What is a panic attack?

How do I know I’m having a panic attack?

What is the treatment for panic attacks?

 

What is a panic attack?

A panic attack is a state of intense fear that triggers sudden severe physical reactions without the occurrence of a real danger or obvious cause. When a panic attack occurs, you may experience a feeling of losing control, of having a heart attack, or even of dying. The fear you have may be so intense that your breath gets trapped, and your chest begins to ache. Symptoms may vary according to each individual. Some people may only experience chest pain, others a feeling of faintness.

Most people who have had a panic attack want to avoid places and situations where they believe that the attacks might occur. For example, staying alone at home or going out to the street alone may become a problem. The situation prevents people from being active and mobile in life. After a while the situation escalates, one cannot get into the elevator, go to crowded places, or even to not be able to travel by public vehicles (for example, if one lives in Vienna, one cannot take the U-Bahn). We can see that panic attacks can be intimidating, and although they are not life-threatening, they can significantly reduce our quality of life.

How do I know if I’m having a panic attack?

“First, I feel a enormous fear, then I start sweating. My throat is knotting and suddenly my heart is squeezing“ if you start to experience similar symptoms then you’re probably having a panic attack.

It is often not easy to understand Panic attacks, where this strange situation, and anourmous fear come from.

Now, pay attention: A Panic attack is not a crisis of fear, but rather one of anger. Anger and rage get displaced as fear*. All the rage you have ever kept or had to keep, the humiliations and actions you didn’t deserve, and the situations you were forced to live through, in short, all the times you couldn’t react as you wished but instead swallowed your anger begin to shake you just like an earthquake. All the anger you’ve accumulated inside manifests itself as a physical response, because you can’t give or respond to the reaction you need at the right time. There’s no more room for you to keep your rage in yourself.  It can begin with tiny tiny attacks, and the more you ignore them the more frequenct and intense they get. A panic attack is a very important message that your body gives you. Your body sends you the message ”I’m not happy with this life, change it as quick as possible“. Listening to these signals and evaluating them is very important for your mental and physical health.

 

What is the treatment for panic attacks?

Are you asking, “Why do I feel fear?” Let me tell you: yes, you’re afraid, but what you’re afraid of is not actually the outside world, but what you’re afraid of is the anger crisis that’s about to explode inside. So what you’re afraid of is that not being able to control your own anger. This process works not in a conscious way, but in an unconscious one. Decisions are made unconsciously. That’s why if you go to a doctor and you just take medication, it probably won’t work. Because the drug cannot help you to relax and release your anger. It can only relax you, but the anger and fear remain in place. Psychotherapy is an effective treatment for panic attacks. Psychotherapy will open this door if you want to have a life where you can move and think freely, enough to gain the self confident to show your reaction appropriatly without fear.

 

*See defense mechanisms

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