Hypnotherapy in Bristol, London and Taunton for panic attacks
Panic strikes so suddenly. One minute, you're fine. The next - abruptly, with no apparent cause at all - you are overwhelmed with the painful and terrifying symptoms of a panic attack (below on this page.) (First aid for phobias, fears and panics.)
A one-off panic attack is not a serious problem - it can't harm you. However, it's easy to become actively afraid of having another panic attack, so afraid that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. In addition, the panic attacks may give such a painful association to the place or event where the attack happened, that you may become phobic of doing again whatever triggered the panic. Life can become restricted to the point of agoraphobia. It is important to bring healing to this downward spiral.
Overwhelming though the symptoms are, it's entirely possible to overcome them. The following elements bring healing:
Never assume that any physical symptom is "all in the mind"; always check with your GP. If you had four or more of the following symptoms coming to a peak in ten minutes or so, and then fading quickly, your GP is almost certain to diagnose a panic attack. But go and check.
In one common scenario, the person will have had a lot of stress or anxiety in the period before the panics started. The stress and anxiety builds ... and builds ... without release ... builds unbearably ... and all of a sudden, Whoosh! like a volcano, in some completely unexpected situation, the panics begin. One man had coped with one crisis after another and said to me without any irony at all, "You've got to show people how strong you are, havn't you?" The weakness he felt but couldn't show to people had to come out somewhere. It came out as panic attacks. (Comprehensive tips for beating stress.)
Another common cause of panics is post-traumatic stress. At its simplest, for example, a soldier who has had close escapes in battle might have a panic if his son grazes his leg.
Sometimes, panic attacks have hidden roots. A panic attack may be an extreme flight-or-fight response, not to an outside event, but to to a thought in the mind which you are unaware of.
"A thought you are not aware of" - what does that mean? Here's an example. The next time you cross the road, watch your thoughts. Somewhere, right at the back of your mind as you cross the road, is a memory. It's the memory of your very first kerb drill when you were a child. "At the kerb, Halt! - Look right - look left - ..." All of that good stuff from childhood is at the edge of consciousness when you cross the road. Actually, that memory is what makes you cross the road safely. In a way, you could say that the buried kerb-drill memory is triggering a safe-road-crossing-episode. At the bottom of a some panic attacks is similarly some tiny, unconscious buried fear or memory. You don't notice the memory, but you notice the terrifying effects of it as it triggers a panic attack.
For example, an unpleasant memory of giving a presentation at school might lie behind panic at speaking in public as an adult.
If someone gets anxious about the very idea of that you'll have another panic, then it becomes easy to be hyper-vigilant of bodiliy functions. You may interpret perfectly normal raised hearbeat or sweatiness from mild exertion as the first sign of a panic. A wave of catastrophic thinking can then result which turns into an actual panic attack in a self-fulfilling prophesy.
This in fact has a very positive aspect, because such a panic has been produced from nothing entirely by the power of the mind. You can utilise that exact same power of the mind to produce calm and peacefulness.
If you'd like to live life free from panics, fear of panics, and the restrictions they cause, take that first small step and give me a ring : Andrew White, 0845-3510604 / 0117-968-7307. I'm happy to answer questions or arrange, in Bristol or Taunton, a free, no-obligation half-hour initial meeting. My approach is friendly, respectful, and very effective.
Experience is not what happens to you - it's how you interpret what happens to you.
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