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Category: Panic Attack Cure

  1. Prevent Panic Attacks - Challenging the Thoughts which Cause Panic

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    Prevent Panic Attacks - Challenging the Thoughts which Cause Panic

     

    Prevent Panic Attacks - Challenging the Thoughts which Cause Panic

    The underlying basis for panic attacks is your thoughts.  It is so hard to believe that your own thoughts are doing this.  At first I did not believe this; I thought I had some deadly disease.  But the truth is your own mind is doing this to you.  Once you have established this then you can begin to get well again. Sometimes our thoughts are so instinctive and well hidden that we do not even realize we have thought them.  The key to curing yourself of panic attack is removing those worrying thoughts which are causing the problem.

     

    HERE ARE SOME UNHELPFUL THINKING STYLES

    unhelpful thinking

    unhelpful thinking 1

    unhelpful thinking2

    DO YOU SEE SOME OF THESE THINKING PATTERNS IN YOURSELF ?

    I have discussed in previous articles how distraction and relaxation can help a sufferer cope with a panic attack.  If you really want to bring about long term positive change and cure yourself of panic attacks then you have to challenge your thoughts.  For example

    1. You have to identify what thoughts are triggering panic and anxiety  (What Triggers Panic Attacks).  Everyone is unique but most panic attack sufferers will tend to fear the same issues.

    2.Once the thoughts have been identified, remember that thoughts can happen so fast so you may not even realize what they are.  Also the thoughts can be so engrained that you may not consciously be aware of the thoughts as they happen.  A top tip is to have a pen and write them down at the time when you are feeling panicky.

    As you write these thoughts down I predict you will find that nearly all the thoughts are being exaggerated in your mind to be out of all proportion.  If you analyze them you will find they are unnecessarily frightening.  What you need to do is to think much more logical and realistic thoughts.

    Once the thoughts have been identified and targeted you can really begin to fight back and start turning the tables against the fear.  What you need to do is stack the cards in your favour.  I would ask that you answer the following questions when you have to undertake a task which causes anxiety.

    FOR EXAMPLE Going To The Supermarket (I have included example answers.)

    Write down if there was any anticipation anxiety?

    For example entering a busy supermarket the person thinks I may have a panic attack there.  It will be busy and there will be long queues at the check out.  What if I feel dizzy?

    Write down what were the initial thoughts when you started to feel anxious? I’m inside through the doors.  I feel anxious.  I see people and look around to see how busy it is.  I look at the end of the shop and I have to venture to the back to get what I want.

    Write down what thoughts moved the anxiety to panic?

    I have a large basket full of food.  Its heavy and I feel my breathing is very shallow.  My heart is beating fast.  I feel people are looking at me.  I scared to go to checkout.  I can’t seem to focus or concentrate on anything.  I may have to leave the basket on the floor and run out.

    Write down how you dealt with the panic attack? Got to the check out and want to the smallest queue.  I  leant against the counter to steady myself.  Paid as quickly as I could.

    Finally write down what meaning you took from the attack?

    I seem to be scared of the symptoms of panic (internal feelings) and of situations where there are people and places where I cannot easily escape (external places). 

    challenging anxious thoughtsMost people start dreading the worse when the sensations start.  This is where the panic gets its power from.  Often people think something awful is about to happen to them.  It’s often helpful to write down the worst things you think might happen to you. When doing this try to be open with yourself.  Don’t write down that you told yourself that you were calm and relaxed because that’s clearly not the case.  Its impossible to have a panic attack if your relaxed and calm.  The more honest you are with yourself and the deeper you get in your inner most darkest and negative thoughts the quicker the recovery will be.  

    CHALLENGE THE PANIC THOUGHTS

    After you have written down your panicky thoughts you need to evaluate them.  In order to do this we need to make this as simple and effective as possible.  Look at each thought which is making you anxious or panicky.  On one side make notes for the thought being true, in other words in support of the thought.  Then make some notes against the thought not being true and having some alternative explanation.  For example-

    When I’m in a queue my legs go wobbly there must be something wrong with me?

    Support

    Not being true

    I have real physical symptoms

    I don’t feel very well and I’ve felt it before

    This is a symptom of anxiety

    My symptoms only happen in certain places

    My symptoms stop once I leave the queue

    I never have collapsed

    I usually feel anxious and get other symptoms as well such as dizziness.

     

    When you actually study the thought I bet you will find that you are not faced with any some sort of imminent catastrophe but you actually fear the thought of the catastrophe.  Have you actually ever had a heart attack, gone crazy or collapsed.  My guess is that you have not.

    Once you have eliminated any physical things that could be causing your symptom and seen a doctor, then its really best to think objectively.  Read about all the physical symptoms anxiety can cause and see if they generally match yours (remember everyone is different).  Then you need to come to a firm, logical, sensible conclusion that in your own mind you are sure you have panic attacks.

