How to deal with a panic attack

A panic attack is when you feel out of control, and this can be really scary. It can be even worse if it hits you out of nowhere. But even if it feels like you are not going to survive it, you will. There are some things you can do to make it easier to get through a panic attack:

  • Know your triggers. If you know what makes you panic, you can prepare for the situation, and this can make it less scary.
  • Focus on slowing down your breathing. Breathe in deeply for 5 seconds, hold your breath for 2 seconds, and breathe out for 5 seconds. Focus on counting the seconds – this can distract you from your panic.
  • Get out of the situation if it is making you more upset.
  • Remember that this feeling will not last forever. It feels terrible at the time, but panic attacks always end, and usually only last a few minutes. 

Panic attacks are a sign that something is making you afraid or worried, and it’s a good idea to get support to deal with the thing you are worried about. That means speaking to a trusted adult, social worker, counsellor or psychologist about it. This can help your panic attacks happen less often.  If the attacks still happen often, ask for help from your clinic or doctor.

For more about dealing with anxiety and worry, read our article “Do you worry all the time? You could be anxious”

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