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Thread: Panic attacks and ways of dealing with them

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    Forums Member DMR's Avatar
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    Panic attacks and ways of dealing with them

    Greetings to everyone!

    I would like to discuss a topic, which is very important for me, as I'm dealing with a problem of panic attacks now and then. The point is - I sometimes get very anxious, especially about some people, and that they can harm me, or treat me badly, cause me physical or mental pain or use me for their purposes. That is a very strange kind of fear, but I think that it is caused by some traumatic experience in my childhood, and that is the thing that spoils my life. These attacks are not so intense - I'm not unsocialising or feeling sick, or having some pain - but I just can't get out from the circle of fear in these occasional periods of time.

    The first recomendation certainly would be to go to some kind of therapist, work on with my mind, maybe have some medical treatment, by I don't see my fear as a clinical case, it's just a very bad habit, which I would like to deal with one day. I find that buddhism and meditation can help me with this problem, and, in fact, mindfulness is very useful in this situation, but I would like to hear any recomendation you could give me about this theme. Maybe some additional teachings, or practices, mybe you could share your own experience of dealing with this problems (if you had some). It would be very important for me to know, that this is a mental desease I can deal with, and that you won't judge me for that non-systematic and maybe even irrational topic....

    Thank you in advance, and please appologise me for my molestation

    P.S. And please excuse me if this is a topic, that was discussed earlier on the forum, but I haven't found it through the search engine of the website...

  2. #2
    Hello Dmitry,

    I moved your post to this forum because I thought it was a better place for it. I'm so sorry that you get panic attacks. I have mild ones myself sometimes, possibly originating from my childhood and maybe also the fact that both my maternal grandfather and my mother had panic attacks from time to time.

    The way that I deal with a panic attack myself, is to place my awareness with my breathing and say mentally: "its ok, don't worry... breathing in...and breathing out....breathing in...breathing out.....breathing in....letting go... " and so on, until I've calmed down again.

    I also very gently rotate my shoulders and neck to release any tension.

    Perhaps others might have some better suggestions.


  3. #3
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMR View Post
    The point is - I sometimes get very anxious, especially about some people, and that they can harm me, or treat me badly, cause me physical or mental pain or use me for their purposes. That is a very strange kind of fear, but I think that it is caused by some traumatic experience in my childhood, and that is the thing that spoils my life. These attacks are not so intense - I'm not unsocialising or feeling sick, or having some pain - but I just can't get out from the circle of fear in these occasional periods of time.

    The first recommendation certainly would be to go to some kind of therapist, work on with my mind, maybe have some medical treatment, by I don't see my fear as a clinical case, it's just a very bad habit, which I would like to deal with one day. I find that buddhism and meditation can help me with this problem, and, in fact, mindfulness is very useful in this situation, but I would like to hear any recommendation you could give me about this theme...
    Greetings Dmitry

    To talk about this with a therapist, counsellor or spiritual friend is a good idea.

    In terms of Buddhist practises, this also includes active thinking called 'wise reflection' ('yoniso manasikara'). This means when a mood of fear arises, to actively reflect & ask oneself repeatedly, for example: "What is here to fear?" "How many times have I been through this and was I ever harmed by anything?"

    Realistically, some people can actually be bad people but, if this is so, they are generally easily avoided. In other words, sometimes certain fears are warranted.

    Importantly, in Buddhism, it is important to socialise with Buddhists or other genuine spiritual people who you do not fear; who you know are safe. This is why the Sangha or Buddhist Community one of three refuges (of safety) in Buddhism.

    Kind regards


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    Hi DMR. I'm in the same boat, so to speak. My panic attacks started on a flight when someone turned the heating up. My seat was up against a bulkhead and I was kind of trapped in a corner, getting hotter and hotter. I had never had an attack before so was quite unprepared for the experience. Unless you have, you can't really understand what it entails, the emotional impact as well as the physical jolt from adrenaline. I only then understood 'flight or fight', and of course could do neither. In the end I had to find a somewhat cooler spot for a while, but it brought on panic attacks at night if I got too hot. Which is ok if you are at home and can cool off, but not if you are out and about.

    I eventually went to CBT for a while and this, together with meditation practice has kept things manageable. For me, I had been going through lots of problems which were insoluble, and I think this started things off. Catch 22 had nothing on what seemed to be happening to me! Feel free to PM me if you want to chat about it with someone who has been through similar stuff. For me, it helps to talk with someone who has actually been through stuff, as well as to experts who maybe haven't, but who can give good advice.

  5. #5
    This article by Ajahn Amaro might be helpful, Dmitry. (He's the abbot of Amaravati Theravada Thai Forest Tradition Monastery in the U.K.)

