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Panic Attacks can come out of nowhere

A panic attack can feel like a rush of intense anxiety, a feeling like you can’t breathe or cope in a certain time and place. A racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, trembling, chest pain, sweating, shaking or feeling disoriented might suddenly come over you. Sometimes panic attacks are triggered by traumatic events or a feeling of being trapped with an element of impending doom. They can come and go quickly or last for an hour or so.

What you can do if this happens to you

It is natural to try and work out why a panic attack occurred. What triggered the event and what you could do to manage it better next time. What are some coping mechanisms to calm your nervous system down and bring you back into a normal sense of being.

In the moment don’t try to fight and remember to breathe

In the moment try not to fight it and use some deep breathing to get more oxygen into your lungs and system. A simple breath technique is in through the nose, out through the mouth. Try to do it deeply and slowly.

Try to find stable footing and hydrate

It will help to look down at your feet and find somewhere to sit down. Try to find a glass of water or even sparkling water to reinvigorate the system. Remember to take the next 24 hours very slowly to recover. Have some quiet time.

See your doctor

It is very wise to see your doctor after a panic attack and talk it through. There are some proven and effective medications to help with these types of events. In the moment you can remember you got through it last time. This helps to give comfort and relief.

Download Factsheets

Lifeline has developed a range of factsheets to provide you with information and assistance during challenging times. Browse by topic and download a fact sheet that may be helpful for your situation

Lifeline Self Support Toolkit

Lifeline has also developed a library of tools, techniques and information to help you:

  • Understand what you’re going through 
  • Learn ways to self-manage through evidence-based tools and techniques
  • Access support, should you need i

Remember Lifeline North Coast are part of your local support system. We are here for you.