooner. Do Math! Really. Try to get your mind onto something that makes you concentrate. I will start to write out our bills or do them in my head, or I will do multiplication tables in my head, 8×12= 96 and so on. It really helps because I am not focused on the attack but something that I really have to think about. Or, if you are not a fan of math, count backwards from 100 by 3s. Ex. 100, 97, 94, 91, 88, etc.
If your attacks start to be more often consider seeking help. Whatever the reason for your panic attacks, there’s no shame in getting help from a medical doctor or a psychotherapist. Often, it only takes a few therapy sessions to get relief from panic attacks. Or you can get prescribed some anti-anxiety medication to help.