Panic Attacks

Panic Attacks

If you have ever experienced Panic Attacks, you will probably rate it as the highest level of fear that you could ever experience. They are truly terrifying and you will have been convinced that you were dying. Panic Attacks are one of the most commonly presented difficulties I treat. It takes two distinct forms, random (which can occur at any time, any place without warning). The triggered panic attack which occurs due to a recognisable, if not understood, situation. B.W.R.T and Hypnoanalysis are both superb methodology for dealing with this particular illness and providing full resolution.

Everything is fine, but everything is certainly not fine!

When experiencing a Panic Attack you won’t be able to tell anyone why you are frightened as consciously you know everything around you is OK. There is nothing rational about any of it. Having a friend say ‘don’t worry’ or ‘Pull yourself together’ is about as helpful as telling someone to be unconcerned that they are about to hit by a herd of wild elephants.

The feeling can start with the tiniest ‘strange’ feeling almost anywhere in the body, though the most common is a surging feeling either over the whole body, or in the chest. Not uncommonly, there is a feeling that a heart attack might be imminent. Many people have been admitted to hospital fearing they are about to die when they were actually experiencing the symptoms of a panic attack.

It’s very common when experiencing a panic attack to call an ambulance. You have a belief that you have a heart condition or some other life threatening condition and require medical treatment. If you do call the ambulance, it will arrive and they will take all your observations and do an ECG. 30 minutes later, after they have filled out their paper work, they will let you know that everything is fine. You have just experienced one of the worst moments in your life and you are told that you are fine! In the moment that you were having a panic attack, you were anything but fine. Something must be wrong for your body to convince you that you are dying. You may then feel that there is something mentally wrong with you and you start worrying about that. Why else would your body react like that for no reason!

Survival mode activated

When you suffer a panic attack, your body is preparing for its survival. If you were in a life or death situation, you would thank your body for this ‘mode’.

You read stories about people lifting cars when someone is inside trapped. That person at that moment was having a panic attack, or correctly a flight or fight response to a situation and they channeled all of their energy and strength into the moment. They were able to survive or to help others survive.

Unfortunately when this ‘mode’ is activated, you may just be sat on the sofa watching the TV. All that energy has nowhere to go and its gets lodged in your body creating many symptoms. This in turn makes the mind ask, what’s going on? Your heart is pumping through your chest and your palms are streaming with sweat and your mind is screaming what’s going on. You then try with all your might to stop this from happening and without realising you make it worse with all the resistance.

The symptoms can include, dizziness, sweating, hot flushes, fast heart rate, fast breathing, and feelings of impending doom, breathlessness, legs and arms turning to jelly, trembling, clammy palms, diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, visual disturbance, and the most obvious symptom FEAR.

The circle of fear!

The issue with panic attacks is that after you have experienced just one, you may well begin to dread having another. You then get caught in a cycle of searching the psyche and body to see if there is an indication of when the next will happen. Looking out for the smallest physiological change in the body can then be enough to promote another attack.

Panic attacks share a lot of similar symptoms of anxiety, but when having a panic attack the intensity is much greater. Often when having a panic attack, we place such force within our body that the symptoms actually physically hurt. For example; Sharp chest pains – When we hyperventilate, the result of strain on our chest muscles creates a discomfort like someone is standing on our chest! We are able to control our breathing at all times, so by knowing that hyperventilating causes sharp chest pains, we now know not to do it. So when you experience sharp chest pains, we can start working on a breathing exercise.

Overcome panic attacks, contact me here today