    Remember the best conclusion to come to are hard, factual truths rather than just a gut feeling or intuition.  If you feel like you may have some deadly disease or you have read some medical information on the internet and it loosely fits what you have, then you are not really looking at the facts.

    Its also worth pointing out I do not know your medical history, so you may have had some physical ailment that’s causes anxiety like sensations.  Nor can I say you will never collapse, have a heart attack, feel anxious.  These things are facts of life and everyone has to deal with this.  The crux of the matter is if you believe you have panic disorder and you understand it cannot harm, then every sensation can be systematically taken apart and challenged.  You can then start to desensitize yourself and feel better.  Slowly but surely the panic attacks will be less severe and further apart.  The background anxiety will totally switch off for longer periods, and situations which you once enjoyed will start to feel good again.

    One of the key questions which seems to help most people is

    ARE YOU SUFFERING FROM COMPLETE DISASTERS EVERYDAY OR ARE YOU SIMPLEY FEARING THEM ?

    Say this to your self again.  In your world you have built panic attacks to be the most important all consuming thing in your life.  But the reality of situation is people with epilepsy collapse every day but they still get up and walk around again.  Heart attacks victims still recover and lead a perfectively full life.  People who sweat, feel awful, tremble, have difficulty swallowing because of legitimate physical ailments still function and have a happy life on this planet.   They choose to be positive and make the best of the situation.  You can as well.  You just have to believe you can get well and take action and live in the moment and enjoy yourself.  You are lucky eventually your symptoms will start to diminish as you get better.

    Spontaneous Panic Attack

    Once you lift yourself out of the gloom with the knowledge you have learnt here, you will realize if you had a health problem you would not be able to feel better when the fear subsides.  Most people have safe places (i.e. home) where they tend to feel like their normal selves again.  Other physical causes would not follow this pattern.

    Generally with a panic attack something will trigger the attack which you will probably be aware of. If nothing is obvious it will normally be obvious if you think about it.  For example if you are having several panic attacks a day, then in my experience, you are so sensitized your body may trigger one anytime.  Not looking after yourself and not eating regularly can also set off panic attacks for no reason.  Also a sugary diet and drinking fizzy drinks can trigger panic attacks.  Situations which are similar to what causes your panic attacks can trigger an attack. So if social interaction is a trigger and you were to meet a relative, even though your comfortable with this person, the brain can interpret this as social contact and anxiety can be triggered.   

    As I have stated in previous articles its amazing how distraction can short circuit the panic.  Sometimes when your concentration is transfixed by something you were not expecting the brain can switch off from panicking.  From this we can deduce that the more you worry the more powerful your anxiety will be.  The less power you give your negative thoughts the more you can enjoy life again.  Give your energy to positive healing and think positive thoughts.

    bob marley “The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively”   Bob Marley

     

    Distraction is one of the key tools which can help reduce the strength of a panic attack.  However the distraction has to be of a strength to totally take the persons attention somewhere else.  From this we know that when worrying thoughts are stopped, and our thoughts are concentrating on more positive things, we stop the panic in its tracks and start to change our mental patterns and behaviour.

    Therefore if we think we are having a stroke or heart attack, would our symptoms start the minute we entered a shop?  Would our symptoms end the minute we sat down in our lounge and relaxed?  By logically thinking things through we start to reprogram our mind to believe the truth.  Thoughts are extremely powerful but not powerful enough to start a heart attack and then turn off a heart attack.

    We know form research what sensations arise from anxiety.  So would you say your symptoms fit much more closely to anxiety and panic disorder?

    For me there were certain places that I would know I would suffer from anxiety.  I would have worrying thoughts beforehand and anticipatory anxiety.  My brain was wired to trigger at this point.  Out of the blue panic attacks which was a bit more baffling.  Once I learnt that if your body is in such a high state of tension, panic attacks can trigger any time, the ‘out of the blue’ panic attacks lost a lot of their power.  It was comforting to know that once I learnt to relax, along with the other tools, these would subside.

    I believe you will find that if you look through the thoughts you have written down you will find that your thought patterns and triggers suit much more closely with fear and panic than real physical and mental illness.

    One of my many thought patterns which was negative was, if I started to feel anxiety my thoughts would go in a downward spiral which would make things worse.  When I thought through something, I made something which was trivial into a disaster waiting to happen, and if it did happen it would be much worse than it should be.

    For example if I was driving on motorways (where I use to panic) I would think if I have a panic attack here, I going to slump at the wheel or go crazy and crash into other drivers on the road.  This was totally over exaggerating the reality of the situation.   The reality was I had experienced severe anxiety on motorways before but I had never driven dangerously.  The once or twice I felt really bad I just pulled over on the hard shoulder, or to the nearest service station until I felt better.  When you can objectively think things through without the fear and emotion, and see that panic is not something to be afraid off, you will take the sting out of it.  (Do you suffer from phobia's?)

    What are the chances of your fears actually coming true?

