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Anxiety and Panic Attacks A Psychotherapist Explains





Anxiety and panic attacks are conditions that we regularly treat here in our hypno-psychotherapy practice in the UK. Such extreme feelings of anxiety and panic can have a major, disruptive affect on the individual's existence, impacting on his or her home, work and social life and often seriously limiting the ability to live life in a normal manner.

But what, in fact, is anxiety and what is its relationship to panic?

Well, anxiety itself is simply a symptom that is produced in response to a fear. It is based in the feeling that something bad is going to happen, and this triggers the flow of the hormone adrenalin in the body, eliciting a 'fight or flight' reaction.

Because of this, the body produces a number of responses which may include increased heart rate, sweating, muscular tension, rapid breathing, churning stomach and even nausea.

Anxiety can quite easily turn into feelings of panic when the symptoms of anxiety become so acute that they are allowed to consume the individual, producing heightened feelings of loss of control. As symptoms are experienced, they seem to feed the fear and, in so doing, they thereby enhance it and - hey presto, panic!

A good example of this is hyperventilation, or too rapid breathing, that causes us to breathe in a shallow manner forcing us to exhale too much carbon dioxide, which in turn produces its own symptoms, ranging from pins and needles to muscular stiffness, dizziness and perhaps even spasm.

It's as though the individual is caught in a vicious cycle, with fear eliciting more fear, symptoms feeding further symptoms and an overwhelming feeling of being trapped and rapidly sinking into an inexorable downward spiral.

Needless to say, such experiences can be filled with terror for the individual who is forced to endure them.

Perhaps the first thing that needs to be done when actually experiencing a panic attack is to slow things down and focus on breathing calmly. If necessary, a paper bag can be quickly inflated and held to the nose and mouth, enabling the person to breathe in and out a few times, thereby increasing the level of carbon dioxide in the blood, and slowing the breathing down.

Above all, it is important to remember that you will not die because you experience a panic attack. In fact, it is the fear of fear which really drives and magnifies the experience. With just a little time and practice, focusing on breathing correctly and slowly; learning to relax your muscles systematically, the whole experience will be over and you will be able to pick yourself up and go on. But there is a far better way to live your life than having to constantly manage symptoms. That would be a bit like living with an elephant in your living room - yes, you could perhaps learn to cope with it being there, but how much better it really would be if you simply evicted the elephant.

And the simple fact is that there truly is no real reason for anyone to continue to experience these awful, anxiety and panic filled episodes.

You see, anxiety and panic attacks are produced at the level of the subconscious mind - that repository and home of all feelings - because that part of the mind has the incorrect perception and belief that the individual is in real danger. Now, the subconscious mind simply cannot tell the difference between a real and an imagined event, and it is reacting as though the situation and thought that provoked the attack was indeed dangerous. The anxiety and the feelings of panic are actually symptoms of this process.

Through the medium of transformational hypnotherapy, we are able to connect directly with the subconscious mind and re-programme its beliefs in line with reality. Once we have uncovered the origin of its faulty perception, we are empowered to correct and neutralise it. This leaves the individual free to move on with his or her life, free of this truly debilitating and restrictive condition.

You know you were not born feeling anxiety and panic. With the correct treatment, you can put these states behind you. You can move on.

In short, with effective transformational hypnotherapy, you can get your own life back - and back on track.


About Author Peter James Field :

Peter Field is a leading British hypno-psychotherapist, with practices in London and Birmingham, England. He is the author of many articles on psychotherapy, hypnosis and health, Fellow of the Royal Society of Health and Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. For more of his interesting articles and useful information visit his website: <a href="http://www.peterfieldhypnotherapy.co.uk" target="_blank">http://www.peterfieldhypnotherapy.co.uk</a>


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Article Added on Sunday, April 19, 2009
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