This explainer on panic attacks includes management tips

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Cognitive behavioral therapy in my experience is when you find thoughts and behaviors that are wrong so that you can change them. I have PTSD and in my experience trauma is in the body and not cognitive. Somatic experiencing works with the body and emotions and it’s very effective and is helping me with my PTSD. CBT is the most popular therapy here in the US. I believe it’s effectiveness is limited. It is covered by insurance and I guess better than nothing. Somatic experiencing allows me to feel and be aware of the trauma so that I can move past it. Just wish it was covered by insurance.


I was coming to post this. CBT absolutely does include breathing exercises and other physical exercises, but a LOT of places just won’t teach them. I was in an IOP years ago for about 3 months where they taught both it and DBT. they focused on DBT’s “exercises” and CBTs education, and of course it was useless. However, I’ve also done both on my own at home using workbooks and individually in therapy with help from my therapist. They both have vastly changed my life and the way I manage crises and triggers.

Also of note: in the video, the speaker says panic attacks aren’t dangerous to your health, which is BS. When we have multiple panic attacks over months and years it absolutely, ABSOLUTELY affects our health, both physical and mental. The physical effects from releasing that much cortisone we do know. But I am growing extremely angry with and tired of mental health care and their carelessness, and mental health research and their depersonalization.


I’ve used, and recommend to others, breathing exercises to break the physical feedback loop, and I’m absolutely convinced that there is a neurological component; if you breathe like you are a calm organism, that signals to the brain that you ARE a calm organism, and then signals are sent from the neurological system out to stop the physiological threat reactions, like the racing heart (spoken as a non neuro-scientist, and the layest of laypersons).

Also; welcome!


I learned about box breathing from a Navy SEAL pal and found it helpful.

I do a similar guided breathing one at night with this app:


That is pretty much the method that I use; I didn’t know it’s called “box breathing” though, and one of the key elements for the method I use (and I think I found it years ago doing reading on meditation), is that you must, must breath from the bottom of the diaphragm; a stressed animal breathes in a shallow way, using only the upper part of the lungs, while a relaxed animal uses the whole of the lungs.
I love how the music is immediately soporific too.


Going to look into that box breathing as an option. I think everyone is super stressed right now - I’ve had a few small panic attacks in the past 8 months and the only reason why I know how to manage them is because I had a big one about a year prior. It was completely terrifying, and I fought myself on going to the hospital about it. I ended up going home and sat alone on a couch, trying to tell myself to calm down. I eventually passed out/fell asleep from exhaustion of fighting with myself and woke up covered in sweat an hour or so later. I don’t recommend it.

Reason I posted is I ended up talking to a work-sponsored counselor about it and they taught me a technique called grounding that I found super effective, personally. Searching the web, it looks like there’s a lot of different ways this is done. How I use it is sitting down, take a few breaths, and then count items. I find 5 of one thing, 4 of another, 3 of another, 2 of another, 1 of another. Then I find 4 new things, 3 new things, and so on until you end up at just 1, and that’s me. It basically distracts me from the panicking and lets me feel in control of the situation.

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