    Try to think of the number of times you thought about a particular fear.  If you were anything like me I was in total fear of panic attacks for many years, and probably thought of them thousands of times.  What ever your ultimate fear is (a heart attack, going mad, fainting, etc) how many times as it actually happened.  There answer is probably never.  You can deduce from this your thoughts are not very accurate.  You may have thought during this panic attack this was the time you were actually going to keel over and die.  The fact you are reading this and searching for answers means you didn’t die and your thoughts are unfounded.  Would you bet on a horse that had run hundreds of races and never won?  Why would you then believe something is wrong with you when nothing as actually ever really happened?

    Marilyn Monroe “We should all start to live before we get too old. Fear is stupid. So are regrets.”   MARILYN MONROE

    If your worst disaster happened, how bad would it actually be?

    Nobody wants to have a heart attack or die, but even people without panic disorder have to deal with this.  It’s a fact of life and if you fully accept this then there is nothing to fear.  You can also stack the cards in your favour by eating healthy foods and taking regular exercise and this will not only give you the feel good factor but leave your body in good shape.

    Panic attack sufferers have much more negative thoughts than normal people, and tend to loose a grip on the reality of certain situations.  The feared disaster is often not as bad as we first think.   When our thoughts are so frightening we don’t tend to see the reality of what would actually happen if our fears come true.  Quite often we see things as a catastrophe when they are merely unpleasant.  For example if we fainted at work it would not mean that the whole company was laughing at you.  Many people faint at work and although it’s an inconvenience its not a life changing event.  If you think of embarrassing things that may have happened to you in the past they may have been distressing, but looking back were they really that bad?  Most people would feel sympathy and try to help you.

    Many people also fear losing their jobs if somebody finds out they have panic disorder.  This is an understandable feeling, but more and more work is now being done to bring mental illness to the open.  Television programs are now being devoted to mental illness and companies are now much more aware of the welfare of their workforce.  About 1 in 4 people will suffer from some sort of mental illness with the most common being depression.  The chances are your boss will have experience with this and will be understanding.  As part of my recovery I preferred not to think of a panic attack as a mental illness but just a habit of faulty thinking.  Panic attacks are basically just this – a bad habit.

    In order to make progress at the start to eliminate these thoughts I am a great advocator of writing them down.  When you get more practised you can just run them through in your mind.  But for know its much easier to write them on paper and then you can refer to them anytime.  When your feeling anxious its not a good time to challenge your thoughts because you will not be able to think clearly.  The more you practise coming back to the thoughts which are entering your mind and disempowering by sensibly thinking them through, the more progress you will make.  This can often take time as thought processes take time to change.  Eventually your subconscious mind will naturally be calm.

    The subconscious mind 

    "The subconscious mind as the storage room of everything that is currently not in your conscious mind.  It is what we have learnt and stored away for use when we need it."

    If you to walk in the street and suddenly a tiger were to jump out in front you heart would probably feel like its going to jump out of your chest, and your eyes are going to lock onto the tiger.  Rather than you running away you may find yourself frozen with fear.  All this happens even before you have had time to think!  So what’s causing all these sensation – its your subconscious mind.  Its done this automatically and instantaneously.  In this case its perfectly warranted.  When you enter a busy shop and these symptoms happen its not.   So you have to access your subconscious mind and tell it exactly where and when it should be triggering panic symptoms.   You do this by challenging your thoughts when your calm, relaxed and meditating.  I strongly recommend you sit your down on your bed in a dark room and for 30 mins each day systematically go through the thoughts you have written down.  Take the fear out of each thought.  Disempower them, take them apart and strip them down to the reality that they are – feelings and sensations which will pass and eventually subside.  When your mind and thought patterns are reprogrammed with new behaviour you will no longer feel panic in these situations.  Of course if that tiger reappears in the street you will but that’s OK, you should panic!

    I will give you an example of how fainting can be disempowered.  Sometimes people do faint it’s a fact of life.  People basically faint when the blood pressure drops and it reduces the blood supply to their brain.  You often hear about soldiers fainting on parade when they have been stood up a long time.  This is because they are hot and their blood supply is being directed around their skin to try and cool them down.   This means less blood supply for the rest of the body.  In these conditions the blood pressure may drop to the brain and the body takes over.  In ‘taking over’ it makes you faint so your lying down and your brain and heart are at the same level, so its less work for the heart to pump blood to your brain.  Its actually a safety mechanism and its there to help you.  It is not something to be feared.  In the case of panic when your heart beats faster and adrenaline is pumped around the body your blood pressure actually raises, this makes the likelihood of fainting extremely remote.  Panic and fear has the opposite effect on the body its priming you to run not to lie down.      

    Why 'mental illness' is different from anxiety and panic attacks.

    Mental illness is used to cover a multitude of illnesses.  It can be very confusing as different people will take the words ‘mental illness’ to mean many things.  In its basic sense it can mean an illness which is not primarily physical.  So if we apply this to panic disorder it could be classified a mental illness.  There are various stigmas and connotations associated to mental illness which is why lots of people keep there illnesses from their relatives work colleagues and friends.

