Recurrent Panic Attacks, Can anyone relate?

Posted , 2 users are following.

For as long as I can remember, I have had panic attacks. They have controlled my life since I was a blissfully unaware kid and life was really simple. Now it's all about not wanting to get on a plane and travel about because I am in a situation which I cannot control and it drives me mad. My panic attacks have become far spaced and extremely short because I can control them, but recently, I have started fearing them again and with them brings prelonged anxiety, as I have to travel alone soon.

My question is, If I accept them for what they are, which are just physical reactions that go away eventually,why cant I still get rid of them? Isnt the key of getting rid of panic attacks is to controlling them? Why now? why again? is everyone this susceptible to them?

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    dear lilly,

    panic attacks are brought to you from ypur subconscious mind where a past event has affected you such as fear of flying due to something happening to cause this. This phobia will play on your mind until you tell it to stop and endeavour to ignore all negative thoughts around the phobia about flying.  Not easy to do but CBT is a useful tool in dealing with phobias as is hypnotherapy.

    Richard

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    • Posted

      Richard, Trying to control negative thoughts sometimes is like holding on to sand in your fist. It's not easy. I haven't flown much, I just hate being in situations I cannot control or exit when I choose to. And mainly, When I can control them, why do they keep coming back?
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  • Posted

    It's part of the anxiety condition that keeps permeating the fears and additional neurological associated pains.  Its not fair but that is what fear does.

    richard

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  • Posted

    It really depends upon how you can cope with situations. Whether you can put a positive slant on negative feelings. There is a good australian website called moodgym.au run by Sydney university.  That may help you if you subconsciously are thinking negative thoughts that will bring on the anxiety.

    Rich

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  • Posted

    Hi Lilly, I've posted this quite a few times with regards to anxiety and it seems to have helped people so feel free to use it if you wish:

    The best thing to do first is become aware of your physiology, or the very real physical symptoms you're experiencing. They are there. It isn't necessarily a symptom of anything else but if you fear it is, you should consult your GP. If you have physical checks and they eliminate the problem (ECG for heart, etc) then you should put it down to anxiety.

    Anxiety comes because your brain is creating a 'fear' in your mind, and as with anything that creates fear, you become anxious.

    The anxiety, usually, starts in your chest, so you begin to breathe faster and your chest becomes tense (as a muscle would if it is being exercised). Your lungs need more oxygen and no greater way of getting oxygen around your body is by blood. Blood gets to your lungs faster when your heart pumps it quicker, so your heart rate increases.

    The lungs are working hard now. They are communicating with your brain asking for more help. Your brain helps by asking your heart for support. So the heart is working harder than it normally would to the point where it needs help from your brain again.

    Your brain can't cope with both having a go at it asking for support - you get symptoms such as perspiration, pains in your chest, tingling in your arms, toes and fingers. So your brain panics and makes mistakes.

    Your brain then tells you to react accordingly – panic.

    The panic says, “focus on your heart; why is it faster? Why are my arms tingling? Why does my chest hurt?”. Your brain says, through duress and under pressure, “I'm having a heart attack; I'm going to die!”

    You're not. Just stop and think before your lungs tell your brain that they need oxygen, fast. Focus on your breathing.

    How to deal with anxiety is subjective and it depends on how disciplined you are in being able to set yourself space and time to be able to perform breathing exercises rather than rely on medication being there for you to help you. 3 things I've found are the most helpful - 1. Guided Meditation, 2. Mindfulness and Awareness, 3. The '7 to 11 Breathing Technique'

    Guided meditation, first of all, is quite structured and disciplined in the sense you have somebody there guiding you through the process of meditation (obviously) and you don't want to disturb others doing it at the same time - but similarly expect others to respect you whilst you do it.

    Mindful and awareness can often come hand in hand with guided meditation. Through mindfulness and awareness, you become aware of where you are and most importantly what your body is physically experiencing. In focusing on these feelings (chest pain, shortness of breath, pins and needles) by breathing them in, in a controlled manner, by breathing them out you are effectively telling your brain and body to breathe these pains out too, and they will eventually go away.

    The 7 to 11 breathing technique is when you breathe into your lungs through your mouth, nose or both, until your lung capacity is completely full - it may even hurt; you may use parts of your lungs you've never used before - and hold your breath for 7 seconds. Following this, you purse your lips as though you were blowing out a candle and gradually exhale until your lungs are empty. You hold this for 11 seconds and don't take another breath.

    Keep doing this for as long as you want. The longer, the better. During the exercise you might experience forms of euphoria; your fingers may tingle, your head may feel slightly dizzy - this is good; this is tension unburdening itself off you; don't worry about it. Instead, focus on it and treat it as a good feeling.

    With all of this, it will not be an immediate cure. Mindfulness and awareness courses, and meditation classes take time to book and when you go to them, both take patience to master. The 7 to 11 breathing technique you can perform whenever you want.

    My advice would be to understand for the first two you won't get anywhere this week but if you take steps now to look into them and how practical it is to do them, by the end of the week you may be on the right track.

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