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Freedom From Panic Attacks

By: Catherine Chadwick - Updated: 20 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Panic Panic Attacks Anxiety

The number of people who experience panic attacks is much greater than you might realise. If you are one of these people rest assured that help is available to you.

What Is a Panic Attack?
A panic attack might be characterised by the following:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Unsteady feelings or faintness
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Feelings of unreality
  • Nausea
A minimum of 4 of these symptoms would need to be present for the diagnosis of a panic attack to be made. In the majority of cases, people feel as though panic occurs "out of the blue".

Fight/Flight Response
The symptoms associated with panic attacks are in fact the body's fight/flight mechanism in operation. This is a primitive response designed to protect us in life-threatening situations.

Essentially, the symptoms represent the body preparing itself either to stay and fight, or run away. Once the danger is over, everything should relax and calm down again. Unfortunately, modern life keeps many people in a state of alert much of the time so that sometimes the fight/flight response is triggered unnecessarily. This accounts for the "out of the blue" nature of most panic attacks. They can however also be triggered by excessive alcohol intake and recreational drugs.

The important thing to realise is that in a sense your nervous system is working too well for you. This understanding of how the nervous system works can go a long way to helping you realise that there is nothing wrong with you nor are you weak.

Maintenance of Panic Attacks
The main reason people continue to have panic attacks is their fear of having one again. Fear sets up a resistance. The more you try to prevent something happening, the more likely it is to occur. You will very likely be thinking catastrophic thoughts too. Hypervigilance to sensations in the body that might precede a panic attack very often also occurs. It is these factors that maintain the panic attacks or at the very least keep you in a high state of alert.

How Hypnotherapy Can Help
There are many ways in which hypnotherapy can help you and different approaches that can be employed. Having made sure you understand how your nervous system is working for you, your hypnotherapist might first teach you a breathing technique. Very often those who have experienced panic attacks breathe in a shallow way. Often a person will state that learning a breathing technique was one of the major contributors to their feeling they could take control again.

Your hypnotherapist might help you identify the catastrophic thoughts you are thinking. These thoughts then become candidates for modification in hypnotherapy work so that they lose their power to cause you anxiety. You may also be encouraged to accept the sensations in your body for what they are - just sensations.

You will likely be given work to do between sessions so that you can really begin to feel that you are taking back control.

There is no reason to suffer in silence with panic attacks. Nor is there any reason to allow them to reduce the activity of your life. You can get over them and move on. Hypnotherapy treatment can bring you freedom from panic attacks so you can just get on with your life.

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