Monday, May 21, 2007

Anxiety Scale

Photo by j.kolo
One of the most important things I have learned is to detach yourself from a panic/anxiety attack and observe your symptoms. You do this by flowing with the feeling you have, not fighting them. There are certain degrees of anxiety and if you can maintain control before you get to level 4, you can prevent a full blown attack. Here is my anxiety scale (the symptoms will be different for everyone):

7-10 Major Panic Attack: All of the symptoms in level 6 exaggerated; loss of control ofmy body and throwing up; compulsion to escape.

6 Moderate Panic Attack: Palpitations, difficulty breathing, feeling disoriented or detached (feeling of unreality); panic in response to perceived loss of control.

5 Early Panic: Heart pounding or beating irregularly, constricted breathing, definite fear of losing control, unable to think clearly, compulsion to escape.

4 Marked Anxiety: Feeling uncomfortable, heart beating fast, beginning to wonder about maintaining control, feeling nauseas, burning in the back of my neck or face, trembling body o shaking hands.

3 Moderate Anxiety: Feeling uncomfortable but still in control, heart starting to beat faster, more rapid breathing, trembling hands.

2 Mild Anxiety: Butterflies in stomach, definately nervous, negative self talk starts.

1 Slight anxiety: Passing twinge of anxiety, feeling slightly nervous.

0 Relaxation: Calm; a feeling of being undistracted and at peace.

The coping strategies in summary to enact when you start to detect your early symptoms are:

  • Practice Abdominal Breathing
  • Repeat Positive Coping Statements
  • Use Abdominal Breathing in Combination with Coping Statements
  • Talk to Supportive Person on the Phone
  • Move around or Engage in Physical Activity
  • Stay in the Present
  • Use Simple Distraction Techniques
  • Get Angry with Anxiety
  • Experience something Immediately Pleasurable

I will go into more detail about some of these that help me the most later, and will link them to this blog, but for now I wanted to get this down so I can use it at work as a quick reminder.


Anonymous said...

I empathize with your situation, and congratulate you for not fighting the panic attacks. I think I have experienced levels 5 through 7 or so, in the past that is.

I never threw-up fortunately. But I went through a period of a couple of months where I kind of lost my appetite, and had diminished energy. I wanted to protect myself, so I withdrew into as calm a world as I could invent. But lingering in the back of my mind: Fear of having another panic attack. And very crazy thoughts from time to time I had to deliberately ignore. All in all, quite an anxious, unhappy time for me.

Just this past June, Friday 13th, I started to have another panic attack. I was just lying in bed at night, arguing with somebody in my head about something. On came the panic attack. I hopped out of bed, took a Valium, got on the Internet, and Googled 'Panic Attacks'.

Somehow I clicked on a link that turned my life around 180 degrees.
I discovered how to handle my panic attacks, and actually diffuse them.
I have done so several times since then. I have now become an Affiliate of the program called Panic Away. More information is available at
This has really changed my life!

Anonymous said...

This is nice informative Post which provide good information about anxiety scale. I appreciate your effort. keep Posting.

Ricky Parker

Anonymous said...

Hi there I enjoyed reading your information on panic attacks. I had them for over 5 years and now am panic free! Always nice to read someone else's point of view and I applaud for posting and trying to help out others. I have just started my own blog based on experiences, techniques and tips so feel free to come read my information and keep up the good work.

izzyd said...

I helps to realize that my situation is not unique. I often let myself get to a point of feeling physically sick before I even realize it's a panic attack! The feeling of being 'detached' is something that I have become all too familiar with around times that I have panic attacks.

Anonymous said...

The Beck anxiety scale, also known as Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), was designed by Aaron Beck to quantify anxiety in individuals. Before Beck anxiety scale came into practice, there was no other way to distinguish anxiety from depression.
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