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How do I calm down after a panic attack or flashback in class without anyone noticing?

17 Answers
Last Updated: 12/22/2020 at 2:52am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Brenda King, PsyD


I treat life changes, women’s issues, and issues of aging using evidence-based treatments with healthy doses of warmth, empathy and humor to enhance healing and growth.

Top Rated Answers
January 26th, 2015 2:34pm
I would personally step out, but if you must stay in class, think of yourself in a peaceful place. Build a world thats youre own, make it protected and go there after every attack
April 24th, 2015 12:14am
Breath deeply. Count your breaths. Focusing on something as simple as breathing can help you to refocus on the present.
January 23rd, 2015 9:58pm
This is something I have personal experience with. It can be pretty scary. The easiest thing to do is raise your hand and excuse yourself. If your teacher won't listen, just say it is an emergency. You can either go to your guidance counselor and talk through it, or if you feel it's not super serious, just go to the bathroom for a couple minutes to catch your breath and calm down. You shouldn't have to explain yourself to anyone.
May 4th, 2015 7:24am
The easiest thing is simply leaving to go to the bathroom, but if you can't or if it's already too late, breathe. Breathe in and out, focusing only on your breaths, until you're back under control.
June 11th, 2015 12:21pm
Always remember that as a human, an emotional being, you are allowed to have time to yourself. Go to a bathroom or remote area. Just request you be excused and leave. I mean, think about it. If you had a bathroom issue, or you had to do anything personal physically, being excused is appropriate. If you have a mental or emotional issue, the same applies. We all are entitled to our 5-10 minutes of peace when needed.
November 3rd, 2015 2:13am
This is a great question. I have a three step program that works for me, and many of my friends who come to chat here on 7 Cups. When you feel overwhelmed, start with a deep breath. Look around you- what are three things you can see? Describe them to me in detail. What three things can you touch that are in front of you (this can be a piece of paper, your shirt hem, or even a pencil)? Describe these to me. Lastly, what are two things you can smell? This is the hardest category: it forces you to really focus in on your surroundings. This process grounds me in the present moment- and no one will ever suspect you are going from overwhelmed to under control. Try it out!
May 16th, 2015 3:18pm
concentrate on controlling your breathing that is what will give it away the most. also once you have control of your breathing everything else will follow i would advise trying to relaxing your mussels starting with your hands and fingers
July 7th, 2015 4:57am
The most important, and often underrated, thing to remember about recovering from a panic attack/flashback is breathing. Although we often don't think about it, breathing is our life force, and learned to regulate or control it can have a huge affect on our bodies. I use the breathe in for 3 and out for 3 trick whenever I have had a flashback. It is easy to do in class and will not draw attention to yourself. Hope this helps! -SL
August 10th, 2015 3:51am
Try a technique like pushing your legs down towards the floor, or focusing hard on your breathing. Try taking deep breathes and counting to a high number.
September 29th, 2015 12:43am
Deep breathing and muscle relaxation is what I usually do after a panic attack and that usually helps me a lot
November 16th, 2015 10:30am
After a panic attack, or flashback, try to focus on your senses, and gather a grip on what is going on around you.
January 5th, 2016 1:11am
Take deep breathes. Breathe in and out. And after tell someone that you get these in class.
April 12th, 2016 5:48am
Quietly inhale and exhale. You can also try gripping your hands or your knee. Try counting back from 100. Pretend you're chewing gum.
July 12th, 2016 4:09am
Something I find that really helps me is to do this: First tense all your muscles and squeeze up, then release and exhale at the same time. The act is barely noticeable and can help significantly in calming yourself down.
March 13th, 2017 3:14am
Take lots of slow deep breaths. This will help a lot. Relax. Don't mind the people around you. Focus on yourself. Ground yourself.
May 15th, 2017 11:59am
Close your eyes and take deep breaths. Consciously concentrate solely on your breathing and think nothing else.
December 22nd, 2020 2:52am
I️ go to the bathroom and splash water on my face. Then, before returning to class I️ sit in the stalls for a couple of minutes while mindlessly scrolling on social media to keep my mind off of whatever I️ was anxious about. After I've calmed down, I️ check the mirror to see if I️ look puffy or like I've just cried. I️ splash water on my face again, buy a drink if I️'ve brought money, and continue onto class as if nothing had happened. If needed, I️ will text my friends (that go to a different school) to vent about how I️ feel. It usually always works!