Panic Attack


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A panic attack is a frightening thing.  Symptoms can include any or all of the following:

Racing heartbeat

Chest pain

Shortness of breath             panic-attack-edited


Copious sweating

Clammy, sweaty hands

Intense fear

Parasthesia  (sensation of pinpricks or tingling) usually along the arms, but anywhere else as well

The victim often believes he is having a heart attack. A severe panic attack is temporarily debilitating.  Perhaps the most difficult thing to understand is that there doesn’t need to be  trigger event. It just happens.  It’s like a mega-surge of adrenalin, and it leaves the victim worn out, weak, and needing nothing more than to go to bed.

Here’s the good news:  It passes.  As far as I know, no one has ever died from a panic attack. Here’s what to do:

  1. Don’t fight it. It will take its course, and then life returns to normal. Usually, they’re fairly short in duration
  2. Breathe deeply and slowly, in through your nose, hold, out slowly through your mouth while you count to ten, or as high as you can. Do this all through the attack.  It refocuses your mind, and helps oxygenate your body.
  3. Anti-anxiety meds are usually prescribed “as needed.”  If you have to do something that makes you feel anxious just thinking about it, take one of your pills.  Well-known meds are Zanax, Klonopin, and Atavan.
  4. Treat your anxiety as you would the school bully.  Stand up to it.  Tell it that it can’t scare you. Take charge.  It helps!
  5. If you are a person of faith, prayer is a wonderful calmer-downer. Turning to your favorite Bible passages will also help.  Here’s a favorite of mine:

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”  Isaiah 41:10.


5 thoughts on “Panic Attack

  1. Great advice on how to handle a panic attack. People often think their having a heart attack and sometimes it’s difficult to tell. It’s worth reminding people that if they become diaphoretic (sweaty and clamy) with increasing shortness of breath, nauseated, chest pain, jaw pain, or radiating pain – call 911. DO NOT EVER get into a car (as passenger and NOT as driver) if you think you may be having a heart attack – call 911. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
    @sheilamgood at Cow Pasture Chronicles

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sheila, you’re absolutely right. If there’s ever a serious doubt about what is happening, it’s better to get to an ER ASAP. If it’s a panic attack, you’ll understand it better if it happens again. There IS a difference in how a panic attack and a heart attack can feel.

      Liked by 1 person

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