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Displaying items by tag: Panic Disorder

Thursday, 07 February 2013 21:37

feeling anxious again

after suffering my first panic attack from a bad reaction after smoking Spice, something i had never done and regret so badly in november and having about 3 more attacks of panic in december it seemed i finally had gotten over it. i spent a couple days over a few weeks having my dad care for me as he too has had anxiety attacks and panic years ago when he was younger. he doesn't have them at all anymore. in fact, he can even drink coffee almost daily. he gives me hope i guess you could say. he got over it naturally.

so after staying with him for awhile, he was having me drink a mix of st. john's wort and valerian root tea every night before going to bed. i remember feeling so anxious and scared. worse than how i feel now. i havent had panic attacks since december and a couple weeks ago my anxiety had all gone away. i was happy again, i could hangout with friends and go to work. i was so relieved. but up until last week i slowly started feeling the symptoms again. very slight fear, and everyday it seemed to get a little more noticeable, day by day, little by little. until i almost feared i was going to have a panic attack but i never did. and now the past couple of days ive been feeling a bit anxious, nothing like the first time i experienced anxiety but it still bothers me. it still weighs on me. my dad says theyre flashbacks. that I'm getting better but its a process of which symptoms go away and then return for a bit and then go away again until one day youre just free. at least thats how it was for him. i trust what he's says is true, because he's my dad. he's an herbalist, if thats even what you call people who are certified in herbal remedies and natural medicine. he got into it when he suffered from panic. he said he used to stand outside the ER when he would get attacks. he didnt know what was happening just like the rest of us when we first experience them. he'd stand outside in case he were to pass out or really feel like he was going to drop right there. he'd stand there until the attack would pass, he would have to leave work to do this. eventually he saw a DR. that put him on medication. about 6 months in he told the DR he wasnt getting any better, he seemed to get worse. sure the pills helped calm him down when he got attacks but he never saw an improvement until he met a man who was an herbalist. the man put him on supplements for his body. detoxification and just natural medicine and eventually he got better. and this was years ago, everytime i ask about his experience with anxiety i feel hope that ill get past it too. i hope i can also as so many people are able to. i just wish it could happen now, it sucks feeling like this. i notice talking about it helps a bit, even crying helps. well i guess ill start updating my progress on here. i hope this site helps in overcoming anxiety as well.

Published in Diary
Tuesday, 05 February 2013 18:41

introduction to myself

A bit about myself as an introduction

 

I am writing these diary entries as it helps me a lot with coping, but also incase it will help anybody else who is wishing to relate or offer advice.

I suffer primarly from emetaphobia, panic disorder, panic attacks and anxiety disorder.

i also suffer from a type of social disorder, and ocd and other phobias such as needles.

I have been having help since the age of 6 and am developing to cope better with day to day life..

I have overcome anerexia, partly needles due to CBT, depression and small daily tasks i have been unable to do in the past such as public transport.

 

I am currently 21 years old and am completing a degree in university, i do not live at home but i am with my partner who is the most amazing person in the world and i love him dearly.

 

so this is a little about me

feel free to get in touch, i am more than happy to talk to people over chat :) and listen to anybody who would like to talk x

Published in Diary
Wednesday, 21 November 2012 06:42

Your Panic Attack Cannot Kill You

Some Facts on Why a Panic Attack Can't Really Kill You

 

Your panic attack cannot kill you. Of all the things I have learned, this is by far the most crucial. When you are in that moment of panic, your heart is racing, your mind is lost, you're having trouble breathing, and you may feel like you're going to die. When I had my first major panic attack, I thought I was about to die. I was literally saying my good-byes to the world as I paced back and forth in my bathroom at 5am. I awoke my wife, unsure if I was going to be saying good-bye to her forever or having her drive me to the ER. But upon waking (and scaring the Hell out of her) I was able to get some comfort and began to calm down. It soon passed and a state of confusion took over for the fear. I will get to that in another post. But, although I sure felt like this must be the end for me, it surely wasn't. This was years ago and I am still alive and kicking.


