Cosplay Medic Corps Con Survival Guide — Surviving Panic Attacks
A lot of people have panic attacks! It’s okay! Especially at cons! Of course, panic attacks are all kinds of not fun, but Cosplay Medic Corp is here to help! We’ve made this guide so that you can hopefully avoid panic attacks altogether, or if you get them, come out the other side more or less intact!
(1) Let your close friends at the con know that you have X Issue so they are aware, especially if they are going to be hanging out with you a lot. Let them know your triggers and the levels your anxiety can reach.
(2) They are going to know what they can do to help—tell them. If it is leaving you alone, make sure they are aware. If it’s giving you a back rub or a hug or doing something else for you, let them know that.
(3) Set up some kind of code between you that you can use to let them know you are having a panic attack. This can be in hand-signals, a phrase, a swatch of color you hand them, anything at all. Some number of people have trouble verbalizing “I am having a panic attack”, especially in front strangers, so having a code with friends will let them know your condition and let them know how to respond accordingly, but will not announce to the world “I AM HAVING A PANIC ATTACK, PLEASE COME HOVER.”
(4) Bring things will you that help alleviate panic attacks or help prevent them. Your music, a certain blanket, an stuffed animal, your DS, whatever helps you.
(5) If you take medication for anxiety, make sure you take it and have it on you.
(1) Realize you’re having an anxiety attack. Try to identify what is causing it. Knowing what is causing it often times can help you avoid future attacks and will help you get away to calm.
(2) If any of your friend that you have your signal code with are with you, get their attention and then give them the signal.
(3) Do what makes you feel comfortable and helps you get away from whatever is triggering your attack. Getting away from whatever is triggering your attack is the most important step, so that you can wind down from the panic attack.
(4) After you get away from whatever is triggering you, go about the steps that help you wind down. Drink water, go back to your room and lay down, cuddle your stuffed bear, whatever. Do what helps you.
(1) After you have sufficiently wound down and are ready to brave the world again, let your close friend or whoever if watching over you (if you wanted anybody to help you) that you’re okay and ready to go.
(2) ONLY YOU ARE CAPABLE OF MAKING THIS CRITICAL DECISION. Your friends should not pressure you to make the go/no go decision. Do not feel pressured or obligated to fufill their wishes. This is your health, not theirs. If they are so worried, send them off to enjoy the con and tell them you’ll catch up later. Take all the time you need.
(3) Try not to get into the triggering situation again. This is, of course, easier said then done. Just be aware and if you feel yourself being to panic again, repeat the steps above and you (should! we hope!) be alright.
If anybody has any helpful tips regarding panic attacks, please put them in our ask or submit box! We’d love to hear them! Questions, comments, and concerns can go there as well!
~Cosplay medic Corps