Often when Anxiety hits, absolutely everything feels BIG. I mean everything. The smallest thing can set you off. Even getting up in the morning feels just HUGE. You want to stay in bed forever so that you don’t have to face all the things that feel so big and overwhelming. But even staying in bed doesn’t feel so good.
Your thoughts torture you, Bed Hell starts and all the hatred self-talk starts . . .
- You can’t handle anything.
- You’re no good.
- You’re a coward.
- Your husband probably hates you.
- Your kids are awful.
- You’re an awful mom.
- You’re an awful person.
Probably the thought I hear the most from clients in my Broward county / Fort Lauderdale area practice who are anxious is, “I’m going to die.”
When anxiety hits, most people feel like they’re going to die or sometimes which they could die. Let me pause here and say this is very different than actually feeling suicidal and wanting to end your life. If you’re feeling that way, please get some help immediately.
During an anxiety attack, it’s more often it’s a feeling that you’re going to die and don’t want to. And of losing control. Or you fear that you’ll somehow lose control and hurt yourself. They keyword there is fear. You don’t want to actually hurt yourself. But you’re scared you might.
All these thoughts go through your head of your loved ones, of your kids and parents and spouse and best friends and their best friends. Everyone is there all at the same time while also feeling like you’re in a weird fog and just can’t really think straight. The anxiety attack takes over.
Waves of Anxiety
Waves of anxiety hit and your stomach is in knots. People sometimes get diarrhea even and anxiety can lead to and affect IBS. You have physical pains. I have a worksheet that clients complete of 20 different physical symptoms of Anxiety. It is super physical! You get tingly and twitchy. You get jumpy. Your heart is racing and you have pain in your arms, often your chest, and sometimes your legs. Your vision can get spotty and you lose your breath. In fact, you feel like you can’t breath and . . .are going to die!
That’s why people end up in the emergency room feeling like they’re having a heart attack. It’s both a relief and disbelief when the tests come back normal and they say it was a panic disorder. Then people often feel like, “Well what do I do with THAT?!!! I don’t want to see a psychologist! I’m not crazy!!!”
People sometimes have to pull the car over until they calm down. They have to lie on the floor, crying, until it passes. They have to run to the bathroom at work so that no one will see them have the panic attack. They have to pace, walking circles around their house. Sometimes they have to go home to feel safe if they’re in public. Or they won’t leave home because the thought of an anxiety attack in public is humiliating.
Anxiety and Panic at Home
But home doesn’t stop the panic attack or the anxiety. It just happens more privately. What is easier to do at home though is a list you’ve made of things that will help to calm you down. If you haven’t made a list already, make one now. Here are some thing to get you started:
- Gentle Stretching
- Reading a magazine
- Taking a walk
- Calling someone to talk to
Everyone’s list is going to be specific to them. Take a few minutes to think, “What calms me down?”
Anxiety and Panic Attack Treatment
Most people with panic attacks and anxiety can feel them coming on, sometimes early in the day even. The trick is to not think that’s inevitable. Rather, think, “O.k. What can I do to prevent it or lessen it as the day goes on?” What do you need to do? First check your Calming Activities List to see if you can do any of those things. Then write out your day and see where you can fit one or two of them in. See what helps and adjust your list over time.
There is a lot more to anxiety and panic attack treatment than just making a list. If you would like help feeling more calm and more stable and you live in the Broward County and the Fort Lauderdale / South Florida area, please schedule a free consultation by calling 954-309-9071.
Yours in health,