    I would like to put a positive spin on panic attacks and anxiety.  We were not born with panic disorder.  At some point under stress a switch has flicked in our brain and we have started to feel this way.  As I have stated before a HABIT has evolved in our way of thinking to produce panic attacks.  That’s all it is, a habit.  We all pick up worries, bad habits, stresses through our journey through life, but the key is to stay positive.  This will lead you on a much happier journey through life and most importantly you will enjoy it.

    I would recommend at least until you feel better that stay away from the news.  The news is always negative.  A bad event happening half away around the world is not going to affect you.  I would look at the little things in life and take note.  By admiring spring flowers, winter frosts, birds singing, you can get into the zone and find pleasure.  Take up a hobby, get a better work life balance, really enjoy being with your family, go away on more short breaks using bargains on .  The list is endless, just get into the groove of doing what ever rocks your boat!   

    Going back to mental illness its helpful to know a little bit more.  Most people will associate true mental illness with conditions like manic-depressive disorder and schizophrenia.  These are the more severe mental illnesses, and these illnesses are what  people think of when the term 'going mad' is thought of.    Psychological conditions can be broadly split up in two categories the neuroses and the psychoses,  The first group are very common and include anxiety, panic and depression.  Anyone can suffer these conditions.

    I have taken these statistics from Mentalheath.org.uk

    The facts and figures around Mental Health in the UK are alarming.

    • 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year
    • Mixed anxiety and depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain
    • Women are more likely to have been treated for a mental health problem than men
    • About 10% of children have a mental health problem at any one time
    • Depression affects 1 in 5 older people
    • Suicides rates show that British men are three times as likely to die by suicide than British women
    • Self-harm statistics for the UK show one of the highest rates in Europe: 400 per 100,000 population
    • Only 1 in 10 prisoners has no mental disorder

    The statistics speak for themselves, you can see how common Mental illness is.

    The second kind of metal illness psychoses includes the severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia, it is much less common.  You can rest assured  one psychological problem does not turn into the other. People with panic are no more likely than anyone else to develop a severe mental illness. You would not expect that having a cold means you will develop cancer. In just the same way, having panic attacks does not mean you will develop schizophrenia or any other severe mental illness.  Therefore panic attacks are very common along with depression and anxiety, and are perfectly treatable.  We can also take hope that mental health issues are becoming more mainstream.  For example politicians had an emotional debate in the commons on mental illnesses in June 2012.

    MP Dr Wollaston revealed that she had suffered panic attacks on the London Underground as she commuted to work after having a baby.

    She Said: “For many people, an experience of depression will make you a stronger person and a more understanding person.

    I am absolutely sure my own experiences of depression and recovery made me go on to be a much more sympathetic doctor and, I hope, a more sympathetic and understanding MP as well in recognising issues in others and responding to them.”

    Also more and more TV documentaries are being on mental issues including  Ruby Wax's Mad confessions.

    How to challenge your negative thoughts.    

    I totally believe that if you continue to live your life the way you are doing, it will only lead to the same outcome you are experiencing now.  What is required is a life changing outlook; this means a lifestyle change.  Life style and behaviour are interlinked and both are a key element in overcoming panic. I have already shown how avoidance, scanning and anticipation anxiety must be eliminated or else the cycle of panic will continue.

    As part of a lifestyle change I also strongly advocate to have a basic common sense plan on how your going to (you may be already doing this) introduce an exercise regimeinto your life.  Personally I would recommend at least 3 times a week and whatever you do its must be rigorous exercise for panic attacksenough to make you sweat.  If you’re disabled or virtually house bound due to agoraphobia then you will have to think out of the box and perhaps buy some second hand gym equipment which suits your needs.  ( may be a good idea)

    I often see exercise bikes in people’s garage which would be a great way to feel better.  The virtues of exercise have been described in many research experiments.  From my own experience exercise is like an antidote to panic.  It removes all the negative chemicals inside your body and makes you feel good about yourself.  However there are some common sense principles.  If you have not exercised before then build up slowly, you may even need some doctor’s advice.  Remember this is a life style change so what you do you to build it into you life which will sticks and fits into a routine.  You are much more likely to keep it going if its part of walking the dog, or going with your friends to aerobics.  I believe you need to do at least 30 mins per session and the more hard work you put into it the more benefits you will reap.  As a basic rule you need to feel sweaty by the end.  As I said before, build up slowly and if for whatever reason you cannot push yourself just do what you can.  Apart from making you feel good it has the benefit of burning calories.

    Many sufferers complain that exercise brings on panic attacks, i.e. thumping heart, over breathing.  However if you have challenged you thoughts before hand, and put into practice what I have shown (i.e. relaxation), there is no reason why your confidence will not build and you will actually start to you enjoy the experience.  I usually take an MP3 player (Relaxation MP3 Downloads )with me when I jog to listen to my favourite music.  This helps to distract me if I feel any unusual sensations in my body.  

