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To control panic attacks, most of the people who come here have gone through years of unsuccessful treatments, counseling or medications because panic attacks control their lives. The reason that a treatment will fail is that it does not teach the individual how to short-circuit the "panic loop" and put an end to the "fear of fear" (in other words, the fear of a future attack). If you will give me a just a few minutes of your time, you will discover the techniques for managing panic attacks quickly that will bring immediate relief to their symptoms. I will also show you how to get a Free Rapid Relief Audio to download. You can take it with you and listen to it wherever you experience a panic attack, to get immediate relief.
I hope you find the following information helpful.
Table Of Contents:
Diagnosis - What Are The Symptoms?
A good place to begin is by taking a look at the symptoms that brought you here.
Panic attacks will typically include some of the following signs and symptoms:
- Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
- Dizziness, faintness, lightheadedness or mild vertigo
- Tightness in the throat
- A fear of dying or heart attack
- Heart palpitations, chest pain (or chest tightness)
- Trembling or shaking
- Abdominal cramping, nausea
- Numbness or paresthesias (tingling sensations)
- Hot flashes or cold flashes (sometimes sweating can occur with either)
- Sensations of choking or smothering
- Derealization (feeling of unreality or detachment)
DSM-5 diagnostic criteria will include a distinct interval of discomfort or very intense fear, during which time 4 or more of these panic attack symptoms develop suddenly and reach their peak intensity within minutes.
A panic disorder will usually also include:
- Sudden and re-occurring attacks with extreme anxiety and fear
- A powerful fear about when the next panic episode will occur
- Agoraphobia - a fear of future episodes especially if they occur in public or where they may have occurred in the past.
Other syndromes such as:
Any diagnostic method should consider that other conditions may also cause symptoms that are sometimes similar such as:
- Heart Disease (including unstable angina and myocardial infarction)
- Lung Disease
- and even Drug Use.
Panic Attack vs Anxiety Attack
A common question often asked is, what is the difference between a panic attack vs anxiety attack? Simply put, during an anxiety attack, people may have a feeling of fear, possibly apprehension. They may feel shortness of breath and their heart might be racing (tachycardia). However, the episode is very short lived. And when the stressor (that is causing the attack) goes away, so do the anxiety symptoms. On the other hand, panic attacks don't occur as a reaction to a stressor. They are unpredictable and unprovoked.
What does it feel like?
Let's start by establishing what it is that we are actually talking about.
Panic Attack Definition
It refers to the physical symptoms (which is probably why you're here) and sensations brought on by high anxiety. "Panicking" about some frightening thing that is occurring around you is simply being scared and is not the same thing. Individuals that have never experienced a real panic attack often make this mistake. Since you are reading this article (because you are suffering from the real thing) then you know what I'm talking about.
Although it may be extremely scary to the individual that is having one, the person really needs to understand that it is not actually doing them any harm. Knowing this will help them start to control their symptoms. And this has to be the first step if there is going to be any possibility of successfully treating your condition. An attack will tend to appear, to the person experiencing it, to be a random event. And it will not be clear what triggered it. This is because the foundation of the attack was put in place many hours earlier before any of the symptoms were felt. What this means is that the actions of the person when their attack first started probably had very little to do with the current episode. This is quite often the case when the individual has the symptoms soon after going to bed.
The sufferer may experience any of the common symptoms. They could include:
- trouble swallowing
- tingling sensation
- trouble breathing
- heart palpitations
- or a feeling of disconnected from reality.
The last symptom is probably the most difficult to describe to someone that has never experienced this, and it is also (in my opinion) the most frightening. It may cause the person to believe that they are dying and will commonly cause the individual to go to the Emergency Room. It must be understood that this is simply thesympathetic nervous system (SNS) (the fight or flight response to what the body believes is stress) followed by the parasympathetic nervous system trying to return the body to a normal state of equilibrium.
But the worst part is what occurs next. The intense fear that the person having the panic attack is feeling, is actually becoming the catalyst that will cause the experience to become worse.
What Is The Duration Of A Panic Attack?
The duration of a typical panic attack will come in 15-20 minute waves (although they can last from seconds to hours), and the fear of it would actually be triggering the next wave. This is why the only real solution to this is to no longer have a fear of the next attack. Any treatment must manage this in order to work.
