Maybe you have clicked on this link because you know the panic attacks , you are familiar with them . It is not necessary then that we explain to you that terrible sensation that is not understood until it is experienced, and it is sometimes, in your interior, indistinguishable from a heart attack or an aneurysm . Fear, dizziness, tachycardia, nausea and choking.
The lucky ones will not suffer them practically never. Other people, on the other hand, have to deal with them several times a month or even a week. The good news is that it is not something that you have to live with all your life and can be cured. But for this you must first understand what they are.
It is a failure of the parasympathetic nervous system during which it triggers a “fight” or “flight” response against itself . He is responsible for our emotions, which occur when the brain stimulates the electrical impulses , that is, when you feel sad or angry is because this mentioned nervous system is creating them. It is a survival mechanism , if for example we see a tiger in some bushes we feel fear, which is what will make us flee. If someone shouts at us we will be angry and we will respond the same way, it is our brain’s way of guaranteeing that we live.
Panic attacks (and all anxiety) are simply a failure of the nervous system to regulate your emotions appropriately. It is normal to feel fear when the tiger comes for you, but not when you must go to a party. They can occur by themselves or as a symptom of another diagnosis (bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress, etc.), but even so the pathology will always be the same. That is, have the diagnosis you have, the attack will always be the same.
As it begins?
It is always the same, the result of a vicious circle . Start with a factor that , for a reason, makes you feel afraid . For example, you have spent some bad nights and you can not sleep, so you start to fear the moment you go to bed for fear of having a bad time. You do not know why you react so strongly to this fear, but you ask yourself, “Why do I get so anxious ? Why do I want to run away and hide?” Your rational part is disconcerted and fear begins to grow. To not feel it you restrict yourself : “I will not go by plane / to noisy parties, because I will suffer a panic attack”.
What is the problem? That you are afraid of being afraid , so you are always afraid. That is why we spoke of a vicious circle . Once you realize this is when you can break it.
How to stop it
It seems simple, but it is not at all. Attacks happen when you are afraid of being afraid, so you should stop having it. The truly terrifying thing is that you feel, literally, that you are dying. You will then think: “The best thing is to try to stop the attack at all costs”. The truth is that if you are afraid of experiencing fear , you are already experiencing it, so maybe you should not try to stop it at all costs.
The writer Megan Holstein explains in ‘ Medium ‘ a series of remedies that served her: “I always tell myself three phrases that help me calm down.My problem was with food.Every time I had a panic attack I thought that I was dying, a heart problem, a stroke … I thought that was what happened to me, the key is to accept that all this will happen and then repeat these three sentences. ”
I’m having a panic attack
It is essential to understand that you are not dying . When you understand that everything that happens to you is normal , just part of the panic attack, the fear will disappear a little and can help you think clearly and relax.
I accept that it is uncomfortable
When you try not to face the current, you realize that, after all, it was not as terrible as you thought. In the case of anxiety attacks, if you try to force it to stop, the experience is likely to be worse. Only through them can you teach your brain how to stop them in the future. “It sounds paradoxical but you have to embrace the experience, ” explains Holstein. “For example, I felt nausea and I wanted to vomit when I experienced them, so I forced myself to do it, not only I did not get it but my attack disappeared.”
The last thing is to accept that it’s okay. It’s okay to have anxiety. “Okay, I know how this is going” you have to tell yourself when it happens , “I’m going to feel bad for a few minutes”, and in this way it will become little by little a routine . Perhaps the most difficult and most difficult is to start being brave. You have to face your fear face to face and know that, despite everything, you are stronger than your own emotions.