Prince Harry details his experiences suffering multiple panic attacks in his new memoir, Spare.
In the summer of 2013, Harry wrote, he was “in trouble” after the Warrior Games.
He explains that after years of royal experience in public and speaking at events, he suddenly found himself “incapable” of meeting these obligations.
In his book he writes: And during the event itself, I was unable to think and my mind was boiling with fear and fantasies of wanting to escape.
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“Panic often started with putting on the suit first thing in the morning,” he continues in the book. As I buttoned up his shirt, I felt my blood pressure soar. He tied his tie and felt his throat tighten. Sweat was running down his cheeks and back as he pulled on his jacket and laced up his smart shoes.
This isn’t the first time Harry has discussed his struggles with panic attacks, and has previously spoken candidly about his mental health, including experiencing severe anxiety and panic attacks while trying to perform his royal duties. rice field.
“Whenever I have to put on a suit and tie and play the part, let’s go,” he said in the documentary series The Me You Can’t See.
“Even before I left the house, I was sweating and my heart rate was in fight-or-flight mode. Panic attacks, intense anxiety… [age] From age 28 to maybe 32, it was a nightmare period in my life.
Harry isn’t the only celebrity to share a panic attack experience. Back in 2020, Fearne Cotton shared an emotional Instagram post announcing the first panic attack she suffered in months during the coronavirus lockdown. I detailed.
Sharing a photo of himself from the bathroom, the TV host confessed that when he got into bed the symptoms of the attack began and his heart started pounding.
She went on to explain that she woke up feeling “bruised and blurred.”
In an accompanying caption, the TV star detailed what happened. It’s a strange time, so all the rules are out the window.
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“Last night I had my first panic attack in months,” she continued.
Fearne went on to explain that after three hours of elation, she managed to fall asleep only to be awakened by her son Rex.
The radio host said the reason for sharing was not to garner sympathy, but to help others suffering from panic attacks know they weren’t themselves.
“I’m putting it out there for anyone going through the same experience but feeling alone,” she wrote.
“I often feel like I’m the only one who can’t do normal things like sleeping soundly or staying calm in chaos. For everyone in the same boat…we It will pass and the calmness will reappear I know it’s okay to feel tired for now because today is just a bump in the road Whatever you’re going through today, you Big love to you. Love and peace.”
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What is a Panic Attack?
“Panic attacks are an exaggerated version of the body’s normal response to danger, stress or excitement,” Stephen Buckley, head of information at mental health charity Mind, previously told Yahoo UK. It can be triggered by a place, situation, or event, but some people experience panic attacks without a clear trigger.”
Buckley states that panic attacks can be distinguished from other anxiety symptoms by their intensity and duration of symptoms.
“Panic attacks can be frightening, especially if you’ve never experienced one and don’t know what’s going on.
“It’s associated with physical symptoms that are difficult to control, such as rapid breathing, nausea, sweating, and sometimes chest pain, but there are ways to deal with them.”
What to do if you are suffering from a panic attack
stop and observe your thoughts
“If possible, you should stay put during a panic attack,” advises Dr. Donna Grant, a consultant psychiatrist at Chelmsford Hospital in Priory. “Then pause for a moment, observe your thoughts, and tell yourself how your mind responds to these thoughts and concerns.
“These feelings are normal. They’re just your body’s alarm system working when you don’t need to. It’s important to assess the situation. Stick to the panic. It will pass.”
Learn to control your breathing
During a panic attack, people often hyperventilate. This means taking deeper breaths than normal, which can make you feel short of breath and cause dizziness, disorientation, and chest pain.
“By learning to slow your breathing, you can prevent unpleasant physical symptoms and stop the panic cycle,” says Dr. Grant.
She advises inhaling for 3 seconds, holding your breath for 2 seconds, and then exhaling for 3 seconds to get a slower, more steady breathing rhythm.
“Be sure to let your belly expand with each inhalation. This will help prevent shallow breathing and worsen the problem,” she adds.
Buckley says focusing on your senses can also help. “Paying attention to what you can see, hear, smell, taste, and feel can help you recover from feelings of panic,” he explains.
Learn to use positive coping statements
Dr. Grant says that when you’re feeling anxious or panicked, it’s helpful to have a “coping statement” that you can use to remind yourself that panic is not dangerous or harmful.
She suggests that the statement should look like this:
– Panic is simply high-level anxiety
– Remembering that these symptoms are nothing more than anxiety can help prevent further symptoms from occurring
– My anxiety and panic will pass by themselves with time.it won’t last forever
“Remembering these facts can help prevent further panic cycles from occurring,” Dr. Grant adds.
“If you live with other people, the next time you have a panic attack, they will be there to support you, such as helping you sit up, drinking a glass of water, or helping you control your breathing.” Let them know what you can do for them,” says Buckley.
“If you live alone, try instead to make a plan for what you will do until it is over. Plan your outdoor space.
“You can also have a trusted family member or friend be your on-call person. They can support you remotely via video or phone and help you work on your breathing.”
Many things go through your mind during a panic attack, and often very negative thoughts. “Instead of focusing on these things, try to focus on something else, like looking at pictures or looking at things that interest or comfort you,” Dr. Grant suggests.
Alternatively, you can try some creative visualization. “To do this, think of a place or situation that makes you feel relaxed or comfortable. ‘ she explains.
challenge unhelpful thoughts
According to Dr. Grant, the way we think about things influences panic. “Many of these thoughts are beyond our control and can be negative and unhelpful. It is therefore important to remember that they are just thoughts and not necessarily facts. ‘ she says.
While you may believe many of your unhelpful thoughts during a panic attack, Dr. Grant says these thoughts are often based on false assumptions and should be challenged. misinterprets physical changes as “having a heart attack”.
“To question and answer this negative thought, you would ask yourself: What would you say to yourself that would have helped?” she continues.
“By recognizing the common patterns that unhelpful thoughts follow, you can become aware that you have them.”
Dr. Grant suggests that keeping a journal of what happens each time you panic can help you find patterns in what causes these experiences and help you think about how to deal with these situations in the future. I’m here.
How to help someone suffering from a panic attack
Friends and family may be alarmed when they see someone having a panic attack.
According to life coach and resilience specialist Shelly Crawford, you can help someone who is having a panic attack by using a calm, kind, soothing voice and trying not to be patronizing.
“It’s important not to say, ‘Just keep calm,'” she says. “Instead, take the person to a quiet place away from other people and encourage them to breathe with you.
“You can do this exercise without being physically in front of them (i.e. online).
“For example, ‘I can see that you’re really panicking right now. Why don’t you take a breath? We can do that together. Breathe in for a few counts, hold your breath for a few counts.’ Then exhale slowly.
“This can help with the emotions you’re feeling right now. Can you just focus on taking that breath in slowly?”
“Let’s try – take a breath with me… 2, 3, 4 Take a breath. ”
Visit Mind’s www.mind.org.uk for mental health support, tips and advice.