I’m having a panic attack so it must be real – or is it?
Let me begin by saying I empathise with extreme panic attack victims and I do not want to upset you in any way. I have suffered to some degree myself, albeit for only a small period of time in my life. When you are having an attack, nobody else or what they say matters because it is you who is experiencing it and you are convinced of the worst – right?
Here are some of the more common misbeliefs associated with this condition “I’m going to die from suffocation” You may well feel like you are suffocating, but you will more than likely be breathing fast during your attack, so the reality is you are taking in plenty of air. Myth busted! “I’m having a heart attack” If you are really worried about this, then of course see your doctor. Many times the symptoms associated with a seizure are very much like those experienced by a panic attack.
It is only by learning to recognise the difference you can take control “I’m having a stroke” When your body is making you feel totally out of control and you are experiencing symptoms that are unnatural to you, then you may well believe you are having a stroke. It is more a case of report your symptoms to a doctor and let him/her reassure you that you are fine. “I’m going crazy” Contemplate this one rationally for a moment. If you were truly going mad, you wouldn’t really care anyway – would you? I don’t mean any harm by that, but I imagine if you were losing your mind it would be a gradual slide towards insanity and caring less anyway. “I believe I am going to faint” If you are in the fight or flight mode, then fainting or blacking out does not seem like a bad alternative, and if you aren’t right so what?
Passing out would put an instant end to the panic attack because you would not be in control anymore anyway. Often you will be hyperventilating during a panic attack so you will very likely feel very dizzy. It’s this dizziness that your brain will use to convince you that you are going to pass out or faint
“I’ve lost control” You think you have lost control because the sub-conscious part of your mind has taken over your thought control temporarily and you feel detached from what’s happening. Therefore you fee out of control
“I’m going to be so embarrassed by this” Nobody likes to look daft or stupid, especially when we believe that it’s of our own making. Naturally we tell ourselves that we are going to be humiliated and cause embarrassment to our self and others around. When you look back after a panic attack, was it so bad? Did you do what you had convinced yourself you would – probably not? In reality the worst part of a panic attack will be over in a few short moments. The related feeling with an attack can last longer as you attempt to understand it. Having an informative book or mentor with you can be an enormous help in a panic attack situation. You can jump into it if you sense an attack coming on and even after one to allow you to focus again on what is real. In all things associated with the symptoms of this piece, if you are unsure about your health, seek medical advice always.