What Can You Do If You Experience A Panic Attack?
- Don't be frightened; a panic attack cannot harm you.
- Flow with, rather than fight, the experience. The attack will pass sooner.
- Tell yourself, "I will not die," "I will not lose control," "I will not faint," "I am not going crazy," "I can breathe," "This will pass." Repeat.
- Breathe deeply in through your nose, hold it, and forcefully exhale through your mouth (like you are blowing out candles).
- Be cognizant of muscle tension. Relax your shoulders first, next progressively tense and hold, then relax each of your major muscle groups one by one, working downwards. Re-evaluate and notice where you are still tense; rework those areas.
- Write down everything you can remember about the attack after it passes. It will help you and your therapist understand the circumstances in which your attacks occur.
- Watch out for those frightening trigger thoughts. You have a better chance of winning the lottery than having a plane fall from the sky onto your patrol car.
- Call a hotline: 800-64-PANIC.
About The Author:
Pamela Kulbarsh, RN, BSW has been a psychiatric nurse for over 25 years. She has worked with law enforcement in crisis intervention for the past ten years. She has worked in patrol with officers and deputies as a member of San Diego's Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT) and at the Pima County Detention Center in Tucson. Pam has been a frequent guest speaker related to psychiatric emergencies and has published articles in both law enforcement and nursing magazines.