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Should I avoid my triggers for panic attacks?

47 Answers
Last Updated: 03/30/2020 at 4:14pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Jennifer Fritz, LMSW, PhD

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

Day to day life can be stressful and overwhelming and my strength is assisting my clients in a supportive, empowering and practical manner.

Top Rated Answers
November 16th, 2014 4:49am
It depends on what feels comfortable for you. When you feel comfortable enough, confronting your triggers can help your anxiety, but this should only be attempted if you know how to calm yourself down once a panic attack does occur. You may also have to confront your triggers multiple times for them to go away. This is hard and mustn't be rushed. Some people choose never to confront their triggers and get around them by other methods. Ultimately, the decision is up to you.
November 16th, 2014 11:06pm
you should try to face these triggers when you feel you are in a comfortable situation to do so, and that there will be no harm done to you.
November 18th, 2014 1:24am
Sometimes thats best, but not always. Learning to face your triggers can help you to overcome the effect!
November 18th, 2014 4:43pm
Yes and no. It is important to learn how to handle our triggers. But the problem is that when we experience them as really acute, all we do by facing them is to scare ourselves even more, sometimes even to the point where we may find that we cannot carry on with our lives. So we have to be clever when we face our monsters. In bad cases it is best to take a companion with on the journey in the form of a professional who knows how not to be scared by monsters and can also teach you how to face up to yours. This should be someone you trust. And the second thing is to be endlessly patient with yourself and to learn the endless lessons of self compassion.
May 30th, 2015 2:23am
No. As a person who has suffered from them in the past year i say never avoid them. Panic attacks are created from the fear in your mind. Your mind is the enemy in this case and you have to fight the fear as it is not real. Most of the things you worry most about never happen. Just remember the more you tackle your triggers head on, the more you will recover. Definitely try the Anxiety and Phobia workbook. You can find it on Amazon!
June 22nd, 2015 1:47am
It is a good idea to avoid any triggers that are causing panic attacks. The less you interact with them, the better.
June 23rd, 2015 1:46pm
Avoiding triggers is a great way to reduce your panic attacks however if you are looking for a way to feel better in the long run then avoiding your problems may not always be the best approach. Try listing out your triggers and figuring out how they make you feel and why. Imagining them as physical thing may also help. In the end, just try to accept your fears/triggers and that may help you to not react in a way that causes a panic attack.
November 9th, 2015 11:55am
You should avoid them at first. I would not suggest facing them all at one time, then pushing yourself to limits and giving yourself major panic attacks, but you should also learn ways to power through them in a safer way.
December 8th, 2015 11:37pm
This is an interesting question. There is value in avoiding them and confronting them. Before confronting your triggers make sure you have good tools for managing and reducing panic when it is triggered. Then when the stakes are low you can try to expose yourself to trigger in small amounts overtime.. this will help you desensitize yourself to the triggers. this is called exposure therapy.
February 22nd, 2016 3:49am
A lot of therapist say you really shoudn't avoid your triggers or else it could make them worse when they appear..
August 2nd, 2016 12:35am
in some cases I understand, but in overall you really shouldn't avoid your triggers if possible. you should get to the root of the problem and deal with it head on, otherwise it will keep occurring and will continue to eat at your heart, it'll get to a point where you are letting it control your life, and you shouldn't be held back. avoiding your triggers will do that to you. you need to let things go, and letting things go is probably one of the hardest -if not. hardest- things you can possibly do. in the end its ultimatley up to you and how you live your life. and eventually, you'll get through it and you will be a better person because of it.
August 2nd, 2016 6:47pm
Avoid them if and when possible, but do not be scared of your triggers. Sometimes we have no choice but to confront our triggers, but we have the opportunity to overcome them.
November 14th, 2016 3:10am
Hello, what I've learned is not to avoid them, because the more things you avoid in your life the more trapped your going to feel. Don't let your fears limit your life, seek professional help, you are not alone!
February 12th, 2018 8:35pm
I can only go off my personal experience for this: I’ve found it helpful to avoid big triggers but not small triggers, that way I still live my life without any massive panic attacks and over time some of my triggers have went away
April 30th, 2018 10:00am
I'm gonna talk from experience but no, you shouldn't. Because in the long run it makes it worse. It's really hard to go through panic attacks and i know that, it's draining. But the only way to make things a bit better is to face the issue slowly, you don't have to deal with your triggers all at once, in situations when you don't feel safe. Take it slow, try to always have a safety "escape" plan in your mind just to be reassured, try to have a friend with you when you're going to a place that could be triggering etc. Just please don't try to avoid certain situations.
June 4th, 2018 4:50pm
Avoiding triggers can be good to avoid panic attacks, but also facing triggers can help you overcome panic attacks.
March 30th, 2020 4:14pm
I think ultimately you know what's best for your mental health and your situation. I think if you are struggling with avoidance to the point where it is keeping you from doing the things you need to do everyday, and/or adversely affecting relationships, school, work, etc. it may be time to consider working with a professional. There are some great therapists here on 7cups. But also, there are certain specially trained therapists that help people face their fears in an ever-increasing fashion, done in a safe and supportive environment. It is known as exposure therapy. Perhaps this is something you might read about and consider finding a therapist trained appropriately for this. Thanks for reaching out and best of luck :)