What To Do When You Have an Anxiety Attack

“That gave me so much anxiety” and “I have so much anxiety right now” are such common statements. Everyone gets anxiety, but not everyone experiences real anxiety attacks.

I am a sophomore in college and I have had General Anxiety Disorder and OCD since I was in kindergarten. My mom tried everything. Nothing seemed to work.

By 5th grade, I started to get a handle on my anxiety. Then fast forward to college, where anxiety came to rise again. I can tell you from personal experience a few things about an anxiety attack and how to move forward if you feel like you’ve lost all control.

Here are some of the physical symptoms of an anxiety/panic attack:

Head: lightheadedness

Arms/Back/Jaw/Neck: pain, discomfort, numbness

Chest: pain, pressure, fullness

Skin: cold sweat

Lungs: shortness of breath

Stomach: nausea

Other signs: shakiness, exhaustion, heartburn, heart flutters, loss of appetite

What to do when an anxiety attack arises:

– Lay or sit down

– Look around you

– Ground yourself. How?

– Find 5 things you can see

– Find 4 things you can touch

– Find 3 things you can hear

– Find 2 things you can smell

– Find 1 thing you can taste

– Know that it is temporary. You’ve been through it before and you will survive it again.

– Move around. This helps your mind and body stay empowered.

– Talk to someone. Say your thoughts aloud- it takes the power away from them.

– Feel empowered. Keep your faith and trust in yourself.

– Breathe!

Having anxiety is extremely common and you aren’t alone, but how do you know if you have an anxiety disorder?

Ask yourself these few questions:

  1. Are you constantly tense, worried, or on edge?
  2. Does your anxiety interfere with your work, school, or family responsibilities?
  3. Are you plagued by fears that you know are irrational, but can’t shake?
  4. Do you believe that something bad will happen if certain things aren’t done a certain way?
  5. Do you avoid everyday situations or activities because they cause you anxiety?
  6. Do you experience sudden, unexpected attacks of heart-pounding panic?
  7. Do you anticipate the worst?
  8. Are you easily irritated?
  9. Do you have trouble concentrating?
  10. Do you feel like your mind is going blank?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, don’t lose hope. You can try the techniques listed above and you can take medicine to control it. Being proactive about your anxiety is first and most important step.

Taking an antidepressant is not a weakness.

Some people don’t make enough Serotonin in their bodies and need a little boost to keep them level. It’s just as if you had to take medicine for any other shortage in your body. This medicine helps so that anxiety doesn’t define who you are.

Stop pretending like you can do it all on your own.

Be positive and start making a difference in your life. You hold all of the power!

Good luck to ya! I believe in you.

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