Coping With Panic
From Panic to Peace: Practical Techniques for Coping with Trauma-Related Panic Attacks
July 20, 2023 • Huay Khem Yap, MA in Singapore
Trauma-related panic attacks can be a terrifying and overwhelming experience. They can strike suddenly and leave you feeling powerless, helpless, and out of control. However, you can learn to manage and overcome these attacks with suitable coping strategies. This article will explore practical coping strategies for trauma-related panic attacks so that you can move from panic to peace. From deep breathing exercises and mindfulness to grounding techniques and cognitive-behavioral therapy, we will discuss strategies to help you regain, reduce and control the impact of panic attacks on your life. Whether you are a trauma survivor or you know someone struggling with panic attacks, this article will provide valuable tools and insights to help you cope with the challenges of trauma-related panic attacks and achieve a greater sense of calm and well-being. So, let’s dive in and explore the practical techniques that can help you move from panic to peace.
UNDERSTANDING PANIC ATTACKS AND TRAUMA TRIGGERS
Panic attacks usually occur suddenly with intense fear or discomfort and could happen to anyone. However, it is more common in people who have experienced trauma. Trauma can trigger panic attacks, and the symptoms can include rapid heartbeat, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, and a feeling of impending doom.
It is essential to understand that panic attacks are a natural response to stress and fear and are not signs of weakness or mental illness. Trauma-related panic attacks can be triggered by a specific event, such as a car accident or a physical assault, or they can be triggered by everyday situations that remind you of the trauma.
When coping with trauma-related panic attacks, it is crucial to identify your triggers and understand how they affect you. Doing this allows you to develop a plan to manage the symptoms and thus reduce the occurrence of panic attacks in your life.
THE IMPACT OF TRAUMA-RELATED PANIC ATTACKS ON MENTAL HEALTH
Trauma-related panic attacks can have a significant impact on your mental health. They can cause you to be isolated, feel anxious, and depressed. You may feel constantly on edge, waiting for the next panic attack. These feelings can affect your relationships, work, and overall quality of life.
If left untreated, trauma-related panic attacks can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a severe mental health condition that can cause long-term emotional and physical problems.
It is essential to seek help if you are struggling with trauma-related panic attacks. There are a variety of treatments that could help you in managing the symptoms of panic attacks and hence improve your mental health.
COPING TECHNIQUES FOR PANIC ATTACKS – DEEP BREATHING, GROUNDING EXERCISES, AND MINDFULNESS
Several coping techniques can help you manage trauma-related panic attacks. Deep breathing exercises, grounding techniques, and mindfulness can all be effective in reducing the impact of panic attacks on your life.
Deep breathing exercises involve taking slow, deep, long breaths and focusing on your breath as it enters and leaves your body. Exercises like this can help you relax and reduce your anxiety.
Grounding techniques involve focusing on your senses and your surroundings. For example, you might focus on the feel of your feet on the ground, the sound of a nearby bird, or the smell of fresh flowers. Doing this can help you feel more connected to the present moment and reduce your feelings of panic.
Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment and accepting your thoughts and feelings without judgment. Practicing mindfulness can help you increase your self-awareness and thus reduce your anxiety.
SEEKING PROFESSIONAL HELP FOR TRAUMA-RELATED PANIC ATTACKS
If you are struggling with trauma-related panic attacks, it is vital to seek professional help. You do not need to face the challenges of mental health by yourself. You can seek help from a qualified professional.
Various treatments for trauma-related panic attacks are available, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), Brainspotting, and medication.
CBT is a therapy that helps you change and identify negative thought patterns and behaviors. It can be effective in treating trauma-related panic attacks.
EMDR and Brainspotting are brain-based therapy. EMDR uses eye movements to assist you in processing traumatic memories. Brainspotting therapy uses spots in a person’s visual field to help them process trauma. It accesses trauma trapped in the subcortical brain, the area of the brain responsible for motion, consciousness, emotions, and learning. Both EMDR and Brainspootting can effectively reduce the impact of trauma-related panic attacks.
Medication can also be effective in treating trauma-related panic attacks. Several types of medications can be used, including antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications.
LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO MANAGE PANIC ATTACKS – EXERCISE, HEALTHY DIET, AND SLEEP
In addition to seeking professional help, several lifestyle changes can help you manage trauma-related panic attacks. Adequate sleep, regular exercise, and a healthy diet can all effectively reduce your anxiety and improve your mental health.
Exercise could help to relieve stress and feelings of anxiety. A healthy diet and sufficient sleep and rest are also essential as they help you feel more energized and thus improve your overall well-being.
SUPPORT NETWORKS FOR COPING WITH TRAUMA-RELATED PANIC ATTACKS
A support network can be an important part of coping with trauma-related panic attacks. Sharing your difficulties with trusted friends and family members could help you feel less alone and more supported.
Support groups are another helpful way to connect with others who have experienced trauma and are struggling with panic attacks. There are a variety of support groups available, both in-person and online.
ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES FOR PANIC ATTACKS – ACUPUNCTURE, MEDITATION, AND YOGA
Several alternative therapies could help in reducing the impact of trauma-related panic attacks. Acupuncture, meditation, and yoga are all practices that can help you reduce and relax your anxiety.
Acupuncture, which posits tiny needles in specific points on the body, could also help reduce anxiety and improve overall well-being.
Meditation, which involves paying attention to a specific sound, object, or phrase, could help reduce stress effectively and hence help decrease the frequency of anxiety attacks and improve your overall well-being.
Yoga, which involves a combination of breathing exercises, physical postures, and meditation, is another helpful way to help reduce stress and anxiety and improve your overall well-being.
MEDICATION FOR PANIC ATTACKS – PROS AND CONS
Medication can effectively treat trauma-related panic attacks, but it is essential to consider the pros and cons before starting any medicine. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can help reduce your symptoms but can also have side effects.
It is important to work closely with your healthcare provider to select the most suitable course of treatment for your specific needs.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-CARE IN MANAGING TRAUMA-RELATED PANIC ATTACKS
Self-care is an integral part of managing trauma-related panic attacks. This includes taking care of your emotional, physical, and spiritual needs.
Self-care activities include taking a warm bath, reading a book, spending time in nature, practicing a hobby, and resting. Finding activities that help you relax and bring you joy is important. Adequate rest is also essential in helping us to rejuvenate our energy.
Trauma-related panic attacks can be a challenging and overwhelming experience. Still, there are practical coping strategies that can help you manage your symptoms and improve your mental health, such as practicing deep breathing exercises, mindfulness, and grounding techniques regularly to help you move from panic to peace.
If you are struggling with trauma-related panic attacks, it is vital to seek professional help to develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. By making lifestyle changes, building a support network, and practicing self-care, you can reduce the impact of panic attacks on your life and achieve a greater sense of calm and well-being.