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Topic: Length of anxiety period after anxiety attack/trigger.

9 posts, 0 answered
  1. Sunny side
    Sunny side avatar
    8 posts
    21 December 2016


    I am curious about others experience with how long anxiety stays after being triggered / anxiety attack or panic attack.

    For me after a trigger, I find it very difficult to let the trigger go. This results in me working myself up to having an anxiety attack or a panic attack. I will then experience high anxiety for the next 3-4 days where things are a struggle. I seem to bargain with my mind to try find anything to make myself feel better to no avail. Early morning wake ups, physical symptoms of anxiety, mind racing and blurry at the same time. I apply some strategies that help a little. During this time the mornings are the worst and it slowly eases(not all the time) as the day goes on. But never anxious free.

    I then seem to come down from the peak of anxiety and then have less anxiety for a few days - usually up to a week and a half. Where I will replay/ rehash the trigger and feel very uneasy when my mind goes down that route again. During this time I am very very sensitive to any of my triggers and am on high alert. This makes me very tired and nervous. Physical symptoms subside a bit.

    Usually by 3-4 weeks I am getting back to myself. But still sensitive.

    now you know about my unwelcome friend, anxiety - who has an extended stay every few months.


    sunny 🌞

    1 person found this helpful
  2. White Rose
    Life Member
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    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    21 December 2016 in reply to Sunny side

    Hello Sunny

    Welcome to Beyond Blue. Anxiety such as you have described is not a good place to be. Rehashing the triggers or events is a bit like the urge to keep checking a sore tooth to see if it still hurts and trying to decide if you need to see your dentist. Well I think you would go to the dentist because the tooth is getting painful.

    You have not said if you are getting help for your anxiety. Panic attacks can be extremely upsetting and of course you keep wondering when it will happen again. If this was happening once in a blue moon, as the saying goes, then you could probably manage. If it is more frequent, which is what I think you are saying, then it's time to get some help. The starting point is always your GP. He/she is the centre that all your medical contacts and needs revolve around.

    You can of course go to another organisation such as Relationships Australia, Anglicare, Lifeline etc. These are all good organisations and will probably be able to help you. They cannot prescribe medication which you may need, at least for a while. I know people raise their hands in horror at the thought of meds but you may not need this. And if you do, it's not the end of the world.

    In the meantime, when you feel a panic attack coming on, try to imagine you are in a boat drifting gently down a quiet and gentle stream. Watch the banks of the stream drift past while you are safe in the boat feeling relaxed. You can imagine your panic as some object standing on the river bank and getting upset because you are drifting out of its reach. This has always been my get-out-of-jail scenario and it works for me. While you are concentrating on the boat your panic is losing control over you.

    I hope this helps. Keep writing in here as I would love to know how you are going.


  3. Sunny side
    Sunny side avatar
    8 posts
    21 December 2016 in reply to White Rose

    Hello Mary,

    thanks for the reply.

    i am on medication and have psychology one every 1-2 months. Have been navigating my way through anxiety for about 3 years now and have strategies that I use.

    im just curious what other people go through with their anxiety, how long it lasts and how often they have anxiety.

    i really like the idea of the boat - thanks for sharing.

    How long do your anxious periods last for?

    πŸ’œ sunny 🌞

  4. MsPurple
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
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    MsPurple avatar
    1621 posts
    21 December 2016 in reply to Sunny side

    Hi Sunny

    I understand what you are going through. Just letting you know it is really common. Some people suffer anxiety/panic attacks differently. When I have a panic attack I don't feel like I'm dying, but I feel like an impending doom is coming , its hard to explain, I struggle to catch my breath and my chest hurts. When I have have an anxiety attack I feel a huge sense of dread, I feel weak and I get the urge to go to the bathroom a lot. For me anxiety attacks last longer than panic attacks (I'm not sure if anxiety attack is actually defined properly in journal articles but I use it to describe a less intense panic attack). Panic attack usually lasts like 10 minutes, for me an anxiety attack can last like 8 hours. It does vary though.

    When I am having an attack I try slow breathing to slow down the heart rate. If it happens at work I try find a private space or go out side to do some slow deep breathing. I also do some meditation. I tend to do this at night sometimes before bed. It helps me with mindfulness and to reduce overall stress. Sometimes I also call a friend or parent and they can help calm me down. When I am panicing I can't think straight as my mind is just freaking out and thinks it is dying, so I have to distract it to stop the panic. Listening to music and doing slow breathing at the same time can distract the mind and slow down my heart rate at the same time.

    Hope some of this helps. It is hard to be in the panic moment. I know its horrible, but remember it isn't forever.

  5. Nicki_85
    Nicki_85 avatar
    6 posts
    24 December 2016 in reply to Sunny side

    Hi Sunny

    i relate completely with your post, my panic attack comes on every few months usually due to too much life changes or triggered by parents. and then bam! I Wake up with severe panic anxiety and it does subside a bit by night time however the racing thoughts tend to stay for about 4 days then i go back to my normal self. This happens to me every 4-5 months and in between these attacks i am mostly anxiety free. I hope this helps..

  6. Fighting Anxiety
    Fighting Anxiety avatar
    2 posts
    24 May 2021

    Hi Sunny

    I am currently having a anxiety episode first time in my life, it started on Thursday, May 13, got better on Wednesday 19, unfortunately it hit me again on Sunday, I am feeling horrible again because I feel queasy and hungry at the same time, but no desire for food.

    My reaction to it, heart palpitations occasionally through out the day, less interested in my work, and poor appetite. I decided to see a psychologist, but the wait time is 4 weeks. In the meantime, I have been spending hours online to try to find something useful for myself. The worst part terrifies me is I am a mother, I can't let this affect my kids.

    Thanks for sharing!

    2 people found this helpful
  7. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    5893 posts
    24 May 2021 in reply to Fighting Anxiety
    Hi FightingAnxiety, 

    Welcome to the forums and thank you for being brave and sharing your story with the community today. Anxiety can a real challeneg and effect us in lots of ways, both mental and physical. We are really sorry to hear that you are experiencing an episode at the moment but it is great that you are looking for external supports. 

    We think it might be useful for you to give our support line a call to talk through what you are feeling at the moment. You can call anytime and the wonderful counsllors will help you deal with any symptoms right not as well as help suggest some other places to get support. Call anytime on 1300 22 4636.

    It can be tough handling these symptoms while looking after others so we urge you to look into what will help make you feel better and do your best to practice some self-care. 

    Kind regards, 

    Sophie M
  8. Fighting Anxiety
    Fighting Anxiety avatar
    2 posts
    24 May 2021 in reply to Sophie_M

    Thanks Sophie for your support and suggestions!

    I have a husband, he loves me, but the trigger is related to our marriage. Recently a few people I know are going through marriage break up, I think I have probably done some overthinking to mine. I never think this would happen to me, honestly. I have a lovely family, I have a professional career. Anxiety is real, I am scared of facing it, I am shame of sharing it in real life.

  9. D Walsh
    D Walsh avatar
    20 posts
    26 May 2021 in reply to Fighting Anxiety
    Sunnys first post back in 2016 is exactly how I am feeling right now. I find myself living in fear of anxiety/depression that I almost talk myself back in to another attack. Sleep goes out the window, hyper vigilant symptom checking etc. I feel like I have PTSD and trigger myself. I have support around me but it just gets tedious doing it over and over again. I don’t have anything good to offer to this thread other than I too suffer these same problems

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