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Clau
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Default Oct 19, 2003 at 11:43 AM
  #1
1. Don't anticipate. Don't let yourself wonder what could happen. Strive to keep your thoughts on what you are doing or where you are now. Stay out of the past and out of the future. If you "stay in the now," your anxiety level will come down. If you are anticipating upset, planning your escape, checking your watch or thinking about past "failures" your anxiety level will go up. Focus on your immediate surroundings to help you stay in the present, (e.g., colors, textures, the details of a conversation, etc.).

Tell yourself:
"Stay in the here-and-now."
"Keep your feet on the floor."
"Keep your mind where your body is."
"What am I doing now? What do I need to do now?"
"I'll deal with that when the time comes."

2. Accept your "first feelings" of anxiety. Don't try to fight off, control or ignore these initial feelings. You cannot make them go away and trying to do so will only make your anxiety get worse. Rate your anxiety from 1 (none) to 7 (panic) and observe that it fluctuates up and down. If you find yourself rushing, slow down.

Tell yourself:
"Accept--don't fight."
"I can be anxious and still do this."
"I will accept this anxiety and continue doing what I must."
"It is okay to be anxious. It is okay not to feel in control."

3. Don't add "second fear." This is the fear associated with your anxiety, like the fear of dying, fainting, going crazy, losing control or embarrassing yourself. It often starts with sudden thoughts like "What if...?"/"Suppose...?"/"If I don't get out of here soon, I'm going to..." If you tell yourself you are in danger, your body will react as if you really are in danger and it will scare you more. Sometimes thoughts are so automatic or feelings follow them so quickly that you won't see the connections, but look for them. In time, you will become more skilled at seeing and interrupting such connections.

Tell youself:
"Quit the what-ifing!"
"I've felt like this before and the worst didn't happen."
"I'm not going to (die, faint, go crazy, etc.). This is still just anxiety."
"This is very uncomfortable, but it is not dangerous."

4. Accept panic when it happens. If you are having a panic attack, label it as such and remind yourself that it is self-limiting. That is, it will pass shortly on its own if you don't add second fear and don't fight it. Try to bring on a panic attack or try to make your symptoms worse. This is the paradox: You can't do either by willing it. Truly trying to do so is a move toward acceptance and will help the feeling pass.

Try to make your symptoms worse:
If your heart is beating fast, make it beat faster.
If your legs are weak and shaky, make them feel weaker and shakier.
If your hands are sweating, make them sweat more.

Tell yourself:
"If I'm going to have a panic attack, let's go ahead and have it right here and now."
"It is an adrenaline surge. It will pass--just accept."
"Even with panic, I can do what I need to do."
"What I resist persists."

5. Strive not to escape or avoid. To do so only reinforces the idea that there is something genuinely dangerous about your feelings. Always stop and consider your options, rather than making decisions based only on how you feel. Remember that it is not the place, but rather your catastrophic thought that makes you anxious. Each time you face your fears and accept your feelings is a step forward. Each time you escape or avoid is one less opportunity to take a step forward. If something you are avoiding seems too big, try to break it up into steps you can do. Remember that your recovery lies in the places, situations and anxious feelings you have fearfully avoided.

Tell yourself:
"It's not the place, it's the thought."
"I can be here (or do this) even with panic."
"I will not run or avoid--that only causes more problems."
"Face the fear and the fear will disappear."

6. Practice diaphragmatic breathing and relaxation skills. To practice, lie on your back, with one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly. Observe the movement of your two hands as you breathe regularly. Now try to focus your breathing in your belly so that hand moves while the one on your chest stays virtually still. Allow your breathing to be calm and rhythmic rather than hurried or forced. As you breathe in this manner, allow relaxation to flow into your muscles throughout your body. Once you have developed some skill with this method of breathing, try it in other positions, such as sitting or walking. Try it while you're in a conversation with someone. Eventually, practice your abdominal breathing skills when you feel anxious.

Although such breathing skills usually help anxiety, the goal of such breathing is not to get rid of your symptoms. Such breathing activates the part of your nervous system that counteracts panic, may directly reduce any symptoms due to hyperventilation, gives you something to do rather than catastrophize or flee, and encourages calm acceptance of your anxiety.

