Closely related to stress and anxiety, the experience of having a panic attack can feel debilitating to the sufferer.
Often rapid in its onset, you may experience an extreme feeling of panic/terror, a rapid increase in your heart-beat, changes in your breathing, (this may become very rapid or you may find that you are struggling to breathe), tightness in the stomach and an overwhelming feeling of wanting to go to the toilet, sweating, dizziness, shaking, and possibly a sense of feeling separated from what is happening to you.
Panic attacks are usually accompanied by feelings of dread and fear of dying.
When people have panic attacks, usually it is because they have misinterpreted the above symptoms as being symptoms of having a heart attack or some other crisis. In fact, the brain and body are reacting as though there is an imminent threat. As the brain is unable to find one, it will latch on to the thing most obvious to it and interpret this as a threat - in the case the anxiety symptoms themselves. Ironically, the fear of having a panic attack can often trigger one and we are most prone to experience this when we are generally stressed. Anxiety can become self-perpetuating. Changes in our breathing led to drop in the carbon dioxide levels in blood – which is how the brain monitors our need for oxygen. This leads to a further increase in the rate of breathing – hyper-ventilation.
How hypnotherapy can help
Hypnotherapy works by decreasing general levels of anxiety and stress. By directly communicating with the unconscious mind we are able to re-educate the brain that it can cope with stress by relaxing and learning to interrupt the anxiety cycle.