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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Panic Attacks - How I Managed to Beat Them.




(Long, but hopefully helpful)

This is a personal account, and not a description of some foolproof method to beat this supremely debilitating phenomena. It may however work for other people, I sincerely hope so, since I am only too aware of the ghastly, destructive effects of this malady. I will therefore try not to 'preach', as I am also aware that we are are all different, and what works for one person does not infallibly work for anyone else.

The key to it all seems to be that first attack, and the memory of it. Fear feeding on fear in a vicious circle which must be broken on several levels in order to defeat it. In 1978 I had my first attack, induced by a combination of ill health, personal circumstances, depression and stress - probably not helped by my efforts to stay awake and alert when denied sleep for a long period, using over the counter medication and drink.

I had started a new job, which meant a long period of training in a place where the pollen count seemed to be at an all time high, out in the country. The pressure was fairly intense, failure of any kind was fatal and any absenteeism was frowned upon with maximum prejudice. I suffered asthma for the first time, and a doctor in the local town was concerned enough to inject me with cortisone, with dire warnings to take it easy (no salbutamol offered). I lay awake coughing all night, and tried to keep going with large doses of ephidrine during the day. Badly wired, suffering from constant headaches, I drank heavily to get some sleep... and ended feeling very ill.

Come the weekend, I came home and had my first panic attack, which came after a series of vivivid, delerious dreams, in which I experienced utter terror (will spare the details for brevity, but lots of flashing lights and chases). I woke in a sweat, hallucinating, and my girlfriend and I assumed I had flu or something. But no, the terror continued through the day, hand shaking, afraid of everyone and everything - you know the score.

I thought I was dying, fear making my heart race and racing heart making my fear that I was having a heart attack or something making it race even more. Far worse, a sense I was losing my mind and being dragged into an inky whirlpool of insanity, from which there was no escape - the horror, the horror!

I had no idea what a panic attack was, had never even heard the term. The doctor in Evesham said it was an 'anxiety complex', and gave me some Tranxene samples he had. These worked like magic, and I was instantly and utterly dependent on them. Didn't save my job though, and I lived through a hellish mixture of anxiety, depression and terror for many months, relieved only by Valium, Librium or whatever tranx I could beg borrow of steal - the onset of another panic attack was always in the offing, and I crumbled mentally to a wreck.

One night I felt an attack coming on in a bar, surrounded by nice friends, no apparent reason for it. I reached for my Valium and took one of the little yellow pills with a sigh of relief.... and all was okay, had a good night. Next morning, while reviewing my dwindling 'stash', I realised that I hadn't taken a Valium, but a similarly coloured antihistamine.... and the first part of realising it was 'all in head' hit me.

I have to thank Colin Wilson for finding my personal 'way out' of panic attacks, without drugs. In his book 'Mysteries', he describes his own experience with panic attacks (as well as those of others), and I began to see some sort of light. This is a complicated book, which goes into many aspects of mind, body and spirit, but therein lay the key - the so called 'Ladder of Selves'. This is no mystical nonsense, but a psychological description of how the mind works on many levels... I'm ashamed to say that I ignored much of the complex theory, and cherry picked what I needed and wanted, and adapted it to my needs and wants.

Essentially, there are different levels of the concious mind - and panic attacks work in a low level, more primitive state, which can be commanded and controlled by a higher one. If you can 'call up' this higher state, you can rise above (or 'ride above' as I prefer) the self absorbing, panic stricken state of mind, rather like watching something horrific on TV and turning it off or changing the channel.
So how do you 'engage' this higher state? I do it through visualisation, which some people find difficult, but we can all do with a little mental training or meditating. The way it goes is this....
Think - oh no, panic attack coming on!
Think - hold on a second, we've been here before? And we've got over it before... it isn't REAL, it's just a panic attack...

Visualise: You are standing back inside yourself, watching a terrified little person (you) staring in horror through your eyes ( which are like huge, round windows with iris, cornea etc seen from behind) at the terrifying world outside (which you do not look at yourself). You shake your head, saying "tut tut! I have no time for this fool!", and look behind you. There is a ladder, which you climb to the next level, a place of comfort, safety and peace (pesonally, I visualise a cosy room full of big cushions, soft blankets and nice music, though it can be a wonderful wooded glade with waterfall, babbling brook and friendly birds and animals).
Here you settle down and relax - and stay there until Mr Panic has given up and died.

This breaks the vicious circle... and once you have gone there, you can always return at will. Eyes shut and breathe slowly, the heart takes care of itself and is of no concern.

After I managed to do this once, I found the mere comforting thought of it beat subsequent attacks, and they soon stopped altogether, forever (I trust). It isn't easy to do in the throes of an attack, you have to see it coming and pre-empt it if you can. Worth a try?

Once I'd learned to do this, the technique can be used for other things too, but this has gone on long enough, and that's another story! Best of luck with this - I have every sympathy with anyone who has suffered from these horrifying episodes, believe me.