    TAKE ACTION

    This leads me onto a powerful way to really make a full recovery and to put all those fear to rest - take action.  Unless you put yourself into the situation that’s scares you, you will not see what the fear really is.

    My panic attacks left me with all sorts of different situations which I would fear and worry about.  Just at the moment when I least wanted to have one, yes you guessed it, I would have a panic attack.  When you’re in fear of fear you can guarantee the panic will trigger at the point in which you are most fearful.  To overcome this -

    1.  Think about an everyday situation which makes you panicky. Run through the events in your mind and then right them down on paper so that the whole process is clear in your mind, from initially worrying about the situation to actually completing the task a head.  For example one of my phobias was walking around a busy shopping centre. I would think I was going to feel panicky and my legs would go weak and wobbly.  My breathing would often go shallow and I would suffer from palpitations.  Leading on from these sensations I would interpret these feelings as, I going to collapse and then make a fool of myself in front of other shoppers.  The aim of doing this is to see if the thoughts are true, i.e. I will collapse or will I just feel very uncomfortable and nothing more will happen to me.

    2.  Next go into a busy shopping area and stand and wait to see what happens.  When you actually want to have a panic attack usually it does not happen as your not fearing it.  If nothing happens expand your boundaries by going into a busier place.  If you fear lifts or escalators go on one, or join a long queue if your scared of that.   Just do whatever makes you fearful.  When the sensations appear stand your ground and observe them.  Just describe what is happening but don’t react to anything your thinking or feeling.  Just observe the panic from an unemotional bystander point of view looking inwards.

    3.  Once you have felt the worse and sensations have started to subside you will probably feel extremely uncomfortable, but did you actually go mad, faint, collapse, or go crazy in the shopping mall?   If you didn’t what does that say about your thoughts?  Did the disaster you were predicting actually happen or was it merely unpleasant.  Looking back I never once collapsed or made a fool of myself.  99% of the time other people did not even realize how intensely I was panicking inside.  Outwardly the physical sensations would cause me to shake, breathe awkwardly and tense up but that was the only real physical signs.  Most people have been in very fearful situations and would sympathize with you and help you if they could.  It’s one of the main misconceptions when you panic that you tend to feel the whole world is against you.  The reality is most people would help even if your worst fears did come true and you collapsed or fainted.

    I would certainly recommend you build up your resilience and confidence slowly and do not push yourself too much at first.  Expose yourself to your fears slowly, and gradually build up to more fearful situations.   From LEARNING AFTER EACH ACTION IS TAKEN you will come to terms that your thoughts and feelings are bluffing you into believing things which are not true.  Just stay in the moment and learn to enjoy each experience as a positive step forward to achieving a goal.  After all being in a shopping queue is a chance to grab a bargain, being in a queue is there for you to purchase that bargain, etc.

    step by step recoveryThis whole process of getting better is going to make you anxious.  You have learnt to be anxious in these situations and its going to take time to rehabilitate yourself.  The point you have to learn is does your fear actually happen?  By putting yourself out there in those fearful situations you are retraining your mind, and this will gradually begin to build your confidence.  Identifying and challenging your catastrophic thoughts one step at a time is the best way to deal with panic attacks in the long run.

    Conclusion

    As a starting point I would certainly speak to your GP to see what help and support he/she will be able to offer.  In my experience it can be a battle to get any help on the NHS but you may have private medical through your work which can help.  I would certainly confide in your nearest and dearest as a problem shared is a problem halved.  I think you will be surprised how understanding they are.  Ultimately its only you that can cure yourself and put the effort to succeed and make a difference in your life.

    I hope this article has helped you and given you some insight into the world of panic. Perhaps the main message is "Don't Despair !". Lots of people suffer from panic but lots of people also learnt to reduce and even eliminate their anxiety/panic. Panic does not have to rule your life, but to succeed in overcoming it you need to work hard at following the advice given here.  I can assure you there is no magic pill or advice that will cure you instantly, but stick to the advice given here and you should succeed.  

    Please visit my resources page for further recommended reading.  I have also included programs which I have personally used during my recovery which can also help in your recovery.    

    Please tell me of you think other cures are helpful.  How did you overcome anxiety & Panic Attacks ?

    GOOD LUCK! 

     

    Resources

    Other articles

    Treatment for Panic Attacks Panic Attack Breathing? How to Stop a Panic Attack? How to Cure & Recover From Panic Attacks How to cure Panic Attack Disorder? 20 Strategies to Help You Cope with Panic Attacks

    Books and other tools that I recommend

    ClaireWeekes

    My Tools for Recovery

    Ruby Wax's Mad confessions.

