Out of Control with Panic Attacks?
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- Fred on July 13, 2012 inHealing

Out of Control with Panic Attacks?

Judy Byington, MSW, LCSW, ret,
Author, Twenty-Two Faces:
Inside the Extraordinary Life of Jenny Hill
and Her Twenty-Two Multiple Personalities

Panic Attacks can be uncomfortable, even terrifying. Attempting to regain control of your mind and body may last only a few moments while anticipating the next attack can be much more disconcerting and result in a chronic state of anxiety. If you are distracted by this constant fear it can become disabling, affect your ability to focus and prevent you from enjoying life.

People experiencing Panic Attacks are under constant stress that may result in stiff joints and a lack of oxygen to the brain (hyper vigilance). Because of the very nature of Panic Attacks, sufferers must often kick-start their own program of mind and body responses.

You are panicked, therefore you need to relax. The nervous system shuts down responses to danger by releasing chemicals that induce the muscles to relax and the heart to slow down, allowing lungs to replenish the air lost during the attack by taking deep breaths.

Ways to do this include:

1. Deep breathing, inhaling and exhaling to completely inflate and deflate your chest.

2. Consciously relax your muscles starting with the head. Identify the parts of you that are tense and then let that part “go.” Your face may droop and your shoulders may sag, but you will begin to relax.

3. The fight or flight mode of your Panic Attack depletes energy and your body needs to be replenished. Eat nourishing food. Drink lots of water.

The last and most important step is to get yourself into therapy where you can search for the root cause of the nervousness. You likely have experienced some type of trauma in your past that needs to be addressed. Not all therapists, no matter their degree, are trained in trauma treatment. Search for one who is not only empathetic and caring, but has the experience of dealing with nervous disorders. Another consideration is Neurofeedback therapy, a relatively new treatment that teaches you how to train your mind to gain back control over your life.

Comments 2


2013-03-20 13:59:14 Reply

There are a couple of things to try. Firstly, breathe in through your nose into the pit of your stomach for the count of four seconds, then hold your breath for four seconds, finally release your breath slowly to the count of eight seconds through your mouth whilst making a slight whistling sound. Try this about five times in row and you should find your anxiety reduce to a reasonable level.Secondly,Try asking your self to bring on the anxious feelings and really be brave about facing them, I know this sounds crazy but anxiety is only the fear of FEAR. Once challenged a few times this can really take the sting out of the anxiety’s tail and help you feel much more in control. Don’t run away from your fear. As we can’t run away from ourselves it may be just best to face our fears and fight them head on.I know these tips sound overly simplistic, but as a long term sufferer of Anxiety/Panic they are the two thgnis that have helped me the most in bringing it to a manageable level. You may never be cured, and I don’t recon I ever will be, but you may well learn to live with your anxiety and make it more manageable,Good luck,I hope this helps, Carlos


2014-06-14 20:28:56 Reply

Also, very important to give up caffeine. I drank tea and coffee all my life without much problem until a few years ago. Latterly I was only drinking one cup of tea per day. That was still enough to give me feelings of dread, panic and anxiety. So I gave it up – including limiting chocolate. It took a few days of withdrawal and a further four or five weeks to get relief from my panic. Never had a problem since….