COPING  STRATEGIES
"Dont worry about a thing.  
Cause'every little thing gonna be alright."
​Three Little Birds, by Bob Marley
   
It is true what they say.  You cannot die from a panic attack.  It is also impossible to pass out from a panic attack – in order for this to happen your blood pressure needs to drop, but when you are having a panic attack your blood pressure rises.  People can say this as much as they want, but when you are experiencing it, it does not feel that way.  It feels endless, no matter how many times you are told anxiety goes up, it plateaus and comes down you cannot accept that at the time.   In reality sometimes the more you try and fight it the sores it becomes which becomes a vicious cycle.
 
Anxiety can go on for hours, sometimes days and although now I know it will eventually pass, until you know it for certain and try and sit out the discomfort it is hard to resist the instant ‘fix’ of medication.  Medication is great (I am not saying otherwise, I still rely on it when my anxiety becomes too much and too parallelizing to bear) but often it takes away all your awareness, makes you very drowsy and to others you can seem ‘stoned’ it also takes away the confidence in yourself that you CAN get through it on your own.  Some medications can also be highly addictive – I know I experienced a dependency on my medication and it took tremendous and unbearable willpower to overcome this, allowing myself to sit through the panic attacks allowing them to pass naturally (this sometimes took hours and hours).
 
When I was in hospital we were told numerous methods to try and control your anxious feelings without medication.  It is trial and error to work out what works for you and what doesn’t – you have to try them all to know. 

The tool I found works best for me is using different sensory stimuli to help ground me. I use a pouch in whichi cary with me different items - something to smell, taste, play with and a coping mechanism card.  I have created a pouch you can buy, see here for more details.

In the below blog entries I will talk and guide you through a few of the exercises we were told to try to break the vicious cycle – they are also just a few of many exercises out there to help with anxiety.  Many involve either breathing or using our senses to ground ourselves and distract us from the anxiety we feel at the time. Once you have found a tool / tools that work for you it is also good to share this with friends and family and create coping cards, so, when you are in the depths of your anxiety they can help guide you out of it as when experiencing it your mind goes blank of anything that could help you.