    Meditation

    Overcoming Panic

    Overcoming Panic and Agoraphobia

    School Phobia, Panic Attacks and Anxiety in Children

    Agoraphobia: Simple, Effective Treatment

    The Anxiety Cure

    The Panic Attack Recovery Book ( A book I highly recommend)

     

     

     

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  2. How to Cure Panic Attack Disorder

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    How to Cure Panic Attack Disorder

     

    Anticipation Anxiety is a common problem for people who suffer from panic disorder (reoccurring panic attacks).  It is called Anticipation anxiety because the person dreads going into a place where they had a panic attack before.  The dread can be so strong that it will trigger another panic attack just with the negative thoughts conjured up in the person’s imagination.  This whole process is a self-fulfilling prophecy and leads to a negative cycle.  Quite often the sufferer will tell themselves on top of their wonderful imagination which is producing lots of horrible images that they cannot cope.  Thoughts such as

    -What if I go crazy in this situation and somebody calls the police and I will be taken away and locked up in a cell, etc. 

    -How am I going to escape if I have a panic attack on plane somewhere - what if I cause a scene on the plane and we get diverted, etc.

    -What if I collapse at the shopping mall as my legs feel so wobbly.

     anticipation anxiety

    Lack of Confidence

    There are a million different things that sufferers can imagine within everyday life activities where they believe they just cannot cope.  These thought processes will actually cause a panic attack in the exact situations you don’t want and will leave your confidence at an all-time low.  Your body and mind will become extremely sensitized to these situations resulting in more panic attacks and anxiety.how to cure panic attack disorder

    So How do you Cure Panic Disorder?

    The work has to be done before hand with positive affirmations which can help you cope.  More importantly do not run from the perceived fear (WHICH WILL REINFORCE THE PANIC) but to stay calm, relax and tell yourself the positive affirmations.

    Positive affirmations are statements you repeat that affect the subconscious mind, making it act to attract success and improve your life.’

    Most importantly you have to stay in the situation and face the panic attack all the way through.  No matter what it throws at you, you have to be strong.  Every person who has suffered from panic attacks will tell you that after the attack was over it never actually harmed them.  Once you actually stand toe to toe with it, without fear, you will find it has NO POWER OVER YOU

    This will breed new confidence inside you to get your life back on track and get you enjoying life again.  

    However there is another aspect you need to get under control.  Once you’re in you’re a situation which is causing you panic, you do not scan for everything in the vicinity that may trigger a panic attack.  This is sometime known as hyper-vigilance.

    The definition of hyper-vigilance is

    ‘Hypervigilance is an enhanced state of sensory sensitivity accompanied by an exaggerated intensity of behaviours whose purpose is to detect threats. Hypervigilance is also accompanied by a state of increased anxiety which can cause exhaustion. Other symptoms include: abnormally increased arousal, a high responsiveness to stimuli, and a constant scanning of the environment for threats.’

    You may also start to use your wonderful imagination to worry how events may change.  For example you scan a room for the exits in case you need to 'esacpe' quickly.  Then you start imagining 'what if' the exists get blocked.  This encourages you to become panicky. Your mind in a panic state has because an expert at picking up threats which in turn causes strange bodily sensations.  Our bodies are all unique, but for you perhaps tightness in throat or a missed heartbeat automatically produces scary thoughts.  These in turn produce more adrenaline which produces more odd sensations.  A person happy in their own body does not look inwards at their body functions.  We are not designed to think this way, so when we start scanning externally and internally we are naturally going to feel anxious.

    Things that we are interested in we tend to notice far more easily.  Every little sensation of anxiety to a panic attack sufferer can be interpreted as some imminent catastrophic event.   A de-sensitized person would just ignore these sensations and of course they would just go away.

    An example of how we consciously and subconsciously pick up things is say you wanted to book up a holiday to Egypt but you don’t really know much about the country.  You might ask friends who have travelled to Egypt and coincidently they telling you what a wonderful time they had.  Then you start noticing adverts on the TV promoting Egypt.  A week later you read an article in Sunday newspaper promoting the tourist spots for Egypt.  All of a sudden it looks like everyone is going to Egypt on holiday.  The fact is Egypt is a popular holiday destination and adverts/ reviews are always on TV and in papers, but because you’re interested in Egypt you start picking up on these things.  It’s exactly the same with panic attacks.  Your mind has become preoccupied with studying every symptom and trying not to have panic attack.  The result of this is that you end up having one because you notice every little bodily sensation -fear them.

    To Recap-

    • To make your recovery long term you have to stand firm, and see a panic attack all the way through to the end.   A PANIC ATTACK IS – NOTHING – YOUR BODY IS JUST BLUFFING THAT SOMETHING IS WRONG.

     • You must live your life confident that whatever life throws you can cope.  If you anticipate threats internally and externally you will never believe you are free of panic attacks and will therefore fear them.  You will be subconsciously telling your mind to trigger anxiety.  Only when you wake up each morning positive in the fact that anything life throws at you can cope will you truly be free from anxiety.  Through Meditation , relaxation, breathing and positive affirmation you can reprogram your mind to start believing this.

    Resources

    I would recommend you read my Tools of Recovery for products that can help you.

