A panic attack can be a very frightening thing. Some sufferers feel as if they are choking or having a heart attack. But knowing what’s going on can go a long way in helping you cope with such an attack. Sometimes, panic attacks don’t have any apparent cause, or may have specific triggers.
For example, you may experience a panic attack every time you try to get into an elevator or drive under a bridge. The elevator and the bridge are not causing the attacks, but something about your perception of them is. There is an underlying anxiety or fear that needs to be addressed.
I remember exactly where I was when I had my first panic attack–the post exchange at Fort Carson, Colorado. It was right before closing–my favorite time to shop. For no apparent reason, my heart began racing and I felt like I had to leave right away. I ran out the store like the devil was chasing me. That was the start of a decade of anxiety-related problems.
In my case it was a hypervigilance of my body functions. A skipped heartbeat was enough to trigger a cascade of thoughts and emotions that happened in the blink of an eye and set off an attack. I had to learn to interrupt my chain of thought and recognize that nothing was wrong and it was in my mind.
What is a Panic Attack?
The science of a panic attack is not completely understood. It is known that amygdala is involved. This is the spot in your brain where sensory information from the environment integrate with memories. The amygdala will decide if you need to panic.
One of the most difficult and frightening aspects of panic attacks is that they can strike without warning. There are both symptoms of a panic attack itself, and symptoms of a panic disorder that may give rise to an attack. First, let’s look at the symptoms of a panic attack itself.
Symptoms of a panic attack are numerous. They include feelings of detachment from reality or from your surroundings; pain in the chest; heart palpitations; rapid pulse; dizziness; sweating; gasping for breath (or hyperventilating); and nausea or stomach pain.
Sometimes you may feel like you’re dying. The symptoms feed on themselves, so to speak, so that the longer you experience the attack the more the fear grips you. Although they usually pass in less than 30 minutes, they feel as if they last much longer.
Symptoms of a panic disorder actually include panic attacks themselves. In addition, signs of panic disorders may also include fear of panic attacks; an inability to socialize; desperate attempts to avoid another panic attack (such as avoiding all possible triggers and obsessing over what those triggers are/were); and, in the case of panic disorder with agoraphobia, you are so afraid of having a panic attack in public that you avoid crowded places or even any public place.
Natural Anxiety Cures
If you go to a general practitioner complaining of a racing heart, the doctor will send you to a cardiologist who will perform many expensive tests. When nothing is found, that doctor will refer you to a therapist who will treat you with anti-anxiety medication to mask your symptoms, but no one will treat the core problem which is in your mind. You’re not crazy, but the core problem is in your subconscious mind.
Even if you go through therapy, you’re likely to be told things like avoid stress and don’t get anxious. Oh, is that all? How, exactly, is a person living on planet Earth supposed to avoid stress and anxiety? Well, you can’t avoid stressful situations, and it may not even be stress that’s causing your anxiety disorder.
There’s something to be said for working with someone who has been there and done that. Charles Linden suffered from devastating panic attacks for 27 years before finding a method that allowed him to recover quickly, but there’s no reason for you to suffer that. You can use the method he developed to rid yourself of your anxiety disorder like this young lady did.
You don’t need to spend a decade working on a solution to your anxiety. There are many people who have been helped by the Linden Method and you can be one of them. The sooner you start, the sooner you can get back to living your life.