Tell yourself:
"Breathe low and slow."
"Loosen and accept."
"Breathe and accept."
"I can practice breathing and accepting when I'm anxious."

7. Practice and be patient. Remember that it will take time to reeducate yourself. Consider your options for practice every day. Be committed to recovery, but don't be rigid and perfectionistic. It's okay not to be perfect. Give yourself credit for small successes--don't diminish them with thoughts like "Yes, but I used to..." or "So what, anybody can?" There will be times when you feel you are no better--you may even fear that you are getting worse. Remind yourself to be patient and not to be too harsh in your judgments at any given point in time. Strive for a sense of perspective about progress over time. Recovery is accomplished in thousands of small steps, one step at a time. Do not try to control things outside yourself that are beyond your control. Nothing in your future is prevented by worry.

Tell yourself:
"It took time to get this way. It will take time to recover."
"Each time I face the fear, I learn that I can see it through by accepting the anxiety."
"It's okay to make mistakes. I'll just try not to make the same mistakes repeatedly."
"I do not have to judge my progress by how bad I feel today."
"I can recover just as others before me have recovered."

Hope it helps in anyway all of us !! I'm really trying hard win this "battle".
Clau

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Peanut61
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Default Oct 19, 2003 at 06:52 PM
  #2
Thank you so much for this, (((Clau)))! I've just e-mailed this to myself so I can review it often. Warmest regards.

<font color=blue>HI FROM PEANUT</font color=blue> Helpful Reminders For Dealing With Panic Attacks

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Clau
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Default Oct 19, 2003 at 07:28 PM
  #3
(((Peanut)))

I'm really glad and happy that you liked !!

Clau

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Willow
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Default Oct 19, 2003 at 07:38 PM
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wow clau. This is a lot of information I have not read before. Thanks for posting it!


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Clau
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Default Oct 19, 2003 at 07:48 PM
  #5
yeah.... likewise.....

Lets see if it helps in anyway.... I HOPE SO...

Lets read to learn and try to so whenever we need !!

I needed that today and failed.. just run away back home =(

Take Care

Clau

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Default Oct 19, 2003 at 07:56 PM
  #6
Sorry to hear you had a panic today clau. I did pretty well. I went to a church where I knew no one. It wasn't too bad since there was no expectation of me there. I could duck in late and duck out early and no one bothered me. I did however come home with stomach cramps. I guess the trip wasn't totally stress free :\


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Default Oct 19, 2003 at 08:02 PM
  #7
Anyway U DID WELL !!! that makes me feel so happy for you hun !!

And that was the point... ppl was watching me all the time today...ACK ! I just couldn't handle.... plus i noticed some friends looking to me in a different way when I started shaking.... that's why I runaway back home.... =(

I'm feeling safer now....

(((willow)))

Clau

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Default Oct 19, 2003 at 08:21 PM
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i think everyone needs a safe place to run. I'm glad you have your safe place clau


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Default Oct 19, 2003 at 08:47 PM
  #9
yes.. thats true... ty hun

(((Willow)))

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Default Nov 01, 2003 at 09:30 PM
  #10
Thought I'd bring this up to the top again to go along with the CBT post that I also brought up to the top. Great advise!! Helpful Reminders For Dealing With Panic Attacks

<font color=blue>Don't die with your music still inside you.</font color=blue>
Helpful Reminders For Dealing With Panic Attacks

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Default Nov 02, 2003 at 01:45 AM
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Good job Sept
I like your posts!

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Default Nov 02, 2003 at 06:57 AM
  #12
((((((September Morn)))))) ty for bring it up again .... We need to keep reading this ...

btw..did I told you all that I'm doing CBT now ?
My T just changed my sessions to this....it's scary at the first try.. but I heard that it really help.