    Here are some books I would recommend -

    Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway: How to Turn Your Fear and Indecision into Confidence and Action
    Overcoming Panic
    Overcoming Panic and Agoraphobia
    The Anxiety Cure
    The Panic Attack Recovery Book
    Panic Attacks: What they are, why the happen, and what you can do about them: What They Are, Why They Happen and What You Can Do About Them

    Other Articles
    Claire Weeks - Self Help For Your Nerves
    Prevent Panic Attacks - Challenging the Thoughts which Cause Panic
    How to Cure & Recover From Panic Attacks

    20 Strategies to Help You Cope with Panic Attacks

     

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  3. How to Cure and Recover from Panic Attacks

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    How to Cure and Recover from Panic Attacks

    One of the worst things about panic attacks is that you can get lost in a world of doom and gloom.  Panic attacks make your body generate sensations that can make you feel bewildered with all these new strange feelings.  Most people at some stage visit there doctor or arrive in A&E.  I can’t emphasize this point enough.  If you have been to your doctor and they have tested you for every disease/medical condition you think you may have and it’s all clear.  Then please accept the diagnosis if the doctors confirm its anxiety or panic disorder

    (RULE 1) YOU WILL ONLY BE DELAYING YOUR RECOVERY IF YOU DO NOT ACCEPT THIS. 

    how to cure panic attacksThe initial diagnosis is very hard to take that your body is actually doing this to you, but it’s the truth.  Without you noticing, you have created the conditions for this to happen.  If you are reading this, then you have made the first step in your recovery.   Panic attack disorder is something that once you have learnt how to recover from it, you will be glad that it actually happened.  It will make you a stronger person and you will learn to understand your body more.  Having panic attacks is your body telling you that it is unhappy with either the physical stresses you placing on yourself (ie drugs, heating unhealthily) or the mental pressure your mind is under (ie stress, negative thoughts).  It’s yours body’s natural defence system to send out an alarm signal that all is not well. 

     (RULE 2) YOU MUST TAKE NOTE OF THIS

    When you start to look after yourself better you will begin to return to a more balanced state, and you will feel an improvement in how much happier you are.

    What kind of person tends to suffer from panic attacks? Panic attack sufferers tend to have fantastic imaginations which they use in the wrong way!  However when you apply that vivid imagination to positive images and situations, then you can reverse your thoughts pattern to something much more positive.  Also panic attack sufferers tend to feel the highs points in life much more than the average person.  They are much more in tune when things are going well and tend feel euphoria and excitement at a higher level.  However they can be perfectionists and can get very angry and frustrated at things they cannot control. 

    Other people may annoy them easily and negative information which they see on the news can often have much more of an effect than less sensitive people.  Therefore -

    (RULE 3) IS TO ACKNOWLEDGE YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN A GIFT TO EXPERIENCE LIFE’S HIGHS AT A MUCH GREATER STRENGTH THAN OTHER PEOPLE, BUT YOU HAVE A WEAKNESS

    This weakness, Achilles heel or chink in your armour, (whatever you want to call it) is that your mind can fall into this state of anxiety if you do not work at staying positive and looking after yourself.

    How to cure panic attacksOnce diagnosed with stress or anxiety -

    (RULE4) IS NOT TO DWELL FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE ON WHETHER THERE WAS SOME SORT OF NEGATIVE INCIDENT THAT TRIGGERED PANIC ATTACKS IN THE FIRST PLACE. 

    Most of the time there will be no one incident that set them off.  It’s a total waste of time and effort to endlessly play over in your mind different past events where you might have been mentally scarred in some way.

    What is in the past stays is the past, and we can never do anything about it.  Where you need to place your energy is in the present, this is where your healing can begin.  Quite often is does not matter what triggered the anxiety.  

    There is an exception here that if you’re contaminating your body with alcohol, drugs or just eating unhealthily, then your unlikely to fully rid yourself of the physical symptoms until your body is back in a balanced state. 

    One of the sticking points to recovery is the panic attack sufferer just does not believe that thoughts can be causing this.  Well, we have all watched a horror film where we have felt scared.  We have probably felt like leaving the room, or felt uncomfortable, had sweaty palms and felt fear.  Does this sound familiar?  Panic attacks are like this and sometimes are thoughts are so engrained that we hardly know they are happening. They happen at such a lightening pace they are automatic.  

    (RULE 5) PANIC ATTACKS CAN NOT HARM YOU. 

    If you have experienced one or seen a friend have one at some stage they always come through the other side and feel better.  Anxiety or panic is not designed to go on indefinitely and it will not harm you.  No matter how ill you feel the body and mind is not trying to hurt you, it’s trying to protect you.

    Going back to the horror film, after its over you may still feel shaky but eventually the symptoms leave you and then something happens which makes the symptoms go away.  YOU FORGET ABOUT THE FILM.  You can still remember what happened but it does not play over and over again in your mind.  Unfortunately with panic attack sufferers the reason they keep getting panic attacks is there mind follows the same pathway each time they are in a situation where they perceive they may suffer another panic attack.  Therefore the person has become afraid of being afraid.  This is a deadly cycle and one that the sufferer must first recognize in order to recover.  Re-occurring panic attacks is called panic disorder. 

