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How do paper bags help with panic attacks?

105 Answers
Last Updated: 06/22/2020 at 5:19pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Top Rated Answers
April 1st, 2016 5:58am
It helps you to think about your breathing rather than think about the stressor which is putting you in this state of mind. But don't get used to it. It's not always healthy. In terms of the carbon dioxide it lets you inhale in.
April 1st, 2016 7:20pm
rebreathing Your exhaled 02 will help you from hyperventilating. It also give you focus on your breaths.
April 3rd, 2016 3:56am
Paper bags help with panic attacks because it is a way of managing your breathing patterns. Often during panic attacks, you will hyperventilate of have difficulty breathing normally. The bag helps to control your breaths. It works, trust me!
April 7th, 2016 1:05pm
They give you something to focus on. Ensuring your getting air to breathe. yet they don't always work for everyone.
April 8th, 2016 2:10am
It helps control your breathing so that you don't take quick little breaths or deep long breaths. Breathing right plays a huge roll in panic attacks.
April 8th, 2016 8:05pm
Paper bags can be great help under panic attacks when you breath rapidly and feel like you loose control. By breathing into a paper bag you can gain back that control as well as your breathing.
April 9th, 2016 8:52pm
I found whenever I had a panic attack they helped control the depth of my breath. Instead of panicking and taking lots of shallow breaths I would focus on filling the bag and then deflating it as slowly as possible and this brings your breathing back under your control
April 13th, 2016 10:10pm
Breathing into a paper bag forces you to breathe slowly, which helps you to calm down.
April 22nd, 2016 5:59pm
Breathing into a paper bag while having a panic attack reminds you to take deep breathes as the bag inflates and deflates.
April 23rd, 2016 6:04pm
Some people believe that it helps you control your breathing better by breathing into a paper bag? Personally I've never done this so I wouldn't know, But it supposively helps.
April 25th, 2016 5:14pm
In the process of a panic attack, the breathing on a regular basis is leveled, but in a panic attack we feel we're short of breath, so in many cases we hyperventilate... this causes that our leveled breath (the equilibrium of O2 and CO2) suffers an alteration, our body takes too much oxygen but not enough dioxide. Paper bags help to breathe CO2 because we're breathing the same air and because it's our exhale is full of CO2 and not oxygen and this helps to stop the feeling of nausea, cramps, etc. This symptoms are caused by a disorder called respiratory alkalosis, and it's a vicious cycle, this leads to more anxiety and that makes you hyperventilate and hyperventilation leads to more respiratory alkalosis and it's pretty dangerous. Hope this was helpful for you
July 12th, 2016 1:44am
When you're having a panic attack, you can't keep your breathe in. Paper bags slow your breathing, and you can breathe some oxygen in.
September 20th, 2016 12:25am
Here is a scientific explanation Copied form the web: When people get anxiety attacks they 'over-breathe'. This lowers the level of carbon dioxide in the blood and that makes them feel worse! Breathing into a paper bag for half a dozen or so breaths, builds up the carbon dioxide in your body again, so you should immediately start feeling better.
April 10th, 2017 12:45am
The paper creates more carbon so you produce more oxygen so it helps your breathing
May 23rd, 2017 2:00am
Panic attacks can be intensified if a person does not get their breathing slowed down. A paper bag can help manage the duration of a breathe which will help someone who is unable to control their breathing during a panic attack.