It is arguably the most terrifying psychological experience that a non-psychotic person can experience while awake. and yet it recovers very well and matures the patient a lot … when he goes to the specialist in clinical psychology on time and when he knows what is at hand. It’s the panic attack, A psychological phenomenon covered by the following lines.
What is a panic attack?
Panic attack occurs when an individual’s psychological and nervous system has been under great pressure for months or even years (in most cases). Like some heart attacks, it does not appear in acute moments, but in time, in days or in weeks, And more suddenly, which causes the individual not to know where the shots are coming from and to become more alarmed.
This usually happens in people who, although they are doing things and are in a good mood, have fundamentally lost the North, do not know how to live their life.
This also happens in the postpartum period in people with complex psychological trajectories and who after the effort and stress of the period of pregnancy and the exhaustion of childbirth suddenly suffer from this disorder. And also with the consumption of hashish, which is obsessive for some individuals; it weakens the nervous system and reduces the ability to plan and aspire to do things.
As we have seen, it is the excruciating panic that suddenly invades the patient’s mind and nervous system. He is absolutely amazed at what he went through, what was not planned and not even imagined. The heart beats at 180 beats and is felt in the chest, in the artery of the neck, as if it is about to explode.
Thoughts have ceased to respond, there is no interaction with perceptions, the “order and command” protocol has disappeared. It’s chaos. Hyperventilation accompanies the individual and reduces his visual field enclosing it even more within itself, where there are hardly any ideas or self-instructions, for there is only room to feel one single emotion: heightened fear. To what? To oneself, to what’s going on in there. The individual does not recognize himself, he experiences depersonalization and unrealization, he is so much in himself that he does not have the feeling of being in the world.
But nonetheless, he is possessed by an intense energy that he cannot channel. Feeling that he is going to die ipso facto, feeling that he is going to go mad now, he is afraid to act uncontrollably and start screaming for no reason, breaking things, hurting himself. Like an ecstasy, but a bad trip.
Some pass out. It’s hours or minutes, depending on the people, and finally calm comes. The body is exhausted, the autonomic nervous system has consumed all its energy. It automatically installs in the individual the idea that his head is damaged and that this will accompany him for the rest of his life, which is crazy. In fact, panic attacks are more common than colds, so to speak, but they are hidden by shame. therefore no one knows that a lot of people you meet on the street have had it too.
The other cross of this disorder is fear of fear. The constant fear of this happening again, the fear of panic again unpredictable. It is here, if no solution is put in time, or if the ones that are asked are unknown to the nature of the problem and only hamper the process, where agoraphobia, claustrophobia and intolerability of the loneliness are managed. The first few days are terrible.
The Lovable Aspects of Panic Attack
The panic attack is neither ambiguous nor interpretable, like depression, anxiety or distress. The panic attack appears clear and sudden beyond the higher end of each of the physiological anxiety symptoms. Panic is panic. It is easily identified, because the patient, without having read anything about psychopathology, says at least one of these 3 symptoms:
- I had the feeling that I would die shortly.
- I thought at this point that I was going crazy.
- I felt like I was going to do something out of control like hit my head, make meaningless screams, break things …
There is only a slight confusion between panic attacks and anxiety or anxiety attacks, but if we wonder about these symptoms we can easily identify whether it is a panic or anxiety attack. Anxiety is annoying, it won’t let you be, but it’s not panic.
Another curious aspect is that, since the arousal of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) was maximal during the panic, usually the patient is exhausted and without more energy at this point, when those minutes after the attack are already starting to structure thoughts around fear, in anticipation.
By the way, there are people who pass out. Are they lucky? Maybe yes, but then they develop the fear of falling and having a headache.
What to do?
The other positive aspect is that despite being so spectacular, treated correctly over time, the disorder almost completely disappears and a well-conducted therapy will strengthen the individual’s feelings of strength not only in the face of possible panic, but also in the face of any symptoms of anxiety or other difficulties in life.
Go see a good clinical psychologist explaining the symptoms well, quickly providing behavioral resources to get rid of them, report their progress, and contribute to the continuation of the therapy to make the patient aware of the context which provoked the panic attack, is crucial. The difference between that and staying home, locked up, scared, increasing drug use, and being depressed, is colossal.
Of course, the panic sufferer must be patient for at least a few months or years, because this disorder leaves fringes, but without ever reaching the intensity of panic episodes: headaches, migraines, feelings of tension in the muscles cervical and cervical. , days when they feel more vulnerable, dizziness, attempted attacks due to memories of stimuli that produce nerves, avoiding being in places of public congestion, tachycardia … but a good therapist will help you get over that long home stretch.
And I repeat, the person will come out fortifiedBecause if you have followed the instructions and understood the context so that it does not repeat itself, you will have overcome many moments of fear … in loneliness, which is a way of becoming an adult like any other.
The first treatment should be behavioral only. The instructions and techniques are few and specific, easy to communicate. The important thing is to convey to the patient the certainty that this will happen and that it will not leave any consequences.
Parents, when they come to the clinic scared because they see their children at night with night terrors, are definitely reassured when they are informed that although the fear they see in their children is spectacular, this this will not have the slightest consequence on the development of the maturation of your nervous system. Well with that anyway.
In a second phase of treatment, the context must be analyzed from a cognitive or light dynamic point of view. Third-generation narrative therapies, or psychoanalytic listening therapy, should help therapist and patient correct content that has undermined the individual’s physical and psychological stamina. It will be essential to frame what happened and bring a deeper calm to the subject. Likewise, it will serve to resume the directions and illusions that have disappeared to make way for anxiety.
As for drugs, it is preferable that the subject can cope with his fear without pharmacological help which will reduce and delay the award of auto-competition. But there are patients who by their context and their characteristics have already taken them and nothing will happen to integrate this drug in the treatment of a panic attack.