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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Anatomy of an Anxiety Attack

My son told me this the other day. I Loved it.

What does fear mean?


Using all the tricks in my arsenal to combat this anxiety. I'm making some headway. I can always hypnotize myself with the Coue method but sometimes I don't have the 20 minutes to devote to it at the proper time.

Like yesterday. I met my daughter for lunch and had to keep dropping my shoulders because the anxiety was high and I kept "getting my back up." I managed to have short periods of time when I calmed down but once during that time I noticed that my chest was packed full of pain, solid. So when I noticed that I was able to do deep breathing and concentrate on my breath for a few minutes and was surprised that worked so well. In a few minutes I noticed all that chest pain was gone. Good for me.

I had errands to run and before I got home it was after 6pm and my husband was already home. I didn't want to take the time out to do a hypnosis and I was still pretty anxious. We watched the news but I had no appetite for dinner. Before the news program was up the anxiety had risen and now my head was "into it." I tried a hypnosis but should have gone upstairs instead of remaining in the family room. My husband was bustling around in the kitchen and I couldn't "get into" a real good session. I started screaming in my head--I can't stand anymore, I'm going crazy." I immediately told myself that anybody can go crazy if they insist on thinking those kinds of thoughts. I did a little brainswitching using "Yes, we have no bananas."I stopped thinking the crazy thoughts.

Then I told my husband I was going to take a walk outside and then go upstairs to "do a hypnosis."

I started walking in the yard and pulled a few weeds which I could barely see in the fading light.

As I walked I thought of Claire Weeks and her definition of the sensitization of nerves that was my problem. I had blamed it on the drugs I had taken for pain but I learned from her that any operation, accident, or illness can cause the sympathetic nervous system to become sensitized and overreact to stimuli. That explained the fact that all of a sudden I could not bear the sound of the timer on the microwave and that I told my massage therapist that "please talk more softly, you are hurting my ears." My other symptoms, racing, thumping heart, constant tension in my shoulder muscles, fearful feelings, dry mouth, aversion to food for lack of appetite, weakness, shallow breathing, etc.

I told myself that I could not think thoughts like "I'm going crazy, I can't stand this." I was able to not think them. I remembered Weeks's definition of the anxiety attack I was now suffering--"unusual physical symptoms having no medical significance maintained by tension and fear and bewilderment. The fear being divided into two fears, the first physical fear of the nerves suddenly reaction to some sound, sight, or "instant replay flashback" and then the second fear "oh no not again, I can't stand it." She says to accept the physical symptoms and kind of "float" through them and they will soon cease because the stress chemical only effect certain organs and have a life span of little duration unless you keep on with fearful thinking.

Brainswitching helps somewhat but it is difficult to override the anxiety with changing your thoughts. I am getting better and better at it as I persist.  I can see that  we have to "love our fear" and it is the hating of it that prolongs the chemical reaction causing the symptoms. It helps sometimes to lower my awareness into my heart area.

Then I walked down the street and saw the most beautiful sunset. I was actually able to see the beauty in it. My anxiety lifted a little. I was grateful and thanked God for my respite. I walked on and looked around at the trees. I stopped and talked briefly to a neighbor. I was cheerful. At least I can remain cheerful which is a great help because it takes some rational thinking to do that. As I walked back to the house I realized that I was quite calm and in a nice, peaceful place and I didn't need to do the hypnosis after all. I had a lovely rest of the evening.

I am getting better and better at "floating" through the anxiety and continuing in some activity so I "loose" the fascination with my "pain." . I'm still able to do my work well and have started writing my children's novel and listening to a audio course on story structure. I bought some tomato plants and will make a small garden with help of a garden helper on Saturday. A. B. Curtiss


Anonymous said...

Maybe watching news -creates anxiety-is bad.

I'd noticed me saying to myself: "you have no friends." maybe I have a lonely moment or somethin. So instead I say, "I have a friend in Jesus."

Anonymous said...

Maybe watching news -creates anxiety-is bad.

I'd noticed me saying to myself: "you have no friends." maybe I have a lonely moment or somethin. So instead I say, "I have a friend in Jesus."