Panic Attacks and COVID-19 Isolation
Zaktualizowano: 8 kwi 2020
Difference between an anxiety attack and panic attack:
first with the stressor, the other one unpredicted and it is not a reaction to the stressor.
Both have similar symptoms: shortness of breath, feeling apprehensive, chest pain, dizziness, nausea. This might be even more terrifying in the current situation as the chest pain, and breathing difficulties are associated with COVID-19 infection.
What to do I case of a panic attack?
1. If you have a panic/anxiety attack: control your breathing. Focus on taking deep breaths in and out through your mouth, you can take some big bag to help to do it in this tempo:
2. Recognize that it is a panic attack and not Coronavirus infection or heart attack. By doing it, you will admit to yourself that it will pass.
3. Focus on some point around you or close your eyes. Both techniques work differently for different people.
4. Find your mantra and repeat it during your panic attack. Just repeating some sentence will help you to control breathing and will give you some own mindful and powerful space.
5. Try to identify trigger/stressor and avoid them. In the current pandemic, the most probable stressor is news. Define a time slot for checking news and stick to that.
6. If it is happening more than once contact your psychiatrist to get a medicine (e.g. benzodiazepines). Psychiatrists are busy at the moment, but if he knows you, he might do an online visit and prescribe you an online prescription sent to your mobile phone. Call the clinic and ask for an online appointment.
If someone next to you has an anxiety/panic attack:
1. Stay calm and relaxed.
2. Make enough space around the person.
3. If there is no enough space, move to a quiet place nearby.
4. Notify the person that those attacks always end.
5. Support the person in controlled breathing (s.a.).
6. Don't ask too many questions and any negative statements.
7. Never say that the person needs to calm down and that there is nothing to worry about.
8. Stay next to the person. If she wants to be alone, move away but make sure that you can still see her.