Welcome to my Blog

Friday, February 12, 2010

I'm Having These Panic Attacks


The reason that I'm writing you today is because I'm having these panic attacks, like the world closes in front of me, my vision goes down and I'll almost pass out, and my mind goes blank and it’s like I'm dreaming. Physically I'm home, but mentally I'm not. My mind is thinking about going crazy or dying. It takes a lot of time to recover from it. I know that there is a lot of anxiety but the problem is that I don't have the power to fight it. I feel so weak mentally, although physically I feel fine. And there is not that much pain like it was before. So what do you suggest? E. D.

Dear E. D.

The first thing to realize is that you are reacting to a bunch of stress chemicals that you have been generating in your brain because of the anxious thinking you have been doing. All human beings have the same body reaction to stress chemicals caused by anxious thinking: dizzyness, hard to breathe, head shaking, body shaking, sweating, and as breathing becomes more difficult you feel like you are dying because you are afraid you are losing the power to get your breath. And you feel like you're going crazy.

You are not going crazy. These are the normal human body’s reaction to stress chemicals and shallow breathing where you are not getting enough oxygen as tension causes your body to freeze making it harder and harder to breathe. The best way to get out of a panic attack is to do "belly breathing" for about 20 minutes. Lie down, put your hand on your belly and make sure that when you breathe in, the belly goes up and when you breathe out, the belly goes down. It helps sometimes if on the “out” breath, you force it to go out more. This makes the next intake of breath easier and helps to ease the panic that you're not getting enough air. Don’t think about anything else. If stressful thoughts pop up, just turn away from them and return to concentrating only on your breathing, in and out, in and out, watch your hand go up and down on your belly. This should help. Stress chemicals are very hard on the metabolic processes of the body and that is why you feel mentally weak. A. B. Curtiss

Hi again,

This whole thing started just in the middle of class one day. A bad feeling came over me, with the thought that why should I fight this much to achieve so many things. What's the point? And I felt that something went way from me, and there is no warmth in my heart for what ever I do. Some times I do get a good feeling for doing things, but it is just for a few seconds. Can you please give me an answer? Thank you. E. D.

Dear E. D.

The trouble for most human beings who are not feeling good, who are depressed, is that they have a lot of repressed fear that covers over their essential feelings of good will and energy to engage with life. If people could allow themselves to face their fear, allow it to surface, and let it finish, then they would recover their essential okayness. If you read Chapter ten of my book Depression is a Choice, this will explain this more fully. I think I remember that you have the book. But if not, it is only $2 or $3 on amazon.com

A. B. Curtiss

No comments: