Why do I get panic attacks sometimes and almost every night?

I have been struggling with anxiety and panic attacks since a few years and I am not sure why or when it started. It was really difficult in 2018 for me but it had become better and now it’s back to getting worse. I think I’ve started harming myself and I am liking it. I’ve distanced myself from people, I cannot trust most people. I feel suffocated and sometimes I try to suffocate myself. I hate myself. I hate feeling this way. I want to become better but I don’t know how or even if I can.


Hey there.  Knowing exactly why you are experiencing panic attacks, or why you started having them in 2018, isn’t something I can gather from this brief question.  There can be many factors including your environment, life stressors, medications, drug or alcohol use, medical conditions, etc. What I CAN see is that you are dealing with a lot of difficult and negative feelings.  I’m really sorry that you’re feeling so down on yourself.  A lot of people feel that way from time to time.  Hopefully you’re eventually able to see your positives.  Then you can look back on this time and not believe that you ever felt this way.  It seems like at this point in time you are really struggling, and on top of that, you anticipate that you will continue struggling.  These negative feelings and the anticipation that your situation as hopeless are no doubt going to cause panic.  This must be really difficult, I am very sorry. 

Here are some tips for the next time you start to feel panicked- 

Close your eyes and take three deep breaths, focusing on slowing down your breaths each time.  If you feel your breath start to quicken, start over.  

Focus on each of your muscles, one at a time, and practice “progressive muscle relaxation”.  It’s really hard to “try to relax”, but what can help is tensing your muscles, and then relaxing them.  Start with your feet. Flex them as hard as you can, and then let them drop.  Notice the tension that leaves your muscles as you do this with your calves, legs, stomach, arms, hands, shoulders, and face muscles.  Focusing on this action can take your mind off of what you were panicked about, and allow your body to calm down.  

Throughout the day, when you aren’t panicked, I would encourage you to do the following:

Plan for tomorrow- Make a list of things you want to do, places you want to go, as well as a general ‘to-do list.  It’s important to break down big tasks into smaller, more easily accomplished ones, but it’s also important to have big things to look forward to!

Make a note when someone in your life is trustworthy or says something kind or encouraging to you.  We tend to ignore these moments or brush them off, but if we keep tabs on them then they are genuinely measurable evidence that there are people who care about us.  

Try adding the outdoors and exercise into your routine.  Being in the sun, getting your heart rate up, and being around plants are known to boost our serotonin.  

I hope this has been helpful.  Please, if you ever have thought that you want to hurt yourself call a crisis line or the police.  

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