Hypnotherapy, An Effective Treatment For Panic Attacks
The Terror From Within!
What is a Panic Attack?
You're standing in the middle of a department store, all of a sudden your heart starts pounding, you feel flush, people are looking at you, and your mind starts to race, "what is happening to me, oh my goodness, I'm having a heart attack," you say to yourself. Fortunately, someone calls an ambulance and at the emergency room, the Dr gives you some good news, it's not a heart attack, it's anxiety and refers you to a psychiatrist. The next thing you know, you're on medication, usually an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor)! Does this sound at all familiar? This is a description I have had from many clients who suffered a panic attack, it's a scary thing but fortunately, it is a very treatable one and medication is not the only treatment. Very often it's not the most effective or holistic either. The reasons for this are quite simple. It is most often a consequence of the way our brain observes, records and memorises events throughout our life, that's what is at the root of most anxiety issues. For the most part, anxiety accumulates over time and progressively leads to avoidance strategies. A panic attack is the brain's way to get your attention, a, "get me out of here" moment! And one that I have been helping clients overcome for many years now!
I became a certified Anxiety Specialist in 2008 and over the past 14 years (even before that), I have been specialising in this condition and have developed a brain-based approach to providing effective solutions for thousands of clients. Much of what causes anxiety, occurs in the background, an effect of how and why our brain rationalises our experiences and stores that into emotional memory. Emotional memory very often occurs outside of our conscious awareness. Once we become conscious of the feelings associated with anxiety, cognitive processes often confound and complicate matters, how and why this occurs, is something I explain in greater detail. It is difficult to explain that further here, simply because of space and the fact that each person's individual response alters the prospective dynamic of their anxiety. That is why I provide a Free 1 Hour Consultation, where you get to hear how your anxiety may have developed and how we can treat it; successfully!
More about Anxiety and Panic Disorder!
Panic disorder is defined as the awareness of unpleasant bodily sensations, that lead to excessive anxiety. This triggers the body’s fear response; fight or flight. This is a consequence of either our threat detection system nonconsciously detecting something representing a danger or, an external stimulus that reactivates a fear-based emotional memory. In the latter case, it is an anticipatory form of fear. It is anticipatory because it is not about a real fear experienced in the here and now, but rather about the perception of it at some point in the future, be it, a minute, day or week. There are many forms of anxiety and specific names for the various types, e.g. social anxiety, generalized anxiety, separation anxiety etc. Panic disorder is a specific type of anxiety and is characterized by sudden and repetitive attacks of intense fear that usually last for several minutes, although they sometimes last much longer, maybe hours on occasion. Panic attacks, as they are called, usually make the sufferer experience an overwhelming sense of disaster or a loss of control and mostly when there isn’t any real danger.
The sufferer of a panic attack often experiences some very strong physical reactions during the attack, e.g. pounding heart, sweaty palms, dizziness, pins and needles etc. It is not uncommon for them to feel like they are having a heart attack. The attacks often occur randomly, although there is usually some form of a psychological trigger associated with the attack; albeit these triggers are usually subconscious in nature and, as such, outside of awareness. Because these attacks are so random many people with panic disorder worry and fret about when the next one will occur and this can lead to the development of avoidance strategies, whereby the sufferer starts to slowly and progressively withdraw from life. If left untreated this can ultimately lead to agoraphobia, where the sufferer feels it is not safe to leave their home and finds an unending number of excuses to stay at home; where they feel relatively safe for a while . . . The sad reality, for many sufferers, is that this is only a relative feeling of safety; not an actual feeling of total safety. In a sense, the home becomes the lesser of two evils!
The progression of the disorder is usually gradual and there are many stages between the first attack and its development to agoraphobia if it is allowed to progress that far. For example, a person with panic disorder usually becomes discouraged, often feeling ashamed because they cannot carry out ordinary everyday chores like going to the store, eating in public, going on public transport or even driving. It seems that what often feeds the behaviour, is being somewhere where it may be difficult to extricate themselves if an attack occurred. This can leave them feeling trapped in a potentially difficult situation. Panic disorder usually interferes with their social life, school or work. In some cases, it may be difficult to hold a job down because of the disruption and withdrawal etc. In short, panic disorder totally disrupts normal life and it is usual for the sufferer to believe this will never end!
The good news, though, is that panic disorder very often responds exceptionally well to hypnotherapeutic intervention. Hypnotherapy is a specific type of therapeutic treatment that helps communicate at deeper levels of the brain, the seat of the emotional memories that drive the panic! It is also good to note, that in many cases hypnotherapy is successful without the need for medication. The hypnotherapy treatment I offer has proven to be very effective with many clients who suffer from this life-limiting condition. This is because the psychological drivers behind the panic disorder are subconscious and hypnotherapy, which is a medium that delivers a therapeutic intervention to specific memory systems, within the brain (via the subconscious mind). This ultimately treats the root cause(s) and/or the maladaptations that can develop upstream from the root causes (what is often called the initial sensitising event) of the condition. Usually, there is a timeline of the condition, an audit trail if you will, and it is in exploring this timeline and its progression that the ultimate solution can often be found. From there it is a case of slowly neutralizing the psychological triggers and installing new behavioural responses to the activating stimulus. Because something doesn’t have to be real to be believed, the interventions work in the opposite way to the onset of the condition. The onset was characterized by a belief that some impending disaster was about to happen, the solution is in the belief that something else, maybe nothing, will happen. Either way, in this belief a whole other set of neurochemical responses occur that alter the expression of the fear memory but this time, do not involve the fear centre of the brain and consequently no anxiety/panic ensues!