Panic Disorder: A vicious cycle.
When anxiety is extreme, it can become panic disorder, characterised by panic attacks. And once you experience panic attacks they can have a habit of recurring and escalating… And the escalation can be further accelerated through the fear of the panic attack itself! It can become a horrible vicious cycle that is particularly distressing for the sufferer and that can lead to a withdrawal and self-exclusion from activities that were previously enjoyable. It can be severely life-limiting!
People often worry that the panic attacks common in panic disorder might cause them to have a heart attack… Let us reassure you on that point. The symptoms of panic, elevated heart rate, hard breathing, weak or shaking limbs, light-headedness, churning stomach, are all the result of adrenaline and cortisol being released into the blood stream. Adrenaline is used to treat heart attacks, so it is very unlikely to cause one.
People also worry that panic attacks might be a sign that they are going mad. Once again, let us reassure you on that point. There is no clinical evidence of a link between panic attacks and ‘insanity’.
In our experience those thoughts can be reassuring to sufferers in themselves, and can help minimise the effect of future attacks, but they don’t necessarily stop them.
At Transformative we have a fantastic track record in this area. As panic disorder is an extreme form of anxiety, we treat it in the same way. We use special techniques to unearth and resolve the underlying issues and to free the sufferer from this unpleasant, frightening condition.
To learn more about panic disorder and the panic attacks associated with it, read our blog post, The Science of Anxiety and Panic Attacks.
As with anxiety, every sufferer and condition is different, so the first step is a brief FREE telephone consultation in which we can assess your special situation and recommend the best course of action for you.
What can I do to reduce my panic attacks?
The most important thing to do, difficult and counter-intuitive as it seems, is nothing! When an attack strikes, find somewhere to sit or lie down and wait for it to pass. Unfortunately, the more dramatic your reaction and the reaction of the people around you, the worse it will be for you the next time round. Read our blog post The Science of Anxiety and Panic Attacks to understand why.
Why does panic disorder happen?
Panic attacks are triggered by our 2-million-year-old brain when it thinks we are in danger. They are caused by the release of adrenaline and cortisol into the blood-stream which gets us ready for fight or flight. That’s where the symptoms come from: racing heart, hard breathing, churning stomach etc. Once we unearth the reasons why your brain is triggering your fight or flight response we can work on removing those triggers.
Can panic disorder be treated?
Yes, it can. Panic disorder and the associated panic attacks can be very effectively treated in a relatively short time-frame. See the testimonials at the bottom of our home page to see how we have helped many sufferers in the past.