Anxiety and Panic Attack
It has been pretty much the usual routine. Part time job in the morning, a little cleaning around the home, and then out to pick the kids up from school. Just like any one of many other days, except today you get into the car and suddenly become overwhelmed by a feeling of intense but unfathomable terror. Panic mounts and you feel you have to get out of the car at all costs, or go mad or even die…
This describes a typical sudden panic attack, which is all too commonplace in these high stress times. It is estimated that as much as 6 percent of the population is affected by this kind of high anxiety problem at any one time.
Signs and Symptoms
There are several common physical and mental signals of heightening anxiety such as:
• Rapid heartbeat
• Trembling, shaking
• Irrational expectation
• Heavy perspiration
A typical comment sufferers make is that they felt that their life was threatened or that they felt they were losing their mind.
Panic attacks can affect anyone of any age or sex but medical records show that women are twice as susceptible as men. They can be isolated events, which do not recur, or they can develop into a regular pattern.
While an attack is not likely to cause any lasting physical harm, when they happen often they develop into a disorder, which can dramatically reduce a persons quality of life. This is why it is important to seek treatment sooner rather than later. Left unattended it is not uncommon for a sufferer of high anxiety and panic attacks to become clinically depressed or even resort to drug or alcohol misuse.
Because of the intensity of the symptoms sufferers usually do visit their doctor to obtain a medical opinion. However, all too often the patient is 'treated' with medications designed to tranquilize the problem, rather than a regime designed to discover, eliminate or control the source of the anxiety. To this end Hypnotherapy is proving a valuable method of approaching the problems of anxiety - panic - fears and phobias.
Interestingly a certain amount of stress is a valuable component of physical and mental good health. Stress enables the body to react to extraneous circumstances by focusing resources more intensely. It's the motive force behind the 'fight or flight' response and is instinctively built into our system and can provide the best chance of survival in a threatening situation. In a similar way a certain amount of stress can concentrate the mind and enable it to deal successfully with complexity and avoid carelessness.
It seems that stress is not of itself a bad thing - in fact it's a natural and healthy response to the vagaries of life. Problems begin when stress levels become artificially high, or a higher than normal level of stress becomes unnoticed and habitual. Unfortunately civilization is our own worst enemy when it comes to stress and anxiety! Where once we might have been able to genuinely engage the 'fight or flight' response to deal with a situation by actually attacking or fleeing the source of the problem, social etiquette and law usually prevent us doing this. Thereby stresses occur which are not released from the body by action. Add to this the hugely increased threat to us from the modern environment (such as noise, driving, crowding, violence and crime) and it's not too surprising that stress is becoming a modern plague.
Again conventional treatment relies largely on medication that tranquilizes the brain and nervous system. Unfortunately, the draw back to this policy is now widely known, as quality of life is lost and unpleasant side effects can easily occur.
Hypnotherapy proves valuable in treating this condition and it's non-chemical, non-invasive, has no unpleasant side effects and deals with the cause of the problem rather than its symptoms.