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Advice on how to recover after severe panic attack?

F

firstlastday

New member
Joined
Feb 29, 2020
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1
Location
Seattle
Thursday, two days ago, I had a severe panic attack at work. First one in years, and it had never happened at work before. My coworkers were great, but also terrified as they'd 'never seen me like that before'.

You all know how it goes- starts with the 10 or so minutes of 'I can't breathe I'm going to fucking die" and then the complete and utter exhaustion. For me, in this state, I often don't remember large parts of it, am non-verbal, don't really move, and am completely detached from everything; myself and the world around me.

A coworker helped call me an uber to get me home and I stayed in that state for the rest of the day, on the couch, essentially vacant.

Had to get it together and go to work the next day. It was so hard and exhausting to put on the face and do the whole 'I'm fine' thing, and now this morning I'm again exhausted. A term I don't use lightly. I can't fathom getting up to eat, walk the dog, shower, etc.


What can I do?

Thanks
 
N

Nukelavee

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
3,366
Location
London, ON
Rest, eat properly, give yourself a slack day if you can. A major attack is rough on your body, it feels like a day long extreme workout.

Best advice I can offer, is to try to head off or shut down the attack by simply sitting and breathing slowly. Use slow breath to trick your heart into slowing down, which will help calm your thoughts, which will help relax your body, and so on. I find it helps me to remember anxiety is a negative feedback loop, and to envision a positive outward spiral as I calm down.
 
LizBo

LizBo

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
868
Location
Down-under
Thursday, two days ago, I had a severe panic attack at work. First one in years, and it had never happened at work before. My coworkers were great, but also terrified as they'd 'never seen me like that before'.

You all know how it goes- starts with the 10 or so minutes of 'I can't breathe I'm going to fucking die" and then the complete and utter exhaustion. For me, in this state, I often don't remember large parts of it, am non-verbal, don't really move, and am completely detached from everything; myself and the world around me.

A coworker helped call me an uber to get me home and I stayed in that state for the rest of the day, on the couch, essentially vacant.

Had to get it together and go to work the next day. It was so hard and exhausting to put on the face and do the whole 'I'm fine' thing, and now this morning I'm again exhausted. A term I don't use lightly. I can't fathom getting up to eat, walk the dog, shower, etc.


What can I do?

Thanks
:welcome:
Firstly, I'm sorry this occurred at work. I know full well how panic can disable our capacity to function.

What people I've spoken to say, (as well as myself) is that the first one is the worst. Not experiencing panic for a long time your brain would've taken quite a shock.

I've been in recovery from panic disorder for a few years now but reading your post bought back the memory of my first. Not in a bad way mind you, just identifying with your situation.

After my first I couldn't talk or think straight for hours, spending most of the time crying from fear. The following day was nearly as bad but could manage a few words to my psychologist on the phone. It was two weeks before I felt normal again.

I didn't have another attack for two years.

Looking back in hindsight, the day was extremely stressful so identifying the trigger was easy. At the time though I wasn't aware of why it happened.

There's not much to advise here, as resting/recuperating from such a severe bout is probably the only way to get through it. Taking antianxiety med's can support this process while your brain reboots.

If you have an indication of what your trigger may have been, talking with a psychologist could enlighten you so you can work on that issue.

I hope everything turns out for the best.

Liz x
 
Wandering2

Wandering2

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 26, 2020
Messages
182
Location
Illinois
Hey first! I've had a panic attack occur out of nowhere like you. I was watching a stupid cartoon and eating a chicken sandwich. This was 2 1/2 years ago. I remember because this was when I started my first real job after 5 years of college. I cant breathe, my chest is heavy, hot, my eyes burst in hot tears, my chin, lips, and fingers go numb, I drop to my knees and hyperventilate. Its happened before, but more frequently the older i get. Im 31. I have panic disorder and bipolar 1 and OCD. I scared people at my work too.
 
Wandering2

Wandering2

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 26, 2020
Messages
182
Location
Illinois
To recover; take meds as recommended and for me i self medicated. Self harm and alcohol. But what I reccomend is therapy, SELF TAUGHT MEDITATION (focus on one thing aka montra, like paper is white), confide in family or even pets, talk out loud, get in touch with your religious side, journal (write all that crap down) you look at it later amd you will toss it. Meaning those negative thoughts are just thoughts.
 
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