Picture a balloon that is being filled with helium. At first, it starts out with just a little air but as the air pours into it the balloon begins to swell. As it swells, the balloon is tied off at some point or it bursts. When that happens, for a few minutes you might talk a bit funny, but you will definitely have to start with another balloon.
Well, that’s what panic disorder cycle is like. You start out at one point, usually with thinking about something that may not have anything to do with what you want to think about. This leads to fear, and once you have fear, it leads to anxiety.
Before you know it, your panic disorder cycle has started and there is no turning back until you let the air out of the balloon. This is a short version of what really happens but you get the picture.
The question is, “what do you want to do with it?” Do you want to continue to have panic disorder cycle or do you want to figure out how to stop it? For many people therapy is the answer but this may mean medication. There are other ways to stop the panic disorder cycle.
Some people find release from panic disorder cycle with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). In fact, some experts say this is the only therapy that will work. However, you don’t have to go to therapy necessarily to know what to do. We’ll give you a few things here to help your panic disorder cycle.
Changing your behavior is one of the first things that would be looked at in therapy. You can do some of this on your own. This means basically staying in the now moment. When you feel a panic disorder cycle coming on, pay attention. What triggered the beginning? These triggers are very important to your recovery.
Once you know the triggers, find other behaviors you can use instead of going into the panic attack. As an example, take some deep breaths. Instead of allowing your body to take quick short breaths, train yourself to take long slow breaths.
This will help your body settle down so the panic disorder cycle won’t start. When you get a thought like “I’m going to die” change it to something like “I can handle this.” Keep taking the breaths until you are calmed down.