They emphasize this at the Panic Away web site and it is why I am such a huge believer in their highly successful technique.
Try Doing This Right Now, I Bet You Can't
Try to force a panic attack. Since most of your stress is going to be rooted in the fear of a future attack (regardless of what the original trigger was) here is something interesting that you might want to try. I have found that a simple technique to control a panic attack is by forcing yourself to actually want to have one.
This is because by trying to "force" the issue you immediate diffuse (or even short circuit) the fear or anticipation of an attack. If you don't believe me, just try it. I mean right now. Think of any of the anxiety symptoms that you have experienced in the past. Now try to force your body to do it. You can't. Well, next time you start to to experience symptoms, try to make it worse. You can't, regardless how hard you try. What this tells you is that your body is actually in charge of the situation.
Here is something important to remember. The physical sensations that you are experiencing are associated with increasing depth and speed of breathing. Now it is easy to see why this would be important to get more oxygen into the muscles to prepare the body to defend itself. The problem though is that you start to exhale too much carbon dioxide thereby leaving a disproportional amount of oxygen in your bloodstream. There are side effects to flooding your body with too much oxygen, mainly respiratory alkalosis and hypocapnia. These effects of hyperventilation may cause you to experience:
- Tightness In The Chest
- Smothering Sensation
- Dizziness or
One of the more interesting group of sensations or symptoms occurs because the blood supply to the brain is actually decreased (only by a tiny amount however). This is what causes the sensations like dizziness, confusion or that scary feeling of unreality. Most sufferers will experience, at some time, the fear of losing control of their breathing. They start to become afraid that they will pass out and their breathing will stop. Remember, a panic attack cannot cause your breathing to stop. As a matter of fact, you couldn't stop it if you wanted to.
What are the causes? - Is the problem all in my head?
This is the million dollar question that a lot of people are quietly asking themselves. Well, just consider that the natural purpose of the panic attack or fight-or-flight response sensation is to warn a person that trouble is close at hand.
When this feeling "or warning", manifests itself, a person's brain will automatically scan its surroundings for any threats that may have to be dealt with. In this condition of "high alert" it isn't easy for the brain to stay focused on any single thing. This is because the brain is conditioned to find any and all possible dangers. And it will not quit until it has completed its mission, to keep you safe.
In some instances there may be underlying biological causes such as:
- Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome
- Mitral Valve Prolapse
- Wilson's Disease
- Labyrinthitis (malfunctioning of the inner ear)
- Norepinephrine System (located in the locus ceruleus of the brain stem) or
- And even sugar
If taken in excess can cause elevated stress levels and can be a significant cause of panic attacks especially if underlying emotional or psychological stress is present. So dietary changes may be in order. They can occur less often due to number of disorders such as:
- Panic Disorder
- Social Anxiety Disorders
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Drug Use
- And Medical Problems.
An episode panic may also be caused by drug withdrawal as with antidepressant discontinuation syndrome. In some instances, complications such as an increased risk of suicide is possible. So you must defuse the current attack and remove the fear of future ones (the panic loop).
Prognosis - This Self-help Therapy Can Help
Self-help programs can contribute greatly to your therapy and the 21-7 Technique in the Panic Away program does this the quickest.
Their site explains in much more depth how the 21-7 Technique breaks this loop forever, and how it does it fast. Other types cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques such as counseling, hypnosis, NLP, regressing to the past, deep breathing exercises, or daily affirmation, have only limited success because they don't get to the root of the problem. However, the 21-7 Technique does get to the root of the problem and it cures it.
There is something else that I want you to remember. Your situation is not a hopeless one. And it will never become one unless you give up. Especially if you suffer from agoraphobia, you need to remember that there really is no such thing as a "safe zone". Since having a panic attack is not going to actually harm you, you are just as safe away from home as you are in it. Now your mind will try to trick you into believing otherwise, but you know I'm right. Try remembering your previous panic attack and ask yourself, are you still alive? Were you sure that you were going die, but didn't? Did they actually do any permanent harm to you at all?
I think that you know what the answer to all of these questions is. So you can see that your situation is not hopeless. You WILL survive. Because of the large number of successes and all the people that have found help, I am really hoping that you Click Here to check out the Panic Away web site and to download the Rapid Relief Audio . It's time to make a decision. I wish you all the best.