Are You Anxious?
January 30, 2013
Are You Anxious?
Do you really know what causes anxiety and panic attacks? I have so many clients come to my office and say they have gone to psychiatrists and therapist and have been diagnosed with panic attacks, but really don’t have a complete understanding of what panic actually is.
I’d like to start with an explanatory story. If you were walking toward my house from your car, and just as you got ten feet from my door, you noticed a lion behind you. A myriad of physiological, fight or flight responses would go off in your body. Your heart would race, adrenalin and cortisol would be released into your blood stream, causing hypertension, quick response time, and almost unrecognizable speed in your body to get to safety.
You would run to my door, knock frantically and maybe even try to break down the door, rather than get killed by the ferocious lion. Who wouldn’t?
But, say I open the door immediately, and you are swiftly rescued to safety. We call FEMA. We know that help is on it’s way? Your heart begins to slow down. Your mind stops racing. Your blood pressure slowly begins to go to normal, albeit, it may take a couple hours.
But, say that while waiting for help, the lion realizes that the window to the front room is unsecure. He begins to slam into the window with his strong paw. The window bay shakes. We both begin to quiver. There are three strong doors between us and the lion. We know practically that the likelihood of the lion getting to us through all those doors is small, but still the tiny threat continues.
This small threat is a great representative of low-grade anxiety. Small triggers like a loud sound, similar to the lion pounding on the window, may be a trigger to a panic attack. Or going to sleep that night might not feel so safe. So your heart may begin to replicate the feeling of panic again in the middle of the night when you feel completely vulnerable.
This is real representation anxiety. Many things can cause anxiety. Finances. Business failure. Children. Relationship problems. Juggling too many things in your life. The threat of something hidden in your past coming to the surface. Some gay people suffer from anxiety if they are not out or are married to a straight person. These are all great reasons to be harboring anxiety.
But how do we get rid of the poison that causes these problems? That’s the key, actually, to this blog.
A psychiatrist will usually put you on a medication that will be an anti-anxiety drug. There are plenty of them, but a few of the most common are diazepam and clonazepam, the generic names of Klonopin and Valium. Some physicians will also put people on antidepressants to help them manage ongoing anxiety. I would have to say that it had better be because the client is also depressed. For me, I think that taking an antidepressant for sporadic anxiety is not a good use of medication. But that’s my opinion, and I’m not a physician. Antidepressants are meant to help you feel better on a whole and with depressive states, which could contribute to helping slow down the anxiety, but doesn’t truly help the problem.
I have found that what really helps anxiety is getting to the fear behind the anxiety. Then focusing on what will make you feel safe in the face of that fear. The anti-anxiety meds are great to help you calm down while you are getting to the place where you can eliminate the triggers that cause the night sweats and heart palpitations. I’ve been there. I know.
When you have a trauma lingering in your past that has caused something like PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome), then a little trigger can cause the entire body to react in a fight or flight sequence that your brain isn’t responsible for. So, taking a pill to help your physiology get back to normal, so you can manage the thought process, isn’t a bad idea at all.
Hypnosis can really help in these situations. I know, a great deal of times I come back to saying this. I’m not trying to get you to come to me for therapy. You can go anywhere to get hypnotized. You can read a book or even get a hypnotic MP3. But these kinds of episodes need to helped in the subconscious mind.
New neuro pathways have to be forged to create healthy, solid patterns for the mind and body to respond to. Then they must be practiced for a considerable amount of time before a change appears in the physiological response of the body.
Anxiety is a real problem. Real answers are available if you are looking for them.
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Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-400-2334 or www.bosebastian.com.
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