Reply
Star contributor
Posts: 417
Registered: ‎08-02-2015

Panic Attack in the Worst Place

So I am currently out at a family lunch and I can feel a panic attack coming on. The problem is that no one here knows that I suffer from any mental health issues and there is nowhere to get away to calm down. I don't know what to do or how to suppress long enough to get somewhere comfortable. Help!!
Mod Squad
Posts: 613
Registered: ‎14-05-2016

Re: Panic Attack in the Worst Place

Hey @Nat8 sorry you're going through a panic episode around family members who don't know about your struggles. That's so hard. Is it possible for you to excuse yourself to go to the toilet and focus on your breathing for a few minutes? Or you can stay where you are and try focusing on your breath there (if you can do this). Make sure you focus on the out breath or exhalation - that will make a huge difference. Start by laying your hand on your stomach, take a deep breath and then make sure to exhale slowly. Can you try this? 

 

You can also try distraction by playing with a game on your phone but I really think focusing on breathing will be more effective. Let us know how you're doing and hang in there please.

Star contributor
Posts: 417
Registered: ‎08-02-2015

Re: Panic Attack in the Worst Place

@Mona-RO I go in and out of hyperventilation and I can call it down a bit but it's still not normal. My ty family grew up with the idea the when people at es around you socialize not play on phones and such. The garden sort of encapsulates the house so I can't really hide anywhere (I'm currently hiding in the only bathroom of the house to write this)

Mostly I'm trying to deal with the chest constriction and trying to slow down my breathing when I'm around the others and I'm also trying to ignore my self harm urges. (Mostly alcohol abuse) and I know that when I get home my family won't be much better as they don't understand or aren't empathic to anxious behavior. I don't really know what to do.
Star contributor
Posts: 417
Registered: ‎08-02-2015

Re: Panic Attack in the Worst Place

Sorry for the spelling errors @Mona-RO, I'm on my phone atm.
Mod Squad
Posts: 613
Registered: ‎14-05-2016

Re: Panic Attack in the Worst Place

That's hard @Nat8. I'm glad though you do have access to your phone in the bathroom so you can post here. It sounds like you're doing a great job even though yes, it doesn't feel completely normal and that's okay. This is a panic wave you're dealing with which is so unsettling so massive kudos to you for trying your best and getting calm even just a little bit.

 

I think you can ride this out. This isn't permanent and it will definitely pass. Accepting what we're going through is a big first step (which you've already acknowledged). Try to be as focused on your surroundings as possible. Maybe engage in a conversation or focus on what other people are talking about. The point is to notice what is around us and bring ourselves back to the here and now. With distraction, the panic wave should eventually subside. Can you try focusing on what's around you and try to get involved in that? 

Star contributor
Posts: 417
Registered: ‎08-02-2015

Re: Panic Attack in the Worst Place

@Mona-RO with me it's not so simple. Right now I feel out of place so engaging is extremely difficult. It also brings up the feelings I had when I was in school. The anxiety wave for me can last up to a week or two and the last few days I've felt it coming. I don't like holidays as emotions run high and my family is loud and rambunctious and there are a lot of us. Right now I don't know how to calm down. My mum also wants me to stay here tonight (no wifi either) and I can't cope with that amount of time and internal pressure on myself. I don't know @Mona-RO I just want it over and to run away, anxiety aside as well.
Mod Squad
Posts: 613
Registered: ‎14-05-2016

Re: Panic Attack in the Worst Place

@Nat8 hmm that's a bit complicated isn't it. If you don't want to stay there tonight, can you tell your mum you're not feeling well and would prefer to go home? You don't have to tell her the exact reason but you could just say you're really not feeling good. It's important to show some kindness to yourself, especially in a situation like this. 

 

I'm also wondering what has helped you before when something like this happened? 

Star contributor
Posts: 417
Registered: ‎08-02-2015

Re: Panic Attack in the Worst Place

@Mona-RO She knows I have anxiety but doesn't understand so when I was explaining on the way home its like "well just ignore it, snap out of it" but I have 2 other family events this week and alcohol will be there I just don't feel like I fit and I can't get away, there wasn't that many ppl there today (only about 10 or so in total - my family has 8 siblings total for my mum) and I know that once I start I won't stop and like I said I have really bad urges right now and have for the last few days so I am worried after today and I am still struggling rn with trying to control this attack.

 

 

In the past I haven't managed them @Mona-RO I've just gone to the point of near blackout and I freak out and breakdown. It makes me feel like a freak and a nut case. 

Star contributor
Posts: 417
Registered: ‎08-02-2015

Re: Panic Attack in the Worst Place

@Mona-RO feels like my chest is trying to crush itself

Mod
Posts: 2,123
Registered: ‎20-11-2013

Re: Panic Attack in the Worst Place

[ Edited ]

Hi @Nat8, it sounds like you're in a pretty tough spot at the moment. Dealing with family when it makes you feel anxious is hard at the best of times and it definitely doesn't make you a freak or a nutcase to have a hard time with it. I was wondering if you've had a chance to check out @Bree-RO's post that she tagged you in about coping techniques? Any of them sound like they might come in handy right now?

Do you need support?

ReachOut NextStep is a tool that can help you find the best support for you.

Open tool in sidebar
Top High Fived Authors