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Why is it that the more attention I feed my panic attack, the worse it gets?

14 Answers
Last Updated: 02/26/2019 at 2:07pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Paola Giordani, Psychoanalyst

Licensed Psychoanalyst

I have helped and am helping people cope with loss, divorce, anguish and parenting. Depression is also a major issue that comes up.

Top Rated Answers
January 25th, 2015 1:18pm
As you think about it, we tend to obsess over it, reason why we are panicking, things we can do to stop what we are panicking about, this feeds the panic and makes it worse.
April 12th, 2015 12:56am
The reason why you feel more panicked when you give it the attention, is because you realize you're panicked and that can be terrifying for some. They become worse upon realizing that they are in a situation where their nerves and anxiety are taking over and they can not control it.
June 3rd, 2015 9:55pm
The more you notice your panic attack, the worse it gets because you begin to focus on the fact that you are panicking. I find that remaining completely still and focusing on slowing my breathing and keeping my eyes open always helps!
June 4th, 2015 11:15pm
When you think more about your panic, or anything really, it gets worse. If you feed the beast, it will grow stronger until it overcomes you. Especially during tests, when I start thinking I'm going to fail, my panic rises.
June 30th, 2015 6:21pm
It makes your heart beat faster and the more stress you have the worse it gets, just think how your heart should beat and focus on that and breath
September 21st, 2015 7:09pm
Sometimes, I feel like when it comes to panic attacks, the more you think about it, the worse it gets. And it's hard not to think about it when all you want is for it to stop! Looking up some coping mechanisms for your panic attacks could help you find out other ways to handle it without giving it too much attention :)
December 15th, 2015 3:16am
I think because the more and more you overthink what makes you anxious, the more you let it control you
January 25th, 2016 1:17am
Panic attacks will get their energy from fear. The more you fear the worse it will get. See your panic attack as an unwanted attacker that can't actually hurt you. Tell it it's had it's time, and it's over.
July 19th, 2016 5:56am
The more you focus your brain into the panic, the more attention it gets and it feels a lot bigger every minute. "Feed" is absolutely right - the more you feed anything, the bigger it gets.
July 26th, 2016 8:37am
The more you think about it, the more your mind panics. It is like digging deeper into something that I'd already stressing you out.
August 2nd, 2016 7:57pm
You make your problem bigger, the more you think about it the worse it will get. Try thinking about how to fix it instead of whats going bad at that moment. It always helps me to imagine someone being in the same room as me, I try to see me and my problem from this persons perspective. Usually it will make me realize that my panic should not be this bad. Not saying this will work for anyone. Just focus on breathing and breathing only.
April 3rd, 2018 4:32pm
Focusing on a certain situ brings it to the front of our mind so in that case because it's a constant though it makes the panicked seem even worse, distraction techniques are good for example controlled breathing, even singing a song in your head anything to remove the thought of panick from the front of your mind
July 10th, 2018 3:00pm
Well, that is just how panic attacks work. Just try not to give it any attention. Focus on other stuff, for example the colour of your shoes, what you had for lunch yesterday,... That is something that might help you to get back in touch with realitiy
February 26th, 2019 2:07pm
Sometimes, panic/anxiety loves company. Concentrating on something can often make that something more prevalent in your life. For instance, if one constantly thinks about blue feathers, they are more likely to notice blue feathers in their day to day life than others would. When you acknowledge your panic attacks, your body is responding to the attention. You begin to notice more deeply exactly why you are feeling a certain way, and your emotions heighten because of that. While it is -never- a good idea to ignore your feelings, especially something as powerful as a panic attack, using coping mechanisms is generally better than hyper-focusing on yourself. Don't ignore yourself completely, but maybe try to help yourself out by focusing on something besides the panic if you can.