January 19, 2023

10 Tips and Techniques to Stop Panic Attack During Sex

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Panic Attack During Sex

Panic episodes are prevalent among survivors of sexual trauma. But …panic attack during sex, is it possible? The simple answer is YES, and this article will discuss how you can manage sexual anxiety, and the things you can do when it happens.

Panic attacks involve a sudden feeling of acute anxiety and worry that occur in situations where there is no immediate risk. Panic attacks can occur unexpectedly and can last from 5 to 30 minutes but may continue for an hour or more. The precise cause can be varied and a mystery to some, but they do not come out of the blue, there is a progression of anxiety that leads to a peak in the panic attack.

Nonetheless, they tend to afflict persons who have endured trauma, abuse, or excessive levels of stress, feeling situations or thing feel out of their control or left feeling overwhelmed. If you have a trauma history of sexual assault or sexual abuse, you will need to seek professional help, since you may be reacting to your unresolved trauma.

Panic Attack During Sex

Overcoming Sexual Anxiety

Following are some things you can do to help relieve sexual anxiety and prepare you for finding pleasure in sexual activities.

Go slow.

Patience is essential if you want to put an end to your sexual anxiety, so forget about prioritizing your own or your partners orgasm for the time being. Find what is fun and pleasurable. Avoid treating lovemaking as a goal-oriented encounter. You need to take your time, enjoy each other, and find intimacy and connection. This will not only take the pressure off yourself and your partner, but it's also a chance to learn what you find sensual. Think of it as a blank slate. This is an opportunity to pursue what you love without regard for time constraints or an end goal.

Change your lifestyle for the better.

Are you constantly hurrying about during the day? If so, it won't help matters at night. Our life circumstances can often cause us to feel agitated or apprehensive, leaving our minds racing even when we try to relax. You may be experiencing stress or sexual anxiety because of something that happened at work, an argument with your family, or something else. Unfortunately, we cannot always eliminate stress from our lives, but you can make lifestyle adjustments to help with how you cope with it.


Fortunately, the best methods are also the simplest to do. Make sure to get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep every night as your sleep can really affect your sex life, so you feel rested instead of tired and making excuses to avoid sex because of exhaustion. Asking your partner to do more around the house has been viewed as sexy and help your exhaustion level. Make sure you have a healthy balanced diet and regular exercise, even if it's just 20 minutes of walking per day. Walking and looking at the horizon has been shown to relax you and increase your mood.

Be mindful.

Are you experiencing panic attacks? Avoid focusing on issues about your body and sex. Mindfulness, breathing, and getting grounded are all general anxiety-reduction practices. Be certain that you observe them and be present in the moment. There are numerous resources, books, and mindfulness applications available to assist you in becoming more grounded and less nervous.

It is beneficial to do the suggested practices over time. You might also consider joining a program or downloading an app that will walk you through ways to alleviate sexual anxiety and support your overall sexual well-being. Learning that sex with a partner is about what you find pleasurable and should never be only about the other persons pleasure. Feeling wanted and desired, listened to and respected are all part of feeling more comfortable to have intimacy with your partner.

panic attacks at night

Talk with your partner.

Do not hide the fact that you're nervous about sex. Speak up, no matter how embarrassing the situation may be. Anxiety in your relationship is not a pleasant thing. However, it may be beneficial to discuss your anxieties with your partner, especially if your initial reaction is to avoid sex, as this will help you understand what you're experiencing and to feel supported, heard and closer to your partner.

This way, you can work through it together. The more communication and understanding you have around the topic, the easier and faster you can work through things together. You will feel listened to, heard and respected for sharing your vulnerabilities.

Seek professional help.

Finally, if you're still having problems with your body or sex after trying these approaches, consult your doctor. It could be due to an underlying health condition or medication you're taking.

And don't be afraid to chat with a sex therapist alone or with your partner. Either way, it could help you deal with sexual anxiety. Get help. Anxiety-reduction treatment or seeing a therapist specializing in sexual health and couples counseling can be life-changing. You don't have to suffer in silence.

Stop Panic Attacks Now

This course is video based to be able to re listen to over and over again with a workbook to follow again or reuse you conquer one trigger you can see your progress to feel you can do this!

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Dealing with Panic Attack During Sex

Now, what will you do if a panic attack happens while having sex?

First, tell your partner that you need to cease all activities, but, if possible, stay where you are. Try to breathe slowly and deeply in through your nose to get oxygen directly to your brain, to calm and relax you quicker, reminding yourself that the panic episode will pass, and focus on pleasant images. While it can be tough to know how to stop a panic attack, the most important thing to remember is to breathe in the moment to slow it down.

A panic episode can be overwhelming anytime it happens, but it can be significantly worse during sex, if you feel embarrassed or ashamed. If you can, communicate what's going on with your partner so they can allow you to freely work through it.

Here are the things that you need to do when you experience a panic attack during sex, regardless of the cause:

Make yourself comfortable.

Once you've removed yourself from the sexual scenario and the panic attack has passed, find position and surroundings where you feel safe and comfortable. That may include requesting your partner to leave, so don't feel bad if this is what you need to do. Telling your partner what is happening, can help them understand and to not take it personally.

awesome life

Breathe deeply.

Practicing the 4 and 8 Vagus Nerve breathing in the moment. Inhale in through the nose to the count of 4 and breath out your mouth to the count of 8. Do 5-10 rounds to feel the calm immediately. This can calm you within minutes since it sends a calming chemical, acetylcholine, into your body.  

Practicing this breathing technique daily and as needed to feel you have an on-demand calming technique.

Check out Joanne’s Podcast with the medical research explaining the 4 and 8 Breathing technique and how medical science has proven how this simple breathing technique can calm you in minutes.   Anxiety Simplified Podcast # 46  iTunes on. 7 ways to Go from fight-or-flight into rest-and-digest within minutes told by scientists

Reassure yourself.

Once you are calmer, start to comfort yourself with supporting phrases like I am protected, I’m safe, it's going to be alright. The words you use will depend on what you need to hear to feel safe and peaceful.

Keep moving.

Movement in your body can help or changing position to be above your partner or sit on the floor to feel grounded and stable. If you're sitting, this may be gentle rocking. You can also stand and shake off the extra energy by wiggling or patting your body in a calming manner. Wrap your arms around yourself in a tight hug. This provides you a sense of control and containment.


To maximize activation throughout your body of calming force of the Vagus nerve, you can hum or sing. You can hum or use the 'vuuu' or ‘Ommm’ sound. The Vagus nerve regulates a variety of activities, including heart rate and breathing, and engaging it with humming allows you to tap into your body's natural relaxation responses.

Share your feelings.

After the panic episode has passed, you can spend some time with your spouse talking about what happened. You may need to reassure them that it was not their fault. And they will almost certainly want to know what they can do to help if it happens again.

Take a Video 3 Step Course on how to Crush Panic Attacks with Joanne Williams, LCSW Learn from a 30-year mental health professional. Click this link to take your first steps out of having panic attacks forever.  In this course, the 2nd step teaches the Vagus breathing, to get that immediate calming.
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Final Word

Knowing the path to recovery from panic attack during sex can be really beneficial. However, if your panic episodes become regular or interfere with your life, it is a good idea to seek professional care. You can then concentrate on learning how to calm the anxiety progression that creates the panic attack, better managing them, and coping with the associated worries.

Contact Joanne Williams for a free 10-minute consultation on you best next step at 760-485-6784.

Disclaimer: This article is by no means a replacement for medical attention or therapy. Please take care of your mental health.

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