During the fight or flight response, which is our body's defense mechanism in stressful situations, certain chemicals enter the bloodstream. This natural reaction helps the person to survive. All the emotional and physical manifestations of such a reaction can be described in one word - panic. Boys, girls and adolescents who suffer from panic disorder may experience panic even in the absence of an immediate threat. A person is not able to fully control his behavior in such situations, but he may try to pull himself together and ask for help.
Part 1 of 4: How to Prepare
Step 1. Warn teachers in advance
Warn teachers about your anxiety problems and possible anxiety attacks so you don't disrupt class. Tell them that in some situations you will need to go to the health center, to the school counselor, or simply leave the classroom for a few minutes.
Typically, teachers will agree to do whatever is necessary to help you cope with this seizure during class. Sometimes it is required that the parents come or call the school and discuss the problem with the teacher or bring a doctor's note
Step 2. Action plan
After informing the teacher about possible seizures, consider a way to show that you need to exit so that the teacher can safely continue the lesson. Try to leave the class quietly and try to pull yourself together without disturbing the teacher and students.
- Discuss how best to warn the teacher. For example, you can make eye contact with the teacher and point your eyes towards the door. You can also ask: "May I leave?"
- Determine a plan of action with the teachers, principal, head teachers and school psychologist. So, you can sit at a desk near the door, so as not to interfere with the rest of the students at the time of the attack.
Step 3. Decide where to go at the time of the attack
How to deal with panic attacks depends on the resources available. For example, you might go to the health center to see a nurse or school counselor. Many adolescents experience anxiety and panic attacks, so school health workers know how to calm a student at the time of an attack.
If there is no way to go to the health center, then talk to the teachers and the principal so that you can go to the restroom or go outside and get some fresh air
Step 4. Keep the medicine with you
If panic attacks often cause you to miss or interfere with lessons, your doctor may prescribe special pills to help you pull yourself together in uncontrolled situations or relieve symptoms. The medicine should be taken before school or during class as directed.
- Discuss with your doctor if you should take a pill. Usually, in the case of anxiety attacks, the doctor may prescribe antidepressants, which must be taken for a long time, or benzodiazepines (or sedatives), which are taken at the time of the attack to relieve symptoms in 30-60 minutes.
- It should be remembered that drugs alone will not solve the problem. Most doctors advise combining medication, therapy, and a healthy lifestyle. It is also important to consider that benzodiazepines can be highly addictive and interfere with the ability to drive, so medication should be taken with caution.
Part 2 of 4: Coping with a Panic Attack
Step 1. Go to the agreed place
If a panic attack occurred in the hallway or classroom, then you need to calmly, but immediately notify the teacher and go to the restroom or first-aid post.
Step 2. Breathe deeply
At the moment of panic, the heartbeat sharply increases, painful sensations in the chest, tremors in the hands, shortness of breath, sweating and other signs may appear. Bring your breathing back to normal to calm yourself and ease your panic.
- Sit on a chair, on the toilet lid in the toilet, or on the floor in the hallway, and rest your back against the wall. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Inhale slowly through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth as well.
- The hand on the stomach should rise with each inhalation and lower with each exhalation. The arm on the chest should remain practically motionless.
- Inhaling, count to four, then hold your breath for a few seconds and exhale, again counting to four. Repeat until you can calm down.
Step 3. Get distracted
Sometimes it is necessary to deliberately distract yourself to deal with panic attacks. The trick is to keep yourself busy with other thoughts and wait for the symptoms to subside. Use one of the following methods to relax:
- Count it. Start counting the black tiles on the bathroom floor, count backwards from one hundred to one, or remember the multiplication table (1x1 = 1, 1x2 = 2, and so on).
- Read by heart. You can come up with or remember a poem, repeat lines from your favorite song to yourself.
- Present images. Use your imagination to imagine a safe place. Perhaps it will be a lakeside hut, grandma's house, or a distant waterfall. Try to imagine the sensations that can be experienced in such a place. What sounds are there? What do you see? What smells are in the air?
Step 4. Talk to yourself
In a moment of panic, a person intuitively prepares for the worst. Use kind and calm words to let go of negative thoughts and ease anxiety. Remember that you are always dealing with an attack. Repeat the words as a prayer aloud or silently, replacing fearful feelings and thoughts in case of anxiety.
- "I'm just the epitome of calmness."
- "Everything will be alright".
- "In a couple of moments, everything will be back to normal."
- "I can pull myself together."
- "It's just an anxiety attack."
Step 5. Seek help if the anxiety persists
Ask a teacher or nurse to be with you in the event of an acute attack. If necessary, ask to call your parents.
Say, “I have a severe anxiety attack, nothing helps to pull myself together. Could you be with me? "
Step 6. Return to lessons when the seizure is complete
Students with anxiety attacks may miss a lot of classes or fall behind in the program. Having to quit can be detrimental to academic performance and create additional anxiety.
- When you feel relieved, try to get back to class as soon as possible. Find out what you missed during your absence.
- Learn how to deal with panic at school on your own in order to use various methods without leaving your desk. This way you don't have to leave the lesson and skip new material.
Part 3 of 4: How to behave after a seizure
Step 1. Stay in touch with parents and teachers
Anxiety attacks at school can be caused by a variety of reasons, including family problems, high expectations, problems in relationships or with friends, and difficulty concentrating during class. Pupils with panic disorder often fall behind the curriculum as they skip individual lessons or whole days of class.
