Self-Help Tips for Controlling Panic Attacks in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

Written by Angela Atkinson

How To Control Panic Attacks (For Toxic Relationship Survivors) – The AWARE Method for Overcoming Panic Attacks (Actionable Self-Help Tips)

All of us experience anxiety from time to time but this is especially true for people who have been in toxic relationships with narcissists. And, it’s tougher when it evolves into a full anxiety attack or a panic attack. This is something that most of us will experience at some time in our lives and that can ultimately become crippling as you worry that heading out into public spaces could result in fainting, or that falling asleep could trigger an episode.

Fortunately, there are ways to treat panic attacks and with the right approach, these methods can be highly effective at getting the problem under control and even preventing them altogether. One such option is to use the ‘AWARE’ strategy.

What is AWARE?

AWARE is an acronym that stands for:

  • Acknowledge and Accept
  • Wait and watch
  • Actions to make yourself comfortable
  • Repeat
  • End

Each of these parts is described in detail in this video.

The key to this is essentially to accept that the attack is happening and not to try and ‘fight it’. Instead, you simply acknowledge it and then ‘watch’ it as you go about your business as usual. The very best way to fight a panic attack? To continue acting as though it’s not happening.

When you first notice a panic attack begin, you will find that the symptoms can be somewhat similar to what you imagine a heart attack to be like.

As you may expect, this in itself can be a highly distressing prospect and actually creates much more anxiety. Other people are actually afraid of anxiety attacks themselves because they dislike the experience so much.

Thus it’s common to start worrying about the panic attack itself as well as whatever triggered it. It’s this subsequent panic that can lead to escalation and ultimately result in the individual passing out of collapsing.

And this, in turn, is why it’s so important not to try and ‘combat’ the effects of a panic attack through sheer will. Instead, by ignoring the panic attack, by recognizing it for what it is and by being comfortable and allowing it to run its course you can actually find that it goes away much more quickly. What’s more, is that once you lose the fear of the symptoms, it will eventually stop happening altogether.

Of course, it is still important to try and remove yourself from any potential danger – which may mean pulling over if you are driving or removing yourself from a public space. Be sure to see your doctor before using any self-help tips you find here or anywhere on the internet.

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