Close this search box.

How to Manage Moments of Panic

There are times when there are very real moments that are of slight concern that my brain blows completely out of proportion. There are also times where a delusion of mine completely spirals out of control, and I have what I can only assume to be some kind of mild panic attack. From this, I’ve come to learn ways for how to manage moments of panic. For context, I’ll give a brief description of one of these mild panic attacks:

It generally starts with a minuscule feeling somewhere in my body. Maybe I get an itch somewhere on my chest. This itch plants the seed for a series of events leading up to an extremely alarming situation. My thought about that itch leads to me thinking it’s something wrong with my heart. Then I realized I had a bit more caffeine today than I normally do. I’m overdosing. I’m having a heart attack. All the symptoms point toward a medical emergency. Quick, take an aspirin!

This is something that actually did happen recently. So, I did call 911. I did take an aspirin. I went to the hospital via ambulance โ€“โ€“ and I was fine. My heart is of exceptional health, and I have been told this by several doctors on several occasions before and after this event. Yet paranoia and delusion relating to my heart continue. I previously mentioned paranoia about heart disease in this post about delusions.

Shortly after this episode, it happened again. There were two things that I did that seemed to be quite effective.

The Breathing Exercise

How to manage moments of panic physically

1. The 4-4-4-4 breathing exercise. This is an exercise employed by military professionals who are faced with extremely alarming situations. I won’t compare my paranoia and delusion to the horrors of active combat, but I will certainly compare my reactions to them similarly. In my own words, it goes as follows:

  1. Breathe in through the nose for 4 seconds
  2. Hold for 4 seconds
  3. Breathe out through the mouth for 4 seconds.
  4. Hold for 4 seconds
  5. Repeat 1-4 until panic has subsided

The Change in Environment

How to manage moments of panic emotionally

2. Attempt to change your environment. For me, during my last episode, I was on the city street. It was dark, lonely, and cold. I found the nearest cafe where there was people, warmth, and a beverage to nurse while I collected myself. This could apply in an opposite setting. Maybe you’re in a place full of people, it’s chaotic, hot, too many flashing lights. Find a quiet place, or less quiet, like a bathroom. Sometimes it’s good to be around people because there is safety in the potential of good samaritans. But it can also be good to be alone, where there are fewer people to exacerbate the panic. Go to where it feels right.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe for More Schizophrenia Stories.

Life is an ongoing series of lessons. Because I live with schizophrenia, my hope is that the lessons I learn and the solutions that come from those lessons will help you and anyone else dealing with schizophrenia or mental illness/mental health issues.

I will only send updates that I am completely convinced will be valuable to you. I respect your time by respecting my time. I donโ€™t send frivolous bullshit.


Sorry, sorry! I just thought since you've been on this site for longer than average, you might hear me out?

Why do you do this to me, Ian...

Okay, okay, I'll be quick! I have a newsletter to keep you up-to-date on my content and projects. If my stuff tickles your pickle, help us both out by subscribing!

Also, I don't do anything shady or aggressive with your email address. I'll only send you the good stuff and won't share your email with any person/provider that isn't working for me to serve you better.

'Serve me better.' What deliciously vague jargon. Is this where you pretend to be me and you make me respond with a contrived form of consent because you're bold enough to assume this cute little chat interface gimmick is enough to actually get me to sign up?

Ummm... uhhh... ahh... Sign up and get exclusive discounts and early access!!!! Come ooooon! Induced scarcity is fun!

...alright, well, I'll leave it up to you.

Ian's Creations


The social app for Minecrafters. Share creations, follow friends, set up trades, & live chat.

Art & NFTs

Much like the poetry, another vehicle for humor, social commentary, & occasional beauty.

Homicide App

Arbitrary gatekeeping systems like laws, morals, and forceful intervention make murder more difficult than ever. With, murder from the convenience of home!

The Meme Hotline

Serving dad jokes over automated voice and meme text messages via SMS completely toll-free!

Objektiv Digital

Making websites for successful local businesses. The most effective one-man-agency you'll likely ever find.

Like this nav? It does what every marketing-oriented web designer will tell you not to do: shove as many things in your face as I can!