- It is important that parents and teachers always stay informed about what is happening with you. If you think that workload is the cause of stress, then give up extracurricular activities or some household chores.
- If the parents are too demanding, then ask your school counselor how best to discuss this issue. You may learn to talk to your parents correctly and release your high expectations.
Step 2. Don't be offended
Bullying by school bullies is dangerous to everyone, including the victim, the bullies themselves, and bystanders. For example, victims of bullying may experience symptoms of depression and anxiety, which can lead to panic attacks. Learn to resist:
- Raise your head and look the offender in the eye. In a calm and even voice, ask to leave you alone. You can also ignore the bully.
- If the first method is not effective, then there is no need to remain silent. Tell an adult about the problem - a teacher, a parent, an older brother, or a school counselor.
- Try to avoid places where school bullies gather.
Step 3. Plan your time correctly
The older a person gets, the more responsibility is placed on him. If you mismanage your time, you run the risk of increased anxiety. Use the following tips:
- Divide global plans into smaller tasks. For example, when planning to write a review of a book, you should read the book, think about ideas and take notes, make an outline, write a draft, edit, and proofread the finished text.
- Make a to-do list and cross out anything that's already done.
- Determine the amount of time you want, turn on the timer and move on to the next task when the time expires.
- Review your weekly routine to help you allocate time and energy for study, extracurricular activities, and important household chores.
Step 4. Change your lifestyle
You may not see a direct connection, but your daily habits affect your anxiety levels. Start making lifestyle changes to reduce anxiety and improve your health. The following changes can help ease or prevent panic attacks:
- Physical exercise. Regular exercise improves your mood. Take up running, yoga, boxing, or other outdoor activities.
- Proper nutrition. Eat a healthy, balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can worsen anxiety symptoms.
- Healthy sleep. It is necessary to sleep 7-9 hours every night. Turn off electronic devices at least an hour before bed, and try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
- Control stressful situations. Look for ways to overcome stress and anxiety before they turn into panic. Call your friend. Take a warm bath. Go for a run or walk your dog in the park.
Step 5. Seek support from a school counselor
Surely he knows many ways to cope with anxiety. Try to see a psychologist regularly, even for a short conversation or check-up. Your teachers and classmates may not understand what you have to deal with, and the psychologist will always be able to provide the necessary support.
Part 4 of 4: Coping with seizures at university
Step 1. Use the available opportunities
Some universities offer free psychological counseling and even medical services to their students. You can also find a support group for students suffering from panic disorder. Find out about all the services available to get the support you need while away from home.
Work with a counselor to learn how to manage anxiety and panic attacks. Make an appointment with the university's psychological counseling center right away
Step 2. Talk to teachers
In most universities, students need to ask permission to go to the bathroom or elsewhere. It should be understood that while leaving the classroom during an attack, you can skip important material or displease the teacher if you rush to the exit too noisy. Make educators aware of your problem and figure out how best to alert them to a critical situation.
- For example, walk up to the teacher after class and say, “I suffer from panic disorder, so sometimes I will need to suddenly leave the classroom to pull myself together. I would like to ask you how I can best warn you so as not to interfere with the lesson. What can you advise? "
- Consider audience size and available exits. For example, your instructor might ask you to sit near a door in a small classroom or in the back row of a large lecture hall.
Step 3. Surround yourself with positive people
If some students or acquaintances increase feelings of anxiety, try not to spend a lot of time with them. Better to be in the company of someone who calms you down.
- For example, people who improperly plan their studies (study the material before the exam all night long or write the term paper on the last day) often succumb to panic and anxiety themselves. Try not to socialize with people who cannot control stressful situations or who use drugs and alcohol to cope with stress.
- Spend more time with people who plan their time wisely and are good at managing stress. For example, try to connect with people who plan ahead, ask questions in class, and relieve stress with exercise or meditation.
- Sign up for a hobby club to connect with like-minded people. A club or club can help you find friends and have a good time after class to ease your anxiety.
Step 4. Always be collected
Know how to organize your work and plan ahead for stressful situations to help reduce anxiety. Keep your notebooks, books, laptop, and other supplies in your bag on time to reduce the likelihood of a panic attack.
- Write down deadlines for submissions in your diary. For example, as soon as you know when to turn in a term paper, immediately jot the information down in a notebook, along with other important details.
- If you have an exam tomorrow, then take ten free minutes in the evening to put all the necessary things in your backpack. Write down the time and location of the exam in your diary or on a piece of paper and post it on the refrigerator.
Step 5. Take detailed lecture notes
Notes help focus on the teacher's words and distract from disturbing thoughts. At the beginning of the lecture, always take out your notebook and pen to write down all the important information.
If you find it difficult to decide what to write down, then try drawing in a notebook so as not to think about disturbing thoughts
Step 6. Get distracted from your studies
Try not to prepare for class at night or cram information for exams at the last moment, so as not to increase the level of anxiety. Work a little every day and take breaks. Distract yourself for 10-15 minutes every couple of hours. During the break, you can:
- Call a friend or parents
- Go for a walk
- Have a snack
- Check news on social networks
- Watch funny videos on the Internet