The first times I got really bad anxiety I couldn't identify it, because I was sure it couldn't be a panic attack. I had read about panic attacks and heard about them, and I thought I wasn't in a place where I could get these. But I did.
My heart started beating faster and whatever I did to stop the negative thoughts I couldn't. I was in no control over my bad feelings and I thought my head was going to explode because of these. I've been through a lot of traumatic experiences and when I get panic attacks it's like all these bad things are played on repeat in my head. So it's like I'm reliving the worst scenarios over again, and I can't do anything to stop it. And yes, this feels as scary and unpleasant as it sounds.
My anxiety has gotten better since I've gained weight and started recovering. But there are times when I still get these moments of panic and anxiety, and here's my best advice on what to do when that hits you (it depends a bit on how bad the panic is):
1. Take a walk - getting fresh air feels good but it's actually good for your brain as well. You think more clearly when you get fresh air and for me it's easier to stop the circle of bad thoughts when I'm outdoors and not inside in a dark room under my blanket. I know you just want to hide in a dark space when anxiety hits you, but if you're strong enough to go outside, just sit on a bench or take a small walk, it probably helps a bit.
2. Distract yourself - put on music, listen to a podcast or watch a TV show. Try to force yourself to focus on something other than the thoughts that's going on in your head. It might feel impossible but sometimes a distraction like this can actually help you to calm down.
3. Write down three good things - while having a panic attack you probably feel like it's the end of the world. And like nothing will ever be good again. So what I sometimes do when my thoughts are taking over is that I write down three positive things. And then I think about them and the importance of them and I feel better after a while. When I ask myself "what's the worst thing that can happen?" and I realize the answer isn't too bad, I usually feel a bit better.