Dealing With a Panic Attack At School: Proven Strategies That Work

Dealing With a Panic Attack At School: Proven Strategies That Work

Nobody enjoys having a panic attack…

But they're particularly awful when they happen at school. On top of experiencing all of those physical symptoms - shortness of breath, tense muscles, pounding heart - you're worried about how other people will respond to you. 

One of the most helpful first steps is to find a calm area, alone, and go there.

This can be as simple as leaving to use the restroom and finding a stall to sit in - you can always let your teacher know you had to leave for the restroom, and few people will want any details if that's your excuse. 

In the moment, try to ground yourself.

I like to use the 5 Senses Scavenger Hunt - name one thing that you see, one thing that you hear, one thing that you smell, one thing that you can physically touch, and check in with how your mouth tastes. This helps bring you back into your body and the moment. 

Next, try focusing on slowing your breathing.

Try breathing in through your nose for

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Panic Attack Management: 5 Simple Steps

Panic Attack Management: 5 Simple Steps

Don’t judge yourself!

Many people report experiencing panic attacks about panic attacks. Of course it makes sense to wish that you didn’t have to experience them. Or to wish that you were different. But when we judge ourselves, we can make this an unhealthy cycle - the panic, the guilt about the panic, the panic about the guilt about the panic… it’s a panic cycle! So break the cycle, and be kind to yourself. And practice your steps, even before you need them.

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Is It Panic Disorder, or Something Else?

Is It Panic Disorder, or Something Else?

During a panic attack, your brain and body respond with a fight/flight/freeze response. 

Typically, you'll notice your heart rate increase, breathing will become more shallow, and your muscles will tense up. You'll experience a strong urge to fight or run away, or you may feel frozen in the situation.

What else could be going on?

Those physical cues of a panic attack could be cause by another medical concern

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How to Handle a Panic Attack

How to Handle a Panic Attack

A lot of my clients with anxiety experience panic attacks - and it's crucial to be proactive. You need a plan before the attack occurs.

What should you do? Make sure you know the signs of panic attacks. And if this isn't your first attack, you have a pretty good idea of how your body has responded to this severe anxiety before. Then...

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