    (RULE6) IF YOU ARE AFRAID OF BEING AFRAID YOU ARE MUCH MORE LIKELY TO SUFFER FROM PANIC DISORDER.

     In summary…………

    Although it can be helpful to try to find out what is triggering your panic attacks, don't get too preoccupied with it, and don't worry if sometimes you can't find a clear trigger. It is definitely much more productive to focus your energy and effort on learning how to cope with them.   Remember that panic attacks are not dangerous, even if you don't know what triggered them.

    The powers of thoughts are one of the most underrated causes of ill health.  That’s why companies will spend thousands on mentally stimulating their workforce to increase production.  The armed forces will append as much time in the classroom educating, as they will practising on the battlefield in order to condition their soldiers correctly.  In the sporting world, athletics and football clubs will bring in sports psychologists to gain any advantage to improve their performance.

    Have you recovered from panic attacks?  Tell me your story

    RESOURCES

    Books

    Overcoming Panic and Agoraphobia

    The Anxiety Cure

    The Panic Attack Recovery Book  I think this is one of the best books on panic recovery.  The seven step plan is one of the best ways to have a long term recovey plan.

    Self Help for Your Nerves: Learn to relax and enjoy life again by overcoming stress and fear   One of the first books I read on panic attacks and still one of the best.  I would say if you're going to read any book first, read this one.  First published in the 1960's it's been updated many times, but some of the best modern-day books still have the same principles running through them.  For first aid for a panic attack this is still the best book out there in my opinion.  For a programme for recovery it's not the best as we know far more on what contributes to panic attacks and how to cure them.  For its time it's was revolutionary.  Claire Weeks has sadly passed away but she did recordings and other books as well - Click Here .
    If you would like to read my post on Claire Weekes Life and Books Click Here

    Understanding Panic Attacks: and Overcoming Fear   A very thorough and popular book on panic attacks. The book is easy to read and has a lot of common sense techniques. It gives a great deal of information on the back ground leading to panic attacks and goes behind the biology of panic attacks. It focuses on cognitive behavioural therapy tools to help you and a lot of the practical advice I advocate is in this book.

    Panic Attacks: What they are, why the happen, and what you can do about them: What They Are, Why They Happen and What You Can Do About Them A book that's over ten years old but the same principles apply to day as they did then.  A good book that covers what to do whilst having a panic attack, and an interesting chapter on how to help others with panic attacks.   It has some useful tips and will be helpful for anyone suffering with panic attacks, anxiety and agoraphobia.

    Anxiety and Panic Attacks - Their Cause and Cure   An American book and definitely one of favourites.  Fun, easy to read and has a stepped program to recovery.  This book taught me some things I didn't know about panic attacks and is written by someone who has gone through it.  The author has also set up a very useful organisation that helps people recover.  The book was written in 1993 but everything is still completely relevant. 

    How to Stop Anxiety & Panic Attacks: A Simple Guide to using a specific set of Techniques to Stop Panic Attacks, Agoraphobia, Social Phobia, Fear of Driving or Flying and Stress   Written by a fellow panic attack sufferer who really has a personable approach to panic attacks.  The book really goes in depth in the emotional and psychological factors.  The description of panic disorder was exactly how I felt and you can definitely feel empathy with how he describes the struggles involved.  Geert (the author) also has produced good videos on you tube and a helpful program at ilovepanicattacks.  Highly recommended.

    Free Yourself From Anxiety: A self-help guide to overcoming anxiety disorders   A book with a very caring attitude for anxious people with some great case studies of people who have various anxiety related issues.  Lots of sensible, useful and practical information you can apply to everyday life.

    Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway: How to Turn Your Fear and Indecision into Confidence and Action .  One of the first books I read in my recovery.  It's very popular book.  Even though it's not really designed for panic attack sufferers, the information is still very relative.  How you live your life and lifestyle is crucial to overcoming fear.   

    My Resources page also lists other tools that can help

    Other Articles

    How to cure Panic Attack Disorder?

    Prevent Panic Attacks - Challenging the Thoughts which Cause Panic

    20 Strategies to Help You Cope with Panic Attacks

    How to Overcome Social Anxiety

    Understanding what phobias are?

    What are Panic Attacks

    The Anxiety Nervous System

     

     

     

     

    large ebook

    Like what you read?   

      

    If so, please join to receive exclusive weekly tips & tools to overcome anxiety and panic attacks, and get a FREE COPY of my eBook, How to Recover & Cure Yourself of Anxiety & Panic Attacks! Just enter your name and email arrow right

     

     

    the secret blod the secret........

       DISCOVER THE SECRET TO OVERCOMING PANIC ATTACKS, ANXIETY & PHOBIAS.   CLICK HERE