Attacks can feel like a very private terror. “On the outside you can look like everything is perfectly fine, while your insides feel like they are going to explode.” (“Free Yourself from Panic Attacks”) Many people suffering from panic attacks can feel they are isolated and set apart from others for having the attacks. However, the problem is common and widespread. Many people have suffered from them, and large numbers of those have found methods to reduce or remove panic attacks entirely.
There are some common beliefs about panic attacks that sufferers hold. You have experienced some of these yourself.
- It is going to make your heart give out, and you will die. Regardless of how hard your heart is pounding in your chest, it is far stronger than you give it credit for. It is the strongest muscle in our bodies, and it is designed to be able to take a rapid increase – just as it would if you were running a marathon or doing a funky dance class. If you do have an existing heart condition it is best to get it checked just for peace of mind, but for the vast majority, our hearts will be completely fine during and after an attack. (“Free Yourself from Panic Attacks”)
- You will not get enough air to your lungs. “Many people find it hard to breathe well during a panic attack.” (“Free Yourself From Panic Attacks – Health Reversal”) However, you are taking in more air than you feel like you are. “The tightness and then accompanying lightness of breath is caused by hyperventilation, with your breaths causing an excess of oxygen to move through your body.” (“Free Yourself from Panic Attacks”)
- You may faint. You will not faint because your body is trying to protect you from danger. If it were a physical threat your body would want to keep you upright and moving amazingly fast away from danger. Even if your danger is not a physical one, your body is increasing your consciousness and you are incredibly awake. At worst and you did faint, think of the benefits. (“Free Yourself from Panic Attacks”) At least you would have some rest from the thumping in your chest. The sense that you might faint comes from the hyperventilation. Even though you feel weak and as if you may faint, your large muscles are soaking in oxygen and are pumped and ready for action. (“Free Yourself from Panic Attacks”)
- You feel as is you may be having a stroke. “Because your body is feeling a wide range of sensations you may try to work out what is causing it.” (“Free Yourself from Panic Attacks”) However, all the physical sensations are not from a deeper issue such as a stroke. Your body is not about to self-destruct. It is just doing a very natural thing in a time of extreme stress. (“Free Yourself from Panic Attacks”)
- You are going crazy. Because you do not feel like you are in control the whole experience can felt like you are unbalanced or losing your mind. However, all that is happening is your body is reacting to the need to escape whatever situation you have found yourself in. That is a very sane solution to your needs. (“Free Yourself from Panic Attacks”)
- You are worried you are going to embarrass yourself. Panic attacks are very personal things. “What sets one person off is different to what would set off another person.” (“Free Yourself from Panic Attacks”) Remember that while you feel like everyone can see how you are feeling; most of what you are experiencing is not noticeable to anyone else. Most panic attacks last less than ten minutes, and certainly no longer than twenty. It will pass, and once it has gone things quickly come back to normal again. (“Free Yourself from Panic Attacks”)
- You are completely out of control. You are still in control – just a different part of your brain is organizing your body. Your body is allowing your subconscious mind to take over so that your conscious mind stops second guessing it. Your body is still being taken care of, just by a different part of your brain. Remembering the panic attack will pass is the first step in conquering the attacks and learning how to manage them.
Best Wishes, Coyalita
Behavioral Health Rehab Specialist
See Tomorrow: “When It’s Agoraphobia”
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