Anxiety and panic are simply processes we have learned. As with all thoughts and behavior, they are impossible to “unlearn” without help.For instance, can you “unlearn” how to ride a bike? It is the same with anxiety and panic, once you have learned these processes you are stuck with them. This is where hypnotherapy comes in as we work with the subconscious mind to access the processes and “unlearn” the offending behavior.
Panic disorder is a serious condition, affecting around one out of every five people. It usually appears during the teens or early adulthood, and while the exact causes are unclear, there does seem to be a connection with major life transitions that are particularly stressful, e.g. changing jobs, moving house, getting married, having a first child, and so on. Normally it seems to start with a particular event that scares the sub-conscious.
The role of the subconscious is to keep you safe, and if something scares you or even embarrasses you severely, the subconscious will seek to avoid the same or similar situations. There is also some evidence of a genetic predisposition. If a family member has suffered from panic disorder, you may have an increased risk of suffering from it yourself, especially during a time in your life that is particularly stressful.
Symptoms of Anxiety
Panic disorder is marked by recurrant, spontaneous panic attacks. A panic attack is an intense period of fear or discomfort. During the attack, a person may experience the following symptoms.
- difficulty breathing, feeling as though you can’t get enough air
- racing heartbeat
- terror that is almost paralysing
- dizziness, light-headedness or nausea
- trembling, sweating or shaking
- choking, chest pains
- hot flushes or sudden chills
- tingling in fingers or toes (pins and needles)
- fear that you are going to go mad or are about to die
Get Back Control
To be diagnosed as a panic attack, four or more symptoms should be present. Otherwise the attack is known asa “limited symptom attack”. Those who experience panic attacks usually describe them as occurring “out of the blue”.
You probably recognise this as the classic “fight or flight” response that human beings experience when in danger. But, during a panic attack, these symptoms seem to arise out of nowhere. They occur in seemingly harmless situations and can even happen when you are asleep.
Hypnotherapy teaches you to control your breathing and heart rate. It enables you to relax at will, even during the onset of a panic attack, stopping it in its tracks and reducing the levels of anxiety.
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