Anxiety & Panic Attacks
When the feeling of dread or worry is constantly there, Therapy for Anxiety and coping with Panic Attacks can help.
Anxiety is a useful state for humans. It tries to tell us something important…something we don’t feel ready to know.
If we look away from difficulty we are left with a sense of unknown dread and impending doom that can feel so overwhelming it can feel impossible to go on.
Anxiety is our body telling us to stop and think….it’s a red-alert light flashing on ‘panic’, telling us something important is being missed...
What are the Symptoms of Anxiety?
You can experience some, if not all the following:
You may find you are unable to concentrate
You may feel detached from the world around you
You might suffer sweating
A feeling of ‘butterflies’ in your stomach, hands and legs trembling or tingling, legs like ‘jelly’.
Your heart feels like it is racing
Other physical responses such as nausea, stomach churning
Feeling the need to go to the toilet
Your muscles feeling tense and tight
A feeling of light-headed and /or dizziness
Your breathing may become shallow and fast.
The severity of these symptoms can vary but at their most extreme they can build to a panic attack.
What are Panic Attacks?
Panic attacks are a combination of the above symptoms that are so strong you can feel as though you are having a heart attack or even that you are dying.
How does Anxiety make us behave?
When you experience these symptoms, people often adopt certain behaviours to try to ‘stop the anxiety’.
Avoidance & Procrastination…
Avoidance is a typical behaviour adopted to attempt to control what’s going on. Eg. avoiding certain places or people or activities
Do you recognise any of these actions in yourself?
Avoiding or delaying responding to invites
Avoiding speaking or contacting someone so that you can ‘buy time’ until you can think of a way to avoid the social event or meeting (even though part of you knows you would enjoy it when you got there).
Leaving the opening of mails or emails in your inbox…“if I don’t see it isn’t there and I don’t have to do anything about it”.
Letting your mobile go to voicemail rather than pick up an unknown call or a call from a recognised number that may require you to respond.
These all attempt to ‘delay’ the time when you need to act, in the hope that you will feel ‘more able to’ in the future. But they only make the ‘thing’ worse and your anxiety around it gets stronger.
You might attempt to control your anxiety or panic attacks by using medication, drugs, smoking or drinking to ‘cope’ with the symptoms. However rather than helping, stopping or treating anxiety, this makes the anxiety worse.
Why these Panic Attack or Anxiety control behaviours don’t work
When we avoid gaining a deeper understanding of what is causing the anxiety, the avoidance tactic serves only to intensify the feeling of anxiety and dread on an ‘unknown’, magnified scale.
When we take the time to look deeply and understand the dynamics of these feelings we can see what’s going on within us.
Fresh insight into our concerns will ease the pressure around them and the symptoms of anxiety will lift away.