QT. I read some of your posts.. and I hope that CBT works for me also... ty

((((HUGS))))
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Default Nov 02, 2003 at 11:25 AM
  #13
Clau, you're right. We all need to keep reading this, so if it gets too far down on the list, would you help me keep it up top? Helpful Reminders For Dealing With Panic Attacks

I've been dealing with anxiety for over 20 years and I still need reminders! Anxiety can sure do things to one's thinking! Helpful Reminders For Dealing With Panic Attacks

<font color=blue>Don't die with your music still inside you.</font color=blue>
Helpful Reminders For Dealing With Panic Attacks

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qt3
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Default Nov 02, 2003 at 02:34 PM
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Clau,
If you work at it I'm confident CBT will work for you too. It's hard at first like anything new but gets easier to do the more you practice the tools. I agree with Sept too about the need to review I re-read my favorite book on the subject that I mentioned all the time. Hang in there and you will feel better

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Clau
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Default Nov 02, 2003 at 05:56 PM
  #15
(((((september Morn))))))

Sure I'll help you out with it Helpful Reminders For Dealing With Panic Attacks

I met our "friend" for about 5 years..... and yes you are totaly right: "Anxiety can sure do things to one's thinking"

Take Good Care


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Default Nov 02, 2003 at 05:58 PM
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Ty for the advice qt !

I'm going to try my best...

Sending you a warm hug !
Clau

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Default Nov 03, 2003 at 12:09 AM
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YW and thanks for hug; we can all use more of those. I'm rooting for you!


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Serenity
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Default Nov 03, 2003 at 06:00 AM
  #18
I dont knwo how i missed this psot before...and thanks Sept for bringing it back to the top.
I have the weight of the world and a few other planets on ym shoulders lately with no answers or options.
Ive been streugling all night with sleepwaking up every hour and a half to twohours in a major panic....sweating liek crazy, extremely anxious an dshaky and my heart rate out the roof.
Ive taken two xnax as per Dr's orders when i need them .It woudl get me back o sleep but onylbriefly.
I have to wake up in an hour for a SS Dr appt which cant be missed either . Not that Im sleeping .but I can fel the xanax startign to help.
I paced the hosue frantically for a bit and evern got all my clothes ready in case I had to go the hospial didnt wanna go in my jammies. Go figure...Im dying but worried about what I have on.
I think its mroe a matter of "being prepared" thats probabyl negative thinkign but I get mroe freaked outif Im not "prepared"
Was bad enough I almost woke the other person here but that would have been a huge mistake and was glad I resisted that urge. Figured it was jsut as ok to leave a note if I had to leave. I can never seem to "run" from the panic attacks though i try my hardest. Home isnt a safty zone anymore again and now even my sleep has been invaded when I need it mroe than anything right now.
everythign is jsut a bit overwhelming and I usually find answers or options but Im empty handed this tme and its hard to handle that idea.
Your post as great Clau...Ive read it several times now trying to distract my mind. I hope it is somethign i wll be able to use. But Ill have ot read it whn im not totally on edge cause all i can do now is try to fight off this atack without freaking out totally. Im ready to jsut jump inthe car and try to drive it away. But smart enough to knwo thats a bad idea.
my hear t rate is finally lowering with the meds and hopefully if I la dow n Ill hear the alarm.
Now that I foudn out I have the high blood pressure too it jsut seems to add fuel to the attacks wondering if thats what is wrong and if Im ignoring it.
but lik my docotor once said...I promise you...if youwere really haveing a hert attackyoud of had it by now. Oddly enough ti was reassuring...if it doesnt killme within minutes I can pretty much knwo tis an attack and do whatever I can to make it go away as fast as possible.


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Default Nov 03, 2003 at 06:03 AM
  #19
Sending calming thoughts your way Jen. Try to take care of yourself and go to the hospital if you need to. It's a safe place.
Hugs,
Heidu

When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.- Alexander Graham Bell

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Default Nov 03, 2003 at 06:09 AM
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actually hospitals freak me out...theyre a last resort
but Ill take the soothinghtoughts any day.
Theyve always scared me fo sme reason and wold onyldo that if I felt I was out of options and nothign was workign or easing up and getting worse...I kinda upped my normal dose of xanax since I dotn hav m paxil anymore to handle it.
Will try to lay downand see if I can not wake up in an horu or two back a step one and freaking out.
It jsutisnt right that it can invade our sleeptoo...is thee no "safeplace' anymore?wtf...its really frustrating

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