April 20, 2022How To Deal With A Panic Attack On The Road
One of our previous posts has already dealt with panic attacks while in cabin (see: https://bit.ly/3rC16FM). The topic of panic attack is always addressable in a myriad of ways, yet we shall give our best in succinctly explaining this utterly unpleasant feeling of sudden and intense anxiety. We hope this will be helpful to you.
1. Panic attack has some manifested similarities with the case of a heart attack since panic attack triggers the body’s “fight or flight” response, often resulting in racing heart, chest pain and shortness of breath. In the case of a heart attack, a blockage in a coronary artery may result in the same symptoms, although the underlying factors are totally different in the two cases. Person experiencing a panic attack can have several symptoms such as nausea, rapid, irregular heartbeats, dry mouth, breathlessness, sweating and dizziness. Those symptoms will eventually disappear or be significantly reduced in no longer than 15 minutes. Those symptoms won’t kill you even though the period of about 15 minutes feels like the worst 15 minutes of your whole life.
2. If the attack was so intense that it made you feel dizzy and off-balance, then you should park your truck as soon as possible, without delay, and get out of the cabin in fresh air. Then you should take a slow walk around the truck and breathe slowly, not rapidly. Any type of light physical activity will decrease the level of fear.
3. In case you have a bottle of water, just take small sips of water and do it without any rush.
4. In case you have a cold can of juice, do press it against the back of your head and your inner arm for ten seconds.
5. You are not advised to take deep and rapid breaths (so you can avoid overbreathing and hyperventilation). On the contrary, your breathing should be shallow yet calm. You should just focus on your breath and remind yourself that your body is physically safe.
6. If you are driving and the circumstances don’t allow you to stop your truck, then you just need to open your cabin window and let the fresh air make you feel better.
7. The best technique to effectively deal with panic attacks is “paradoxical intention” whose use by patients suffering from – among other conditions – panic attacks was advocated by Dr. Viktor Frankl, the founder of Logotherapy. Dr. Frankl defines paradoxical intention as follows: “The patient is encouraged to do, or to wish to happen, the very things he fears (the former applying to the phobic patient, the latter to the obsessive-compulsive).” You can easily find online the details regarding the technique in the context of panic attacks.
8. If you feel like screaming, just do it, even though you are not alone in the cabin. In ten seconds the level of panic and the unpleasant feeling accompanying it will be significantly reduced.
9. For those who trust modern medical procedures involving medical therapy, a person must know that the therapy is both effective and safe. What is important is that one finds a good medical doctor who is familiar with therapeutic procedures regarding panic attacks.
10. The point is that a panic attack won’t kill you. Moreover, panic attacks are in a way a good life experience that signals how some changes in your life are necessary and urgent.
Do you want us to introduce you more thoroughly to Dr. Frankl’s “paradoxical intention”?