This is an effective method for completely eliminating panic attacks. It may seem drastic when you first read it. It is not. You will see that this is the only logical way out from panic and I will help you understand what is going on inside your head. I know what you are going through because it was inside MY head for too long. This method will let you take control and stop your panic for good!
"Without fear of them they cannot exist."
These simple, rational words have so much truth to them! Your panic attacks are YOU being afraid of the way YOU feel. They represent the conflict of YOU being afraid of YOU! IF you didn't FEAR the "way" you feel, then you would have no more panic attacks. This is the answer in a nutshell (no pun, honest)!
*** First of all I want to acknowledge that my foundational influences were the writings of Dr. Claire Weekes and Dr. Albert Ellis. They proposed rational methods for conquering nervous stress, panic and agoraphobia. (DISCLAIMER: I am a biological scientist. I am NOT a psychologist (that's my sister's occupation) nor trained in psychology. Therefore, I can make no claims or guarantees. These are my experiences that I relate to you on this web site and through them perhaps you will get some understanding of your own situation and help in dealing with your panic feelings. The information contained in this site is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in the site is intended to be a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment.)***
In quick overview, to end a panic attack - an overwhelming feeling of fear - you have to pass through the wall of apprehension to the other side of your fear (no, this isn't some weird faith healing or new age crap). This works! I wish I could take you there by the hand myself but YOU have to do it. The trust in it working is something that goes against all aspects of our sense of survival and takes some time to really believe in. Yet IF you are experiencing a fear/panic attack I found the only way to beat it is to try to let the feeling be as worse as it wants to be. Let it be as bad as you can make it. And, because it truly IS a self-created fear, once you have made the desire to travel to the "OTHER side" of fear by letting it do its positively worst to you then ...there is NOTHING...nothing there. No fear. The other side is NO fear at all but a big smile. The moment of realization is a wonderful experience. For me, it was THEN that I realized that these "out of control" feelings were finished!
Stress is the major instigator for panic feelings. Perhaps you had realized a certain level of stress that had exceeded your ability to release it. I say, "had" because probably the event that triggered these panic attacks is over with. There are many relaxation methods for lowering stress and all of them are beneficial. Understanding your stress and learning to manage it will always help you throughout your life. However, the panic attacks were probably the culmination of that initial stress event. I don't care WHAT or HOW you arrived at these feelings - you have them and you don't like them and you want to get rid of them! Right now it's not important that your mother was mean or your father ignored you or if you are a perfectionist, or obsessive, etc. I am not trivializing your situation. Panic attacks feed off of themselves. They are a common disorder that can trouble even the most intelligent or the strongest person. They are an entire entity all in themselves. These feelings seem so powerful and they scare you. But your mind is NOT going bananas, being lost or slipping away into insanity despite your fear or your past. You are only doing what seems natural...fighting them in trying to get control over them. But you are trying to STOP FEAR! Fear is not under your conscious control. It is controlled instinctively in reaction to WHAT YOU BELIEVE! And right now you believe that you are THREATENED! Instead, you are going to accept it and let it become you and, thereby, stop the overreaction. Read on!
What's Wrong With Me?
Probably you have suspected a myriad of potential illnesses and feared some significant health problem that your physician has not found or explained away as "nerves" or some other reference to your nervous system. If not, please visit your doctor and remove these questions! He/she may even prescribe anti-anxiety drugs that may help you to deal with your panic feelings if you need immediate results. Some medical professionals like to describe panic as a chemical imbalance that might respond favorably to medication. I tried several of them. I preferred to not use them because I didn't like the side-affects and stipulations for use. But for some sufferers medication is very helpful. However, in the absence of a real medical problem, you are, at present, afraid of the panic attacks themselves or simply put, AFRAID OF BEING AFRAID!
I have to be blunt! There is no THING causing this (unless there is a specifically identified illness, situation or event like a wild animal attacking you). It's not a place or situation or thought...not that couch or that car or that room or that strange feeling in your eyes, stomach, head, arms, or that crowded place! Not a brain tumor, not cancer of anything, no breakdown of any nerves! Only you! To think otherwise..to think that a certain room or situation CAUSES you to have the attacks...is false. Sure, I understand that when you are in a place or situation where you have felt these attacks before that you are aware of being there and fear THAT place or situation. BUT IT'S YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM being on a high state of alert. You must understand that it's coming from you! You also are exaggerating those strange feelings that you are having in your body into MAJOR significance. You are boxing in your life more and more by HIDING from these! It's NOT these places or situations or feelings, and I know that's hard to accept. But this is where you change your attitude from HIDING to "giving up"! From superstition to a rational approach!
Once you apply the attitude, "I will let this feeling of fear be as worse as it wants to be, I don't care anymore", and let it happen, let yourself go towards it and begin to believe it (the prime objective), then the truth starts to comes out. You become a little less afraid. IT TAKES PRACTICE. (Research in treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder has demonstrated that persistent practice of skills such as these can result in measurable changes in brain function without medication.) As you begin to "pooh-pooh" these fear feelings and establish the attitude of non-caring more and more you get closer to the rationale about them. Eventually you will be ready for the time when you truly try to make it worse while having a panic attack - and THAT is a key moment!