Panic attack-Out of the Blue

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I feel like I have been making progress processing my trauma, albeit VERY slowly. I attend therapy regularly and am off of work at the moment, on as good headspace. That's why, when hit with a panic attack - one with no obvious recognizable triggers- that paralyzed me today, I'm so damn frustrated!! I'm in a seemingly good place, so why the setback?? With my own PTSD, it's like 2 steps forward, 18 steps back. Anyone else feel this way?
 
Thank you for replying. It makes me feel less alone, maybe more 'normal.' The problem , for me, is that PTSD has no 'norms.' I struggle with that constantly. Sometimes it feels like-no matter how hard I may try- that I will never beat this
 

enough

MyPTSD Pro
yep. Thats something I deal with too. There are tools that help me, the best is to go back to the tried and true breathing techniques. A little less helpful but always (should be always) available are the anti anxiety pills, take your pick. Benzo's are a pain to get off of but I have lived with and without and times like what you describe are one of my main reasons for choosing with.

Don't take my advice on meds except: If you and your doctor decide on something, make it a second line of defense, behind the tried and true breathing and other relaxation techniques. Getting off is a real big deal.

Better every day, even if better is just a little more aware of where you are
 

Justmehere

Moderator
Another thing that can help is safe strong sensations. It’s a way to ground out of the panic connected to the past to zap right into the present. My fav go to is to hold ice or a cold frozen water bottle. It can stop a panic attack in its tracks for me. Weirdest thing, but it works well enough for many people that even a couple of PTSD inpatient centers use it.
 

enough

MyPTSD Pro
never heard of the ice thing. It might distract the survival instinct a bit? If it stops panic in it's tracks like you say, I want to try that.
 

Sideways

Sponsor
never heard of the ice thing.
Try a google search for DBT TIPP skills - bunch of easy ways to force physiological changes when your systemnis overwhelmed, changing body 'Temperature' (eg. from holding ice) being one of those ways. There's some good stuff there without needing to do a whole dbt course!
 

Friday

Moderator
I wouldn’t consider a panic attack a setback. They happen, sometimes, is all. Even after years and years, a panic attack can strike, or a flashback, or a nightmare, or whatever. One offs in a sea of good living? No worries. Worth noting, but unless there’s a sudden -or gradual- increase in symptoms? Not anything to fret over.

But in a general upward trend? Fewer and fewer symptoms, for longer and longer stretches of time? Even better. Mile posts of improvement. From daily, to weekly, to monthly, to a few times a year? That’s the opposite of a setback... that’s solid progress.
 
I wouldn’t consider a panic attack a setback. They happen, sometimes, is all. Even after years and years, a panic attack can strike, or a flashback, or a nightmare, or whatever. One offs in a sea of good living? No worries. Worth noting, but unless there’s a sudden -or gradual- increase in symptoms? Not anything to fret over.

But in a general upward trend? Fewer and fewer symptoms, for longer and longer stretches of time? Even better. Mile posts of improvement. From daily, to weekly, to monthly, to a few times a year? That’s the opposite of a setback... that’s solid progress.
Thank you. This is reassuring. I tend to get so hung up on the negative that I often forget the positive. I appreciate your perspective; helps me to reframe

Another thing that can help is safe strong sensations. It’s a way to ground out of the panic connected to the past to zap right into the present. My fav go to is to hold ice or a cold frozen water bottle. It can stop a panic attack in its tracks for me. Weirdest thing, but it works well enough for many people that even a couple of PTSD inpatient centers use it.
Try a google search for DBT TIPP skills - bunch of easy ways to force physiological changes when your systemnis overwhelmed, changing body 'Temperature' (eg. from holding ice) being one of those ways. There's some good stuff there without needing to do a whole dbt course!
I will certainly check this out!
 
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