Your panic attack simply does not have the ability to kill you. I will explain why. The panic attack is created entirely by you. It may seem to be triggered by outside factors, but really it is all coming from your amygdala, a primal part of your brain that controls feelings such at the fight-or-flight response. If you have an anxiety disorder, this fight-or-flight response is simply being misdirected. It is being triggered when it really isn't needed. This is what makes it so scary. If you stubbed your toe while going for a glass of water in the middle of the night, you would feel pain, but you wouldn't feel fear because you know the source of your pain is from the corner of that chair that was left where it shouldn't be. If you felt that same pain just now as you're sitting at your computer desk reading this, you'd be extremely alarmed. The reason is that you wouldn't know the source of the pain. The same is true with anxiety. If you feel scared while facing a legitimate threat, say you are facing an angry bear, you are going to feel anxiety and panic for sure. But it will be well placed. Your amygdala is giving you instinctual fuel to get yourself out of that dangerous situation quickly. You will flea and the panic and fear will leave you shortly after the threat is gone.

 

But, in the case of an anxiety disorder, you are experiencing that same fight-or-flight response when there is no legitimate threat. This makes it all the more alarming. You don't have anywhere to direct this fight-or-flight. There is nothing to fight and there is nowhere for you to direct your flight. This perpertuates the fear. In the analogy of the bear, you would simply have learned to be afraid any time you saw a bear. In the anxiety case, your brain will simple place the same type of association with whatever stimulus is around at the time. If you were driving over a bridge when your panic attack hit you, your brain my end up putting a fear association with bridges and you may begin to feal anxiety when crossing bridges. That's the way these things work. It's important to understand why these associations are there in order to get past them.


The panic attack is created entirely by your amygdala, a part of your brain. You have no direct control over the amygdala. You can only control the input that is directed towards it. If it recieves the signal for panic, it will act accordingly. You have the ability though to change how other parts of your brain operate in order to inhibit the signals of panic from being sent to the amygdala unneccessarily. This comes with a deep understanding of who you are and how you think. You have to change the negative thought patterns that are contributing to these false signals being sent over to that primal part of your brain.

 

With an understanding of the amygdala comes the realization that it does not have the ability to destroy itself. The human body is not equipped with a "self-destruct" button. Have you ever played in the swimming pool to see which of your friends can hold their breath the longest? The overwhelming urge to return the surface will happen long before you really run out of life-sustaining oxygen. Sit now and try to stop your heart from beating. It cannot be done. Your amygdala is also responsible for this. It keeps your heart beating, your lungs breathing, and all of your other primary functions going. It also triggers that natural fight-or-flight response that becomes a panic attack when misdirected. It simply does not have the ability to end your life. The amygdala's primary function is to sustain your life. It is a very primal part of your brain and just does not have the option to do anything else.

 

It can not destroy itself and thus it cannot destroy you. Having faith in this can go a long way to stopping that panic attack before it eats you alive. Acceptance is one of the most advocated methods for overcoming anxiety, and for good reason. Acceptance becomes a lot easier when you realize, with confidence, that there is an end. You will survive the panic attack. It will last no longer than 20 minutes, usually much shorter than that, and then your life will continue. If you tell yourself this, and truly believe it, when panic begins to set in you may find yourself just coasting on in peace.


Best of luck!

 

-Aaron

Published in Anxiety General Blog

Are you having a Panic attack? How to identify the signs and symptoms and how to manage panic attacks

It can happen to anyone at any time: in the office, shopping center, while driving, or even while one sleeps at night. Suddenly, without any warning, an individual may feel frightened and extremely overwhelmed.  All at once it feels as if the world is closing in around them and their anxiety levels rapidly rise.  The overwhelming and intense fear and anxiety that the individual feels is seemingly neither justified, nor related to, the present situation. For individuals who have experienced a panic attack the experience can be extremely overwhelming and scary.  The symptoms of a panic attack closely resemble those of a heart attack, but disappear usually within half an hour.  When an individual experiences a panic attack for the first time they will most likely feel extremely scared and overwhelmed by the experience.  It can be extremely scary to feel as if one has lost control of their emotions and anxiety levels.

 

What Ca You DO?

