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Using Breathing to Control Panic Attacks

Posted by on Tuesday, December 22, 2009, 12:48
This news item was posted in Panic Disorder category and has 1 Comment so far.

Panic attacks can cause a great deal of distress during withdrawal. The sufferer is suddenly overwhelmed by fear for no apparent reason, and often feels that death is not far away.

Some people feel unable to move or speak, while others shout out for help. Although the attacks usually last only a few minutes, it can seem much longer to the sufferer.

In a person who is not nervously ill, an exam, or even an exciting social event, may produce “butterflies” in the stomach, sweating hands, constriction of the chest, a rise in the heart rate, and so on.

These are all feelings caused by raised adrenaline levels. This is a normal response; a panic attack is an exaggeration of this the cause is an exhausted nervous system. If you are overenthusiastic the first time you go out jogging, the next day your muscles will complain by being stiff and sore.

Panic attacks, agoraphobia, irritability, and many other symptoms are a similar cry for help from your nervous system. It is saying, “Do not abuse me; I have had enough.” It is often hard to convince someone who is experiencing panic attacks that they are not the onset of some terrible disease.

Every symptom wildly beating heart, rapid breathing, sweating, shaking is part of the “fright and flight” response. We do not want to stop this mechanism because we would not survive long without it, but we do want it to stop overreacting with full blown panic at every little stimulation.

Our primitive ancestors needed to be able to react like this to escape from dangerous animals. We may need it now to get out of the path of a speeding bus, or a kid on a skateboard! Fear stimulates the chemicals that make us respond quickly. That unpleasant sinking feeling in the abdomen we experience when we are afraid is only a sudden diversion of blood away from internal organs to the legs to allow for greater speed.

The following article shows that one of the major causes of panic attacks is simply not breathing correctly.

“Hyperventilation (shallow breathing) as a Cause of Panic Attacks,”

The syndrome (collection of symptoms) characterized by repeated panic attacks has been known by several names including muscular exhaustion of the heart, neurasthenia (nervous exhaustion), irritable heart, anxiety neurosis, effort syndrome, and cardiac neurosis. The manual’s definition of panic disorder states that attacks are manifested by the sudden onset of intense apprehension, fear or terror, often associated with feelings of impending doom.

The most common symptoms experienced during an attack are dyspnoea, choking or smothering sensations, dizziness, vertigo, or unsteady feelings, feelings of unreality, paraesthesias (disordered sensation such as tingling and pins and needles) hot and cold flushes, sweating, faintness, trembling or shaking and fear of dying, going crazy or doing something uncontrolled during the attack. Attacks usually last minutes, more rarely hours.

If your attitude is, “I will die, be sick, faint, wet myself, or something, if I don’t fight this panic attack,” you will encourage more attacks. It will be the trigger for stimulating more adrenaline, more fear. If you teach your body to give the correct messages to your brain, you can break this chain reaction.

Panic Attack

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1 Response to “Using Breathing to Control Panic Attacks”

  1. 3 January, 2010, 19:35

    I love the tips on this site, they are always to the point and just the information I was looking for. Its hard to find good content these days in the world of spam and garbage sites.

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