    "The Body of Truth and the Body of Fear".

    https://www.abhayagiri.org/reflectio...e-body-of-fear



  6. #6
    Forums Member justusryans's Avatar
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    I too suffer from panic attacks and anxiety disorder as well as several other psychological disorders that have gotten so bad I can't work. I take medication to control what it can control and use mindfulness and meditation as well. Mine is a result of childhood trauma and abuse.
    I hope to someday be able to to get off the medication and just rely on mindfulness. That is my goal. But for now I will use whatever is at my disposal to keep it manageable.

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    Forums Member DMR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    Hello Dmitry,

    I moved your post to this forum because I thought it was a better place for it. I'm so sorry that you get panic attacks. I have mild ones myself sometimes, possibly originating from my childhood and maybe also the fact that both my maternal grandfather and my mother had panic attacks from time to time.

    The way that I deal with a panic attack myself, is to place my awareness with my breathing and say mentally: "its ok, don't worry... breathing in...and breathing out....breathing in...breathing out.....breathing in....letting go... " and so on, until I've calmed down again.

    I also very gently rotate my shoulders and neck to release any tension.

    Perhaps others might have some better suggestions.

    Thank you, Aloka, for your kind advice! I would certainly try your approach next time, and I think it may help me a lot!

  8. #8
    Forums Member DMR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Element View Post
    Greetings Dmitry

    To talk about this with a therapist, counsellor or spiritual friend is a good idea.

    In terms of Buddhist practises, this also includes active thinking called 'wise reflection' ('yoniso manasikara'). This means when a mood of fear arises, to actively reflect & ask oneself repeatedly, for example: "What is here to fear?" "How many times have I been through this and was I ever harmed by anything?"

    Realistically, some people can actually be bad people but, if this is so, they are generally easily avoided. In other words, sometimes certain fears are warranted.

    Importantly, in Buddhism, it is important to socialise with Buddhists or other genuine spiritual people who you do not fear; who you know are safe. This is why the Sangha or Buddhist Community one of three refuges (of safety) in Buddhism.

    Kind regards

    Thank you, Element, for your words and advice! It is making me feel good to know, that my feelings and thoughts can be appreciated by other people!

    'Wise reflection' that you were talking about is a wonderful thing, and I'll try to keep this practice in mind next time I get some anxious period.

    Your words about Sangha are trully very wise and accurate, but for now the thing is that I don't have anyone to share my thoughts with, as it seems to me. So this website is kind of my Sangha, and it is very important for me to get feedback from all of you! But I shall try to do my best to find myself a spiritual friend, thank you!

  9. #9
    Forums Member DMR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by philg View Post
    Hi DMR. I'm in the same boat, so to speak. My panic attacks started on a flight when someone turned the heating up. My seat was up against a bulkhead and I was kind of trapped in a corner, getting hotter and hotter. I had never had an attack before so was quite unprepared for the experience. Unless you have, you can't really understand what it entails, the emotional impact as well as the physical jolt from adrenaline. I only then understood 'flight or fight', and of course could do neither. In the end I had to find a somewhat cooler spot for a while, but it brought on panic attacks at night if I got too hot. Which is ok if you are at home and can cool off, but not if you are out and about.

    I eventually went to CBT for a while and this, together with meditation practice has kept things manageable. For me, I had been going through lots of problems which were insoluble, and I think this started things off. Catch 22 had nothing on what seemed to be happening to me! Feel free to PM me if you want to chat about it with someone who has been through similar stuff. For me, it helps to talk with someone who has actually been through stuff, as well as to experts who maybe haven't, but who can give good advice.
    Greetings philg, and thank you so much for your reply!

    I'm going to PM you for sure, as it is so wonderful that you would like to speak with me on this topic.

    You too, in your turn, feel free to write me any time and on every occasion you feel to!

  10. #10
    Forums Member DMR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justusryans View Post
    I too suffer from panic attacks and anxiety disorder as well as several other psychological disorders that have gotten so bad I can't work. I take medication to control what it can control and use mindfulness and meditation as well. Mine is a result of childhood trauma and abuse.
    I hope to someday be able to to get off the medication and just rely on mindfulness. That is my goal. But for now I will use whatever is at my disposal to keep it manageable.
    Hello, justusryans, and thank you for your participation!

    May your practice be happy and healing, and may you get off from the medication treatment eventually, and enjoy every single second of life! Feel free to write me any time you want to discuss your problems, I would be honoured to listen and share with you.
    Last edited by DMR; 20 Apr 17 at 23:01.

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