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Horrible panic attacks with no trigger?

Relle

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Anyone else struggle with this? I can be relaxing and having a good day and then all of a sudden, my heart is pounding and my palms are sweaty. I know what triggers my anxiety attacks but sometimes with what I just described, they're worse when they're random versus when I actually feel them coming on. It takes a few minutes before I'm able to calm down. What helps you when you have them?
 
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stevet

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As far as anxiety, turning the A/C in my car on high and letting it blow on my face helps rather quickly, a shower alternating hot and cold water, or 2-3 ml of liquid Benadryl.


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bin_tenn

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Well, this is unfortunately part of dealing with a panic *disorder* - and obviously it's called a DISorder for a reason. With that said, it can help to learn to identify these seemingly "sneaky" attacks. I used to suffer from sudden, out of the blue panic attacks occasionally (sometimes more often). They were intense, felt like I couldn't breathe, I debated going to the hospital many times.

I talked to my therapist and she insisted there are warning signs leading up to the attacks, but I hadn't identified them yet. She was right! I first pushed back and told her that's not true, that they really do come out of nowhere, I was so sure of it. Then she started asking me some seemingly meaningless questions, and ever since then I've been able to identify the attacks in the earliest stages, this I can mitigate them. Haha.

For me, the early signs are subtle but ultimately meaningful changes I notice: a slight variation in heart rate or breathing, feeling a bit jittery, mind starting to wander and/or race, etc. Previously, I thought those things were not related, I thought they were "normal".

My therapist also suggested using cold to "reset" the parasympathetic nervous system. If I can't seem to ward off the panic attack, I'll take something out of the freezer, wrap a thin cloth around it, then stick it to my face. The sudden cold (but not *too* cold) helps reset the parasympathetic nervous system, which will bring the heart rate down, slow down breathing, etc.
 

Joe diesel 09

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Breathing techniques help a ton too. The long exhale helps me. Breathe in ur nose for like a count of 4, hold for 2 , exhale through your mouth for 5 or 6. By the time u do this 10-12 times, you will notice a marked improvement. I promise, this works. After the first few sometimes you will notice a slight lightheaded feeling, but it dissipates quickly. It will bring down ur heart rate quickly and restore oxygen in ur blood. I guess thats what it's doing. It helps me tremendously. Also distraction. Play a game on ur phone, video game console, read or answer emails, do something around ur house, anything that requires you to focus. Solitaire on my phone helps me fairly quickly if im in a situation where my phone is my only tool. At work, I don't have this problem because I have to focus all day long..but its a stressful job. And I usually end my day being stressed and that almost garanteed me to have trouble when my mind is allowed to relax and a physical symptom of some kind does manage to creep in.
 

Cuchculan

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I always like to have something with me, if out, that I can hold. Something others don't even know I have. That would be what I would focus on. The weight of it. The touch of it. Once your mind goes on that, you are no longer thinking about yourself and the panic. Even a small stone. Paint it up. Carry it in your pocket. Only you will know it is there. Can be taken anywhere.

Can't say I have panic attacks in the house. They have long since stopped. Can't even recall ever having one without reason. Might not have known the reason to begin with. But when I looked back I always found the reason.

Can depend on your current frame of mind too. If your anxiety levels have been high and you have been going through a lot, there is bound to be a lot going on inside that mind of yours. Slighest wrong thought can set things off. Case of staying active. Having things to do.
 

JustBeHappyG

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Anyone else struggle with this? I can be relaxing and having a good day and then all of a sudden, my heart is pounding and my palms are sweaty. I know what triggers my anxiety attacks but sometimes with what I just described, they're worse when they're random versus when I actually feel them coming on. It takes a few minutes before I'm able to calm down. What helps you when you have them?
I feel like I’ve had to learn that my anxiety and panic is a chemical and it doesn’t “mean” anything- it’s my brain misinterpreting a situation or sometimes going off for no reason. So I’m working on not being afraid of anxiety but welcoming it as another emotion I have, recognizing it’s uncomfortable but it doesn’t MEAN anything and it’s not going to hurt me.
 

Pennylane

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I always have a tiny bottle of Bach Flower Rescue Remedy in my bag and use that as soon as I start to feel anxious.
 

MarciKS

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Well, this is unfortunately part of dealing with a panic *disorder* - and obviously it's called a DISorder for a reason. With that said, it can help to learn to identify these seemingly "sneaky" attacks. I used to suffer from sudden, out of the blue panic attacks occasionally (sometimes more often). They were intense, felt like I couldn't breathe, I debated going to the hospital many times.

I talked to my therapist and she insisted there are warning signs leading up to the attacks, but I hadn't identified them yet. She was right! I first pushed back and told her that's not true, that they really do come out of nowhere, I was so sure of it. Then she started asking me some seemingly meaningless questions, and ever since then I've been able to identify the attacks in the earliest stages, this I can mitigate them. Haha.

For me, the early signs are subtle but ultimately meaningful changes I notice: a slight variation in heart rate or breathing, feeling a bit jittery, mind starting to wander and/or race, etc. Previously, I thought those things were not related, I thought they were "normal".

My therapist also suggested using cold to "reset" the parasympathetic nervous system. If I can't seem to ward off the panic attack, I'll take something out of the freezer, wrap a thin cloth around it, then stick it to my face. The sudden cold (but not *too* cold) helps reset the parasympathetic nervous system, which will bring the heart rate down, slow down breathing, etc.
I'll have to try that "cold reset" you mentioned. See if it helps me.
 
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