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How do you deal with a panic attack when you are in public?

18 Answers
Last Updated: 08/25/2020 at 10:46am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Sarah Robb, LISW-S (Licensed Independent Social Worker, Supervisor Designation) and LICDC (Licenced Chemical Dependency Counselor)

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. Life poses many challenges. Learning to face, cope with, and resolve these challenges can increase our resilience.

Top Rated Answers
June 8th, 2015 1:18am
when i experience a panic attack in public i excuse myself and go into a quiet room and try to come down, i might go for a walk, get some water, wipe my tears (or let myself cry more if that what i need) and BREATH!! and just allow myself that quiet time alone to do what i need in order to collect myself and go back to whatever situation i walked away from/caused me stress
January 10th, 2015 3:17am
Usually when I'm in public, I try to find somewhere to sit and I sit there focusing on my breathing.
April 29th, 2015 3:27am
I stop, close my eyes, breathe in for 7 seconds, breathe out for 11, and repeat until I feel the symptoms of my panic attack calming down or going away. (7-11 method)
September 10th, 2015 8:58pm
This is a difficult thing to go through. Not everyone is the same or will handle it the same. There is no one answer fits all. Perhaps you can write down the things that help you or keep you calm and apply some of those to your life when you are out in public. Make a plan on what you can do if it happens.
September 28th, 2015 11:41pm
When you are having a panic attack in public you should go to a private place for example a bathroom stall. Then relax and do the normal panic attack exercises.
December 7th, 2015 9:38pm
Focus on your breathing. As long as you keep breathing, you'll be okay. Try to think positive thoughts and if the panic attack gets very bad, try to leave the room you're in at that moment and go to a more quiet space to calm down a little bit. Take it easy on yourself.
February 8th, 2016 6:27am
I try to stay calm get myself distracted reading books I don't quite understand or liking it find weird adventure.
September 5th, 2016 6:55pm
In my experience with panic attacks, I would tend to step away from what I am doing for a moment and would walk for 5-10 minutes. This helps refreshen your mind as well as getting the body moving. There's this breathing technique in which I do daily that is extremely helpful for those that have trouble breathing, this was taught by my psychology teacher. It begins by focusing on all your thoughts that is on your mind and pushing them down to your stomach (sounds silly but try it) You then take a deep breath in for 6 seconds and out for 6. Repeat this until 2-4 min. are done.
October 18th, 2016 6:46am
To be honest i'll try & find a toilet that's near or I'll sit down and try and focus on my breathing
October 25th, 2016 3:18pm
I go to a quite and secluded place to regather my thoughts. After i have recollected mt thoughts i think of things that calm me down and make me happy, then once im calm again i continue one with my day.
May 8th, 2017 2:14pm
I usually just go to a quiet place, like a bathroom, and then try to calm down in there. If you can't get to a bathroom, try to sit down somewhere and do the same thing
May 15th, 2017 6:08pm
The first thing I do is reassure myself that what I am experiencing is anxiety, and not a medical emergency. I then make sure to not beat myself up for having the anxiety. I accept that it is there, and that things will be unpleasant for a little while. Then I try to intentionally calm my body through breathing, and talk myself through the panic.
February 6th, 2018 11:49am
The best thing to do is to try and find somewhere to sit down as soon as possible. if you have head phones put them in and try to focus on the music. as soon as youre sat down use any medication you may have. Also remember that panic attacks are nothing to be ashamed of and that you shouldn't worry what others think
June 18th, 2018 7:38pm
Grounding and deep breaths are what I immediately start doing. It can be extremely hard to deal with an attack in public but it gets easier with the time. I also ask myself if what worries me so much is a possible option or just a negative assumption.
July 10th, 2018 4:43am
Take a breath and if you can, go to the bathroom, splash some water on your face, and try to calm down. Maybe try to call a friend or family member, if you can.
July 10th, 2018 12:57pm
I usually start focusing on my breathing. Inhaling and exhaling slowly, counting 3 seconds for each of them. I try to repeat a positive sentence in my mind, like "everything is going to be ok", I find that very helpful.
July 10th, 2018 10:37pm
Attempt to get somewhere alone/quiet and I call my friend who also has panic attacks and they help me calm down or come find me and help me in person.
August 25th, 2020 10:46am
If you're by yourself, try and get to a private place, a bathroom, an empty classroom, your car, etc. Once you get there you can call someone you know to have them help you. If you're with friends then alert them and tell them you need to go somewhere private and they'll be clearheaded enough to help you. They can also keep an eye out for you. If you're able to, you can try and guide them through how to help you if they're new to it. If you're with people that won't help you, then excuse yourself to the bathroom and try and calm down as quickly as possible so that they don't suspect anything.