How to Prepare For Severe Panic Attacks
Severe panic attacks occur when you are faced with a situation that occurred at some time in your past, which had a bad emotional effect on you. Your brain forms an association between that emotion and that event, so that when a similar event occurs in the future, you are likely to experience the same bad emotion. You feel you cannot cope with what's happening and so you have a panic attack. Some people take medication to control these attacks but this simply treats the symptoms. It is obviously more beneficial to get to the root cause of the problem and eradicate it but this may take time. There are several things you can do to mitigate the effects of an attack when one happens.
The first thing you should do is to control your breathing. People having severe panic attacks often are so panicked, they cannot concentrate on anything and forget to control their breathing. One of the first things a doctor will tell you is to focus on breathing slowly and steadily. This will help calm you down. A good tip is to breathe into a paper bag until you feel more under control. If you are aware of a situation coming up that you may react badly to, imagine yourself being in that situation. You can then practice steadying your breathing. If you do this several times a day, you should find that when circumstances cause you to start to panic badly, it becomes second nature to control your breathing.
Another practice you should consider is to learn to meditate. Of course, I'm not suggesting you meditate while having a panic attack. What I am suggesting is that you were to learn some of the calming techniques commonly used in meditation, you can use these to help you control severe panic attacks.
It helps too, to identify all the situations that cause you to panic. Is it a specific situation or phobia, such as fear of flying? Once you have pinpointed what sets off your panicking, you have the option of avoiding theses situations where possible, while working on your calming techniques.
If you are going out, make sure you have information on you that other people can use to help you if you should suffer one of your severe panic attacks. Keep a list that shows any medication you are taking, your doctor's telephone number, a support group contact number if you have one, and details of friends or family who will be able to come to your aid.
You may find it helpful to take with you a 'calming' bag. This should contain items that can help distract you or help you feel more comfortable such as puzzles to do, a favorite toy animal, photos of loved ones, relaxing music, favorite candy and so on. The key here is taking things that connect you with an environment in which you feel safe and at ease.
All of the techniques described work. They have been successfully used by many people who are prone to suffering severe panic attacks and they should work for you also.