How to Cope When You Have Anxiety and Panic Disorder

Physical Signs of that word - Anxiety

a Host of Negative Feelings
 
 
blurred vision
a warning of severe reaction
 
breathlessness
a cue to sit down
 
extreme dizziness
normal movement disturbed
 
heart palpitations
a sign that anxiety is here
 

Panic: A Frenzied Swimmer Drowns His Savior


By Christofer French, PsyD – Rain Dancer Associates, LLC


Panic is an amazing thing.

Humans know that a “panicky fit” in a river can make you unable to be helped.

Why? Because you will probably drown the friend that tries to save you.

Or. If an expert tries to save you, he may have to deal a blow that knocks you out so that he can save you.

We have all probably heard of such events or seen them depicted on a television show or in the movies.

Having “Panic Attacks” is Different from Drowning, But Not Much!

Panic is a complicated emotional, psychological and physical human reaction.

Understanding it could help us and even enlighten us. And, in the case of those who are subject to “Panic Attacks” arm us against those attacks and lift us to more adequately address our daily challenges.

If you have had panic attacks, they can be perplexing and anxiety producing, simply by experiencing them. When they do occur, you will notice those little glands at the top of your kidneys. That powerful bodily production called -- "Adrenaline". It causes the heart to pump extra blood. This extra blood gets pumped into your major muscles to increase your ability to run fast and to increase the strength in your arms. Extra blood also floods into the cerebral area to give you heightened where with all to respond to the emergency. Adrenaline is for real actual dangerous events, but alas, we "squirt" it when, many times, it is not actually needed.

It takes just a few minutes. The brain transmits an emergency “noise” and then the body gets fully "adrenalized". Extra blood floods your action areas: the arms and legs, and of course, in your head. In a five or six minute period, you notice your heart pumping hard and extra blood flowing throughout your body. Since these messages can be insistent and helplessly repetitive, mounting in an implacable flood of internal assault; they continue to produce and release additional adrenaline spurts. The key is to alter the messages.

Sometimes there are actual events – arguments, threats to your employment, anger with a threat of danger, or some other situational circumstance which makes you feel uncomfortable. OR there can be little relation to normal life. THEY JUST ARRIVE LIKE AN UNWANTED GUEST WITH BAD BREATH, AGGRESSION AND SERIOUS MALEVOLENCE.

In any case – whether through a cause, indirect or not or just completely apparently without causation, there are some simple things you can do to arrest the onrush of a panicky event.

Breathe Deeply

A friend close to me used to suffer from them. I would help her with what a doctor separately recommended to her. I would do deep breathing with her. We would do it in a measured way. She would try to gasp (almost as if she was drowning in air). We slowed her down, got her to exhale slowly. This had a marvelous effect in simply gaining control of her physical mechanism. With adrenaline coursing through her it was truly helpful in arresting this out of control process. The oxygen flooding into her system had a salubrious effect.

A Programmed Positive Self Designed Statement

This friend of mine designed a statement that appealed to her: “You are God’s Child and you have been given Dominion over your Brain. Calm down!” You can make up your own Mini Declaration. Choose it in the calm state that makes you smile and design it for ease of access when you are feeling panicky.

It can be nonsensical like: “I feel more like I do now than I did when I came in”. Or something that is just a silly self-created rhyme that will make you smile. Or something Biblical, or foreign or comic or Shakespearean. The point is that you should have something that you can pull out of your mental pocket like a shiny key chain and use it to “get your own attention”. The purpose is to stop that adrenaline flood.

This Leads to Positive Internal Dialogue

Yes, you can “talk yourself into” the proper frame of mind. People are fond of fatalistically declaring that you can’t “talk yourself out of” certain destructive states of mind. That may be more true than people realize. But I think there is great power in the idea that we can talk ourselves INTO productive, powerful and stable states of mind --- especially when we are coming out of a Panic Storm.

Your Emotional Winds Will Respond and Bring on a new Balmy Positive State

There is nothing like a Panic Attack to bring on a Desire for a different feeling that makes you awash in a whole new sunny day. Panic, remember is most often without actual substance. Yes, it’s mental, and yes it can be a disorder, but no, it does not mean that your world is careening out of control. It mainly feels like it is out of control.

Dietary Issues to Consider for Panic

Booze, Coffee and lots of Refined Sugar --- I know it sounds like a regular American diet, but those who panic could take a longer look at how much they drink, when they drink alcohol, how it affects sleep, and thus adrenaline states.

Coffee can also affect blood sugar and “that nervousness” that caffeine is famous for. “That nervousness” often has to do with adrenaline, lower B vitamins, and those "good feeling" neurotransmitters being washed away from your system through the excessive urination that booze and coffee often bring. Of course, it you have been reading at all, you know that refined sugar along with its cousins – corn syrup and the like, are villains. Americans consume much more sugar than they really appreciate. The word "hectic" comes to mind. Our pace is hectic, our diets suffer and the "hectic" nature of certain days or certain situations bring on anxious and panicky states.

These three "Musketeers" - Excess alcohol, too much coffee and powdering yourself with lots of sugars ---- can band together, along with skipping meals and bring you closer to a “panicky state” than you might realize. Add in some personal irritability, a threat or two -- imagined or real and you can be laying the ground work for one of those episodes that make us tremble.

Anxiety Should be Watched and Given Attention

While anxiety and panic are not the same; they are nevertheless to be found in the same people. Not all those with anxiety also have panic attacks, but those with panic attacks often do suffer from anxiety.

Panic is a dramatic event that points internally to quite a few issues. It is like the body is ringing an alarm bell even though it is not literally “on fire”.

If you suffer from panic episodes, or attacks or you feel you have the “disorder”, take care of yourself on a broad and comprehensive basis. Get professional help, read some pertinent books; avail yourself of groups and associations that are designed to help. There is no need to fall prey to the merciless quality of these attacks. You can be helped. You can help yourself. Most of all, do not feel alone. This is a human condition that many are not open and honest about. Take heart in the idea that you are among a group called the human race; and we all need help.


However, most people who have never experienced a panic attack, or extreme anxiety, fail to realize the terrifying nature of the experience. Extreme dizziness, blurred vision, tingling and feelings of breathlessness—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

When these sensations occur and people do not understand why, they feel they have contracted an illness, or a serious mental condition. The threat of losing complete control seems very real and naturally very terrifying. Fight/Flight Response: One of the root causes of panic attacks?

I am sure most of you have heard of the fight/flight response as an explanation for one of the root causes of panic attacks. Have you made the connection between this response and the unusual sensations you experience during and after a panic attack episode?

Panic is a sudden desertion of us, and a going over to the enemy of our imagination. - Christian Nestell Bovee

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Comments 2 comments

ALUR profile image

ALUR 3 years ago from USA

Thank you for informative article. I am not always aware(though now I notice oncoming grips of fear) of the panic that threatens to wreak havoc. Many people don't even realize they are in panic mode. The tips are good but the journey to silence the mind and ease the breath takes courage not simply will...


Christofers Flow profile image

Christofers Flow 3 years ago from Denver Author

There is definitely a process involved here. As you have just said, "Many people don't even realize they are in panic mode". This is a very sad state to be in. Courage is a great word, and I agree that that must be mustered for the will to work. Thanks for your comment.

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