Stopping a panic attack while it is in progress is no joke. Experiencing a Panic Attack is unnerving especially for people who do not realize their anxiety has risen to the level they are losing control of their mental congruence between perceived danger and the actual danger present. This experience can include a feeling of drowning, disparity and helplessness in response to stimuli that may not affect others in the same setting the same way. Trainwrecks, this is a Panic Attack in Progress and last week we discussed how to identify when it is occurring. For more information about identifying a panic attack as it is occurring, please visit the link above.
Stopping a Panic Attack while it is occurring is tough, but it CAN be done! It takes discipline and dedication as well as time and practice. Most individuals find it more effective to understand what is actually happening during a panic attack so they can implement measures to halt the progress of the experience. Most often it is less difficult to begin to identify this issue when we are around loved ones. Loved ones as well as members of our in-group are the unfortunate bearers of our burden when we experience a temporary bout of anxiety disorder and resistance to change. We experience panic attacks around loved ones often NOT because we wish for them to feel hurt or be weirded out by us but because of the fear and anxiety we are feeling. We express our fear and anxiety toward our loved ones not because we want them to feel hated, we just want to be acknowledged like we were when we were kids.
Thank you all so much for LIKING and SUBSCRIBING to my Blog and my Youtube channel for updates on future content! Make sure you ring that bell on Youtube to stay on top of my latest videos. Be sure to check back on Tuesdays for my regular uploads as well as throughout the week for my spontaneous ones as well.
This might sound odd at first but it is true, we do what we learned as kids to gain attention and acknowledgement from others. We then adjusted or continued that behavior as teens and adults depending if that behavior was identified as ineffective and modified into the behavior we will perform during adulthood, all based off significantly identified reference experiences.
I learned to terrorize others to get attention during my adolescence because that is what MY Father did when he was frustrated and upset during my childhood. My father was constantly violent toward us kids as well as his wife. It does not matter that Dad is a drug addicted bully, he is still our hero and we will accept his behavior as what to expect from others as model behavior. In the 5th grade I was expelled from my elementary school Warner Elementary in Wilmington Delaware because I choked another boy out after he flicked rubber bands at me and I told him to stop. It was my immediate response to someone that wanted to harm me. Remember, habits and behaviors create routines and how we deal with things is a behavior that was established early in our lives but CAN be changed through targeted reference experiences. Kids do what they see unconsciously through “example behavior,” not what they are told through “directed instruction” (I think that is going to be a term I will revisit for better clarity as I am not quite sure about it yet). This is why I was violent toward others when I was a kid. My God was I violent. I experienced a lot of anxiety, panic attacks and social incongruence when I was a child. Some thought it was best to medicate me. Others would target the many environmental issues present in my childhood. More on that another time.
We often experience panic attacks around loved ones for two significant reasons, for one we are around loved ones more than anyone else and for another we often seek the one thing we cannot feel at the moment – safety and reassurance. Strangers cannot provide this, which is why those of us who experience panic attacks will take measures to stay away from the public when we realize we are experiencing a downward spiral. This is often referred to as avoidance and in time it can lead to behaviors such as Agoraphobia (Boyce, 2013).
Trainwrecks, If you feel you are affected by awkwardness, a failure to accomplish your goals and a general feeling of anxiety I want you to know you are perfectly normal. If you have reached a point of frustration or just want to know more about your potential to be who you really want to be and would like to explore your options in modifying your behavior through a professional coaching program, contact me for a free consultation. We will not only address what you feel your shortcomings may be, but identify one very important thing: who YOU are according to YOU! Please contact me via DJBeautifulTrainwreck@gmail.com for a free consultation and we will explore how we can closer align your lifestyle to your ideal self.
Who YOU really are!
A panic attack in progress has less to do with a reaction to the present but almost always with expectations of the future based on cumulative reference experiences. “What are you talking about Dominick, I’m freaking out and obsessing about something right now!!!” “I’m feeling like my life is over and everything is falling apart and there is nothing I can do about it!” No Trainwrecks, we are not freaking out about the here and now. We are freaking out because we are experiencing a “triggering event” (I really hate that terminology) and we lack the necessary selection of mental options to properly process the event. We are freaking out because of the “here we go again” effect and the infinite frustration of believing we will never be normal (to be fair what is normal?) and the ones we love the most will abandon us because of this (Tomkins, 2013).
My wife and I have been working on the issue of identifying a Panic Attack through the use of emotional connection and identification. What this means is my wife recognizes the onset of a panic attack which is usually a sudden bout of negativity and accusations. Over the years my wife has come to recognize the onset of panic and realize what it is: Me losing control of my emotions (Katerndahl, 2003). My wife and first tried to come up with codewords and even signs to bring me back to presence in the real world. Those did not work. In time we discussed what I felt during the onset of a panic attack which is a strong feeling of drowning. Now when I experience the symptoms and we identify what is happening, my wife hands me a note card with MY handwriting on it. Something my clear headed and normal self wrote. It tells me if I feel like I am drowning I should meditate.
When I meditate I practice deep breathing and feeling my body being here in the real world not where I went and ran and hid because I was scared. Meditation allows me to focus on reality as it really is to myself and others NOT what I wish the world would look like to make me less afraid to be a part of it. Meditation slows things down for me. Meditation is my way of getting rid of unnecessary junk in my mind. Much like blowing the garbage out of an engine, meditation allows the garbage to get blown away so I can see the true issue. Mediation facilitates the process of plugging solutions into problems. I often perform martial arts forms when I meditate in private (which is VERY effective) but in public I have a tendency to focus on one object and breathe deeply until I notice things about that object I did not notice before. That is usually how I tell myself my meditation has been effective, I can make calm and rational decisions again without feeling like the world is crashing down on my head.
So, let’s have a discussion! Make sure you smash that LIKE button as you comment below.
- What are ways you have identified to cope with feelings of anxiety and fear?
- What are some ways you have avoided situations to the point it has affected your enjoyment with life?
- What are some meditative practices you implement or intend to implement in your daily life?
Leave your comments below and join in the discussion.
Let’s smash our way right past our awkwardness and social anxiety! Through a little bit of pain and initial discomfort we can lessen the effects of social pressure by facing our fears head-on and not accepting the regular status quo we’ve grown used to. We can do this!
You’re Welcome. Internet.
Ankrom, S. (2019). DSM-5 Criteria for Diagnosing Panic Disorder. Retrieved from: https://www.verywellmind.com/diagnosing-panic-disorder-2583930
Boyce, A. (2013). Avoidance Coping: Avoidance coping plays an important role in common psychological problems. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-practice/201305/avoidance-coping
Katerndahl, D. (2003). Initial Care Seeking for Panic Attacks. Psychiatric Services, 54(8), 1168.
Tompkins, M. A. (2013). Anxiety and avoidance. [electronic resource] : a universal treatment for anxiety, panic, and fear. New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
Music Credit: https://purple-planet.com