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How do you deal with pulling yourself out of a panic attack when others just say "Snap out of it!" ?

18 Answers
Last Updated: 06/16/2020 at 12:30am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Polly Letsch, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I provide non-judgmental, person-centered, objective therapeutic treatment for individuals of all ages to improve social, emotional, mental and other areas of functioning.

Top Rated Answers
October 10th, 2016 2:50am
Many people don't know what it's like to have a panic attack as they have never experienced it first hand. To them, it's easy for you to 'snap out of it' and 'get over it'. But we who know that it's not that easy, as much as we wish it was! I think that at that moment when you are having a panic attack, it is important to give yourself some space and distance yourself from those people who are telling you to snap out of it and get over it. Being around them in that moment can add to your panic which is not what we want at that moment! Giving yourself some space to breathe and calm down at your own pace and rhythm, will help you out a lot more in the long run, rather then covering it up to 'snap out of it'
May 3rd, 2016 3:49pm
Pulling yourself out of a panic attack is an extremely difficult thing to do. I myself have them regularly, whether it be at home or in a restaurant. many different things can trigger them, but only one thing can stop them; you regaining control. while others who have never experienced an anxiety attack don't really see it as a huge issue, it is. one way i bring myself out of an anxiety ir panic attack is making myself aware of my surroundings and gaining control of my breathing. i make myself aware of my surroundings by identifying: 5 things i see, 4 things i can touch, 3 things i can hear, 2 things i can smell, and 2 thing i can taste. this helps you regain contorl of your surroundings.
June 30th, 2015 5:58pm
Take deep breaths and listen to your heart start to slow down, and count backwards from ten. It helps.
January 18th, 2016 1:50pm
I don't pull myself out of anything: I can't. When I'm having a panic attack, my anxiety is uncontrollable. It's too powerful to be held back. Others don't have the right to tell me to "snap out of it" when I'm in the midst of a heavy fog of panic.
May 21st, 2015 8:29pm
When I panic I usually try my best to remove myself for a situation. I find a quiet place and sit, and I take deep breaths, focusing on how the air goes in and out of my lungs. If i can't remove myself from a place I still use the breathing technique. Focusing on my breath helps to quiet the mind. You really can't just "snap out of it" A panic attack is your bodies fight or flight response, so all you can do is provide a comfortable way to ride it out. Just remember it won't last long and you will be OKAY!
January 4th, 2016 5:48am
"Snap out of it" is poor advice. If it were that easy, then it would be a hobby instead of a real issue. Try and find the coping mechanisms that work for you (i.e., deep breathing, meditation, mindfulness, etc.) and talk to your doctor or counselor to pinpoint methods that will work best for you.
April 12th, 2016 6:09am
Obviously they arent understanding if they say that. I personally understand that not everyone can get why people do things. It does slightly get mad when someone says that but I brush it off eventually. They'll hopefully understand it one day
June 13th, 2016 10:33pm
Calm yourself by remembering that you are only having a panic attack and that nothing more serious is happening to you. Continue to take slow, deep, complete breaths. Slow, deep, complete breaths will relax your body, which is the first step to reversing the release of adrenaline.
May 2nd, 2017 6:10pm
This is always tough. It takes a lot of focus, which is difficult when you're in extreme panic mode. Slow, deep breathing helps tremendously. It may seem like it's lasting forever, but you have to trust that your breathing will get you through it, and just focus on your breaths, not the time you spend in panic. If you can practice breathing deeply & slowly through your diaphragm while you're not having a panic attack, you may be better prepared to handle it when it does come around. Practice often - it's very calming.
July 11th, 2017 7:37am
I take long deep and slow breaths in and out, until I can feel my heartbeat starting to slow down and my breathing regulate.
January 29th, 2015 12:13pm
Ignore the unhelpful people who tell you to snap out of it, they obviously have no idea how panic attacks feel! If you can, go somewhere safe and where you have some time away from the situation. Concentrate on your breathing, imagine a square and breath around that square. Remind yourself that you are not in danger and you are in control. It will pass and you will feel better.
April 14th, 2015 4:51am
You must take a step back and breathe. It is hard to calm yourself down. You must look around and tell yourself you have no immediate threats around you and that you will be fine if you keep breathing.
May 8th, 2015 6:49pm
I go into my room and I will lay or sit on my bed and call my boyfriend or I will go to sleep so I can forget everything.
July 14th, 2015 8:19pm
"Snapping out of it" isn't a helpful thing to encourage, as it is just going to produce more panic about not being able to snap out of it. The first step to pulling yourself out of a panic attack is to stop resisting the feelings of the panic attack. Resisting the panic attack will just make it worse. Try relaxation techniques, try to avoid listening to those who do not understand. It will pass, and you will feel better. Just "ride the wave".
March 20th, 2018 4:26pm
You can deal with pulling yourself out of a panic attack when others just tell you to snap out of it is to know you can figure out things that work for you to help you out when you have one and if you aren't able to do it talking to someone who you know and understands you to intervene too.
December 4th, 2018 9:53pm
Well I deal with a panic attack by telling myself that I am going to be okay and to breathe. That is the most important thing you can do when your pulling yourself out of an attack here. I mean you have to stay focused on the things that make you happy and that can make a great impact on you as a person. Other people do not know what a attack is unless they are having one, but remain calm and like I learned it is about learning to cope with them and move forward in knowing what your been through as a person here.
June 15th, 2020 9:03pm
I learned to focus only on my heartbeat and how I could slow it down. For example: the first time I tried this, I was actually driving I felt my body get that cold/stone feeling and I knew a panic attack was coming. I could feel my heart beat throbbing throughout my entire body and decided to focus on that. I wondered what I could do to slow it down, so I decided to try deep breaths. It worked, and I didn’t end up having a panic attack. I am extremely bad about using coping skills if I actually think to myself ‘I need to use a coping skill right now’ because I need to feel in control, and to dig in my “coping skill tool box” would make me more aware of the fact that I am not in control in that moment. But, if I just focus on lowering my heart rate, I’ll pretty much always be using some type of coping skill without the pressure of using one.
June 16th, 2020 12:30am
During a panic attack, the best way I deal with it is getting some space from people (go in the hall if in a classroom, go outside or bathroom if in a store, etc.) and I often find myself quietly counting under my breath which helps out majorly! Close your eyes and tell yourself that it is okay and take deep breathes. Also, don't be afraid to cry. Especially if you've been holding everything in for so long, this can be a sign that it's time to let it go!