Just remember, it is all in the mind, and fear feeding on fear - you need not fall for that, however weak you feel! Have faith in yourself. The ego boost from managing to vanquish such a virulent and powerful enemy is most rewarding too... and you CAN do it, believe me!

Cheers
Bob.
 

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That's great for you. But it wasn't in your head because antihistamines actually help anxiety/panic.
some do, but not nearly to the extent of the benzodiazepines. that aside, i think his whole point was that he is not dependent upon benzodiazepines, antihistamines nor any other anxiolytic any longer as his illness was psychogenic and not physiological in nature, or rather perhaps better stated as more psychogenic than physiological built largely around feedback loops.

our respective illnesses are much more physiological than psychogenic in nature than his.
 
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Well done Bob 1471. At many times in my life I have utilized similar process's to control and avoid panic attacks. It worked for many years until all of my anxiety problems struck me with a vengeance. I got on benzos and still experienced panic attacks for a couple years until I once again found a way to overcome them I do believe that although physiology plays a role in panic attacks, we can effectively change the pathways in our brain that cause this cyclical phenomena,

Also as you mentioned, lifestyle changes can help a lot. For me, it was quitting ssri's, alcohol, exercising more, spending more time outside, etc.

thsnks for the good post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Islay. You have a great understanding of the kind of problems which those on this site suffer from, which I appreciate. And most invaluable of all, a truly open mind I think? Thanks for your help and advice...

As for antihistamine helping with anviety, it was a Piriton 5mg, which can make you sleepy, though I was eating them like sweets at the time. When in desperation (i.e. no benzos to hand) I had tried taking large doses of the stuff as a last resort, with no beneficial effects. Rapidly consuming half a bottle of spirits did work, were they available, but I'd not reccomend this - I ended up getting pancreatitus, which is incredibly unpleasant!

No, it was the IDEA I had taken a Valium that broke the attack. Later on, the knowledge that I had a couple of Tranxene in my pocket enabled me to go out and about without any worries. One day I resorted to them to help someone else in the throes of a PA, and realised they had crumbled to dust long ago, and had not been 'available' for a long time - another lesson learned.

Cheers
Bob
 

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Yes! Indeed, what you are having now is just a panic attack. You need to understand more about what panic attacks all about is. We all know that anxiety is something we all from one way or another of our lives. Most individuals can relate this feeling as uncertainty, tension or perhaps fear especially on different situations. Panic attacks typically vary from one person to another. There are people who experienced one or two panic attacks in their lifetime but never experienced it again while there are some who experience panic attacks several times in a week, more likely in to yours.

It's good to hear that you had beat your panic attacks. In fact, when i had my panic attacks too. i follow these simple steps:

Tip#1: Try to consult a physician
He/she will give you some medications prior to the signs and symptoms you stated.

Tip#2: Do it on a natural way
There are many natural methods that are really proven to be effective when it comes into treating panic attacks. Indeed, you can do some therapies (aromatherapy and message therapy will do).

Tip#3: Proper diet will do
The best yet simple ways to combat stress and fatigue which are basically known as the predisposing factors of panic attacks. The more you eat healthy foods; it may typically prevent you from getting stress and fatigue. Also, you can use some herbs as it helps your nerves to be calmer and relieve anxiety.

Indeed, yes! it relieves my panic attack.. :)
Too discover my top secret for how to cure anxiety and panic attack, check out my valuable resourcer below --->

http://curepanicattackv.com
 

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i would love the pharmacy to give me a few placebos in my meds without me knowing to see if it is all in the head as in when i take one of my pills..after i swallow it i already feel relaxed before it even kicks in
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think you may have the answer there pup! It was my first clue that I could beat it without benzos, and those ones that had crumbled away long ago in my pocket (which I relied on to go anywhere and do anything) was the final end of it. Good idea, and the best of luck! You really can do without them, I promise you!
 

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It's good to heat that you are okay now! Me too, I'm having panic attacks but i overcome it! and yes! we did it! :)

I've try some natural methods only! There are still natural remedies that are known to be more effective in curing different signs and symptoms of panic attacks. So, I take some Vitamins which allow revitalizing and strengthening my body system. I do it on a natural way. Indeed, there are many natural methods which are really proven to be effective when it comes into treating panic attacks.

a.) Herbs - are known to be one of the Chinese medicinal herbs in treating various disorders. Thus, it makes your nerves calm and relaxed.
b.) Massage therapy - one of the most definite yet enjoyable technique to relieve form stress and getting into a well deserved rest.
c.) Deep breathing - the more you take a natural breathing; it tends to make your heart calm, relax and free from (tachycardia) or rapid heart rate.
d.) Healthy diet - one of the effective prevention to overcome anxiety attack, as it helps your mind fight with the stress and anxiety you have suffered.
e.) Drink lots of water - when your body is hydrated, you will get sufficient nutrients that can improve your body functioning as well. Just like most doctors often say, eight glasses per day.

Too discover my top secret for how to cure anxiety and panic attack, check out my valuable resourcer below --->

http://curepanicattackv.com
 
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