Have you or someone you know ever been impacted by this type of an experience? If so, the person affected will never forget the sensations and will most likely want some additional information regarding their panic filled experience.  Information and supports are highly valuable so that individuals are better prepared if they ever face it again in the future. If an individual has not experienced a panic attack themselves then it is still extremely valuable to gain a greater understanding of how panic attacks and panic disorders arise and affect individuals.  Everyone should learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of panic attacks and should take active measures to avoid this anxiety filled experience.  Even if you do not believe that you are at risk of developing a panic attack, chances are that someone you know or love may experience one sometime during their lifetime.  Everyone can benefit from gaining a greater understanding of panic attacks.

 

People who suffer sudden panic attack may experience the following symptoms:

 

  • Acceleration of heartbeat
  • Sweating or chills
  • Tremors
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea and stomach pain
  • Chest pain
  • Tingling or numbness in the fingers
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling out of control

 

The panic attack, though overwhelmingly intense and frightening, is a brief panic filled episode that usually lasts approximately 10 minutes.  The duration, exact symptoms, and intensity of the panic attack will vary from person to person.  In some cases, it may take up to half an hour for the symptoms to disappear completely.

 

Panic attack and panic disorder

The experience of a panic attack is viewed as being a manifestation of anxiety that may occur in relation to various other events, experiences, situations, and relationships that cause stress in the individual’s life.  For example, an individual experiencing a panic attack may be overwhelmed and stressed by family relationships or work.  Even though the panic attack may appear to happen during a completely unrelated situation to the major stressor in one’s life the two experiences are strongly linked.  If the panic attack happens only once then it is simply an uncomfortable and unsettling experience.  If the panic attacks recur frequently then it is identified as a condition known as panic disorder. This condition can be completely paralyzing if the person, in addition to suffering from the panic attacks, begins to fear repeat panic attacks in the future.  This experience of repeated panic attacks and the fear of potential upcoming panic attacks creates a vicious cycle which leads to increasingly intensified symptoms.

 

Panic disorder is characterized by the following:

 

  • Avoidance of the places and situations where the person experienced panic attacks in the past, which leads to a major disruption in their functioning.  Examples of this could be avoiding a store, an elevator, or a car where a previous panic attack took place.
  • Beginning to feel that everything is out of control
  • Feeling great concern that another attack is about to come
  • Experience of increased levels of anxiety and stress
  • Repeated panic attacks over at least a six month period

 

These symptoms can quickly spiral out of control and should be treated with medical supports.  Fortunately, a panic disorder is a condition that can be treated effectively with medication and psychotherapy, or a combination of both. If necessary and deemed appropriate, an anti-anxiety medication can be prescribed.  Antidepressants and heart medications, known as beta blockers, have been shown to help individuals manage episodes of panic disorder.

 

If you experience a panic attack, even if you only experience it once, it is strongly recommended that you see a doctor. You should receive a complete medical examination that will rule out the presence of any other disease or physical problem.  If you find that the frequency and intensity of your panic attacks continues to increase it is strongly recommended that you continue to consult a doctor to evaluate your symptoms and condition.  Individuals with a panic disorder are more prone to depression, suicide attempts, and the abuse of substances like drugs and alcohol. If not treated panic attacks may recur for months or even years, wreaking havoc on one’s emotional state.

 

Possible Treatment for Panic Attacks:

Panic attack sufferers do not have to be held captive by worry because there are many effective treatment options for this condition. Panic attacks can be treated with medication and through psychotherapy.  These treatments can be used either on their own or together depending on the degree of severity of the condition and the type of treatment that is determined to be most appropriate.

 

MedicationFor Panic Attacks:

panic attack medication

The most common medication treatment for panic attacks is antidepressants. These medications have the power to inhibit the development of panic attacks through altering one or more of the brain’s chemical levels in the body.  Typically,  levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine are targeted. The type of antidepressant drug usually used for the treatment of panic attacks are SSRIs or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. This type of medication is commonly viewed as being a last resort treatment method and is generally only used when all other resources have been exhausted. It is a very potent and effective drug.  However, it needs to be used under strict medical supervision and close diet monitoring because it has the possibility to interact with some foods, drinks, and other synthetic drugs that the patient may be consuming. SSRIs work by increasing the level of serotonin in the brain. Another commonly prescribed drug is benzodiazepines, which are anti-anxiety drugs. Like the SSRIs, these medications should be taken with strict guidance from a physician and should only be used sparingly because they can be very addictive. The duration of medication use will depend on the individual patient’s need. Sometimes a medication may only be needed for a week and in other cases an individual may find they need to stay on medications for years or even throughout the rest of their life. Psychotherapy  For Panic Attack:psichlogy And Anxiety


