How to Deal with Panic Attacks in Public

One of the many terrible side effects that come with dealing with PTSD is having to face panic attacks. If you have PTSD, you know how awful suffering through panic attacks can be, especially when they come on unexpectedly while you’re in public. The fear and embarrassment that comes with being hit by a panic attack in public can seem just as bad or even worse than the actual panic attack itself. Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to help ease your trouble.

  • Control your breathing. Focusing on your breath can serve as a quick and easy distraction, and by controlling your breathing, it can help you feel more in control of yourself and the situation. Taking deep, slow breaths can also help your heart rate slow back down and bring you back to calmness.
  • Distract yourself. When in panic mode, it’s hard to focus on anything but the problem itself and the panic that you feel. But if you can manage to divert your attention to something else, it’ll help to lessen the panic. Try engaging in an in depth conversation, or maybe play a quick game on your phone.
  • Take a break. Sometimes social situations can just be too overwhelming. If you feel a panic attack coming on and you just can’t shake it, calmly excuse yourself for a few moments. Step outside and get some fresh air, or freshen up in the restroom. It’s okay to take a break every now and then.

PTSD and panic attacks are no fun, especially when there are others around. In fact, social situations can even make things worse. But you can get through it and you are not alone in this battle.

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