Do you have any advice for overcoming panic attacks?
Helpless but not hopeless
I am going to attach a link to the bottom of this response that I will encompass a concept that you might find beneficial. What you are going through is a disconnect. Your body is experiencing something different than reality. Your body is saying something is wrong, but your mind knows it isn't. By your mind, I mean your conscious awareness of what is happening. Your subconscious, your body, is picking up information from your environment and telling you that something is dangerous. What is your environment telling you?
What is outside that you are fearing will happen? Ask your mind this and see what you come up with. Panic at the level you are referring to is often left ominous, and when we try to quantify exactly what is going on, we find that it breaks some of the facades of the fear. Panic is your response to something that you aren't even sure what it is, which is why it makes no sense to our logical mind. Panic attacks are often expressed to be feeling like dying or that you are having a heart attack. Often the way we try to beat this is to breathe and hope it passes.
In the link below, Dr. Stephen Hayes, the psychology professor who started a therapy model called ACT, talks about his own panic attacks. You'll notice towards the end of the TedTalk that he admits that panic still isn't explicitly defined, but he was triggered by a childhood memory and was now in charge of his life and that kid version of himself.
Again, what is going on when the panic attack comes on? Has there been any trauma or chaos in your life that this season, weather, or smell, can send you into this state of chaos itself, a fight or flight response that your conscious mind says doesn't understand. Your conscious mind is saying; we are safe; we are here, while the body says no, we are not. So then the conscious mind, which depends on signals from the subconscious body, tells you it is dangerous out there. You are in charge of how you approach this, but once you look panic in the eye, you realize it isn't real; it's lying to you.
Your panic is lying about the current moment, but it comes from a place that reminds you of something. Again, do the work in asking what is going on and what comes to my mind, and make panic tangible and measurable to disassemble his scary demeanor. Otherwise, you are left with "coping skills, " medications, and long periods of talk therapy sessions. Admit you have panic, do not fear or wish it away, and look at panic as it was meant to be, a warning system that has gone haywire but can be dealt with when you are willing to look at it.