Physiotherapy For Panic Attacks:

psychology of a panic attack

Psychotherapy is generally viewed as still being the best form of treatment for panic attacks.   Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been shown to be highly effective in treating panic attacks. This particular kind of therapy focuses on the importance of individual behavior and the thought processes of an individual.  Through this therapy individuals can gain greater insight into their symptoms.  Additionally, individuals can be equipped to manage and prevent their symptoms in the future.

Published in Anxiety General Blog
Monday, 27 February 2012 09:18

Panic Disorder Tips and Info

Here Some Useful Information on Panic Disorders

Individuals with a panic disorder experience sudden intense attacks of anxiety.  These attacks are often repetitive and can occur at any time.  These attacks are often referred to as panic attacks.  Panic attacks will often arise unexpectedly in individuals.  They can erupt suddenly and rapidly intensify.  Some individuals mistakenly identify the symptoms of a panic attack as being a heart attack because of the similar symptoms of these two medical conditions. 

Panic attack symptoms are unique and individualized for each person.  Individual experiencing a panic attack typically report symptoms such as chest pain, feeling faint, overwhelming fear of losing control, intense fear of death, upset stomach, difficulty breathing, a chocking sensation, feeling detached, sweating, chills, shaking, rapid heart rate, numbness in extremities, and hot flashes.  Panic attacks must be experienced for at least 6 months and involve a majority of the symptoms above to be considered to be a panic disorder. 

Panic disorders can be experienced at the same time that an individual also has a different anxiety or psychological disorder.  It is important that panic disorders, whether experienced as a singular disorder or as a compounded disorder, can be treated.  Panic disorders can be treated and managed in the following ways.

 

Antidepressant medications have been shown to be effective in the treatment of panic disorders.  The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil are commonly used to manage panic attack symptoms.  Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), benzodiazepines, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and anti-seizure medications have all been found to be helpful medications in the treatment of panic disorders.  If one type of medication does not seem to fit the unique needs of an individual another type of these medications could potentially help. 

 

Relaxation skill building is extremely important for learning how to manage anxiety and stress that mount during and before panic attacks.  Taking regular walks, reducing and abstaining from consuming caffeine, and taking time to relax are all important relaxation techniques for managing stress.  Relaxed breathing skills are also important for an individual with a panic disorder to learn.  Relaxation skills should be utilized regularly in an individual with this disorder’s life.  Additionally, they should be utilized as soon as an individual begins to feel a panic disorder come on. 

 

Eliminating caffeine, alcohol, and drugs.  These stimulants can make the panic symptoms worse and can make panic attacks occur more frequently.  These drugs increase stress and anxiety levels in the body and create an environment a chronic stress environment within the body.  Each stressor that arises in life is intensified when these stimulants are present within an individual. 

 

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common counseling treatment method for panic disorders.  This treatment focuses on changing the way that the brain processes information and transforming the behaviors of the individual. 

 

Education about the body’s natural stress response can be extremely valuable for individuals with a panic disorder.  This information can help the individual understand how their body manages and processes stress.  It can normalize the stress experience and assist individuals in reducing their anxiety surrounding how their body manages stress. 

 

Daily assignments to reduce and manage stress are critically important.  To transform the body’s response to stress the individual must daily make a conscious effort to slowly change how they respond to and react to stress.  Individuals can try out different and new coping methods and strategies to see which ones can help them to overcome their anxiety.

 

Overcoming a panic disorder will take time and may require trial and error.  Individuals should not grow discouraged if they are unable to completely eliminate their panic attacks right away.  Instead, individuals should work to at least slowly reduce the intensity of their experience of anxiety.

Published in Anxiety General Blog
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