Single Status Update
My girlfriend suffers from frequent anxiety attacks. Usually at the most random times. Sometimes we'll be at a grocery store, or just sitting in my car, or right after sex, and she will tell me she's thinking some really bad thoughts and she starts to tremble in fear.
She's described it to me a few times. She says often when it's happening, she'll start reliving haunting memories, or she'll feel completely vulnerable and like something is going to kill her and there's nothing she can do about it even though she doesn't even know what it is. Sometimes she can detect it just before it's happening and she can convince herself everything is okay before it gets worse. Other times it spirals completely out of her own control and she's just shocked and cries until it dissappears, which can take up to 30 minutes of raw fear.
Sometimes she thinks about worst case scenarios and fears things like dying, or me dying, or me leaving her because she's crazy or something.
I've asked her several times what I should do if she's feeling that way. She said she just needs to be calmed down, like just to hold her or do something random or say something that will make her laugh. The thing is though, is that when I know its happening, I get kinda nervous and instead of being myself, I just kinda lock up or stall or something. I just kinda sit there and think "what do i do what do i do?"
I've looked up on websites before about helping someone cope with anxiety and panic attacks. A lot of times they suggest things like giving a paper bag to breathe in an out of, but she doesn't have respiratory problems when its happening. Other websites say do not get frustrated, do not dismiss the attack by saying "its all in your head" or whatever, do not ignore the person, do not, do not, do not, but pretty much nothing about WHAT TO DO.
One time she was having an anxiety attack and in the middle of it, she took out her iPhone and started playing Skyburger and it kinda wore off from there. Something to distract herself from focusing so strongly on her haunting thoughts. Any ideas?
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We're all on drugs here, aren't we? Heck, I'm on citalopram.
Anxiety attacks are difficult for me to imagine as well, but my brother-in-law is a sufferer and is otherwise a rational, collected guy so I know that anyone's brain can go a little bit haywire. However, I do believe that we overvalue psychiatric drugs and that they are best used in combination with non-medicinal interventions, such as mindfulness meditation.