First, tell us what are panic attacks?
Panic attacks are unexpected attacks of fear, which are accompanied by a rapid heartbeat, increased sweating, a feeling of shortness of breath and fear of suffocation, fear of dying. More common in anxious people, very responsible people, perfectionists. About 5% of people are susceptible to panic attacks , mostly young people from twenty to thirty years old.
How can you deal with them?
Some people manage to cope on their own – read about panic attacks, understand that it is not fatal, that there is no disease. Others go to a psychotherapist, study and learn to deal with panic attacks under the guidance of a specialist.
Why do panic attacks happen?
In a panic attack is almost always a hidden meaning or, as they say psychotherapists, secondary gain. There I had a patient who attended this in the Pharmaceutical Institute at the diploma and had to do next. When they were already being awarded their diplomas, she had her first panic attack – and after that the attacks did not stop.
She had bouts of fear with nausea and fear of vomiting, fear of disgrace on the street. She could not enter to study further, could not work. The girl could not leave the house.
She came to see me . Started with mild pharmacotherapy to reduce anxiety. Then they added psychotherapy – projective hypnotherapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
During psychotherapy, we found out that in fact, by the end of her studies, she changed her mind about being a pharmacist, she did not like the specialty, so she did not want to study further. When she tried to talk to her parents about this , they said that she had already spent five years on it – and should continue to study in this particular specialty. The girl was very modest, obedient, could not contradict her parents. Panic attacks “protected” her from entering a residency that she did not want.
How long did it take for her to figure out what the problem was?
It took us ten sessions. This is the average for short-term therapy. Some need less time, some more, but on average it is ten sessions.
She knew because of what appeared panic attacks, but on this work is not finished. It took some time for the girl to understand and believe that she is an adult, that she makes decisions about how to live, that she can go to study and work in another field. When she understood the nature of the panic attacks, the disease disappeared like a hand. Of course, she had a difficult conversation with her parents, but nothing happened. They heard her .
The girl was very modest, obedient, could not contradict her parents. Panic attacks “protected” her from entering a residency that she did not want.
How did projective hypnosis help?
In projective hypnosis, the girl realized that she was behaving like a child – although in fact she was no longer small and should not obey her parents. She is already an adult and herself chooses which road to take.
During projective hypnosis, I talk to a patient. I put a person into a trance, and then we have a conversation. A person has associations, images, sensations in the body that are associated with the problem. I accompany and help to put them in order, to understand.
At the end of the session or some time after it, awareness necessarily comes. Moreover, a person could have heard this explanation before, but one hundred percent becomes aware of it only in such an altered state of consciousness.
So panic attacks have a positive meaning?
Yes, they kind of “protect” the person. Panic disorder protected this girl from what she didn’t want to do. It does not sound it could, due to their nature are not able to resist the will of the parents – but , and continue to live, too, I do not have the strength. When she realized all this and realized that there is always a choice, the panic attacks disappeared.
What other causes of panic attacks can be?
I watched a woman of fifty. She lived with her husband, the couple were wealthy, but childless. The husband was going to leave all the inheritance to his nephew, and this woman considered her nephew a boor, ill-mannered, arrogant.
One day they left and left the house to their nephew. When they returned, they saw that there were partying, the house was turned upside down. She was very upset. Against this background, the woman had a strong heartbeat with fear of dying. She during the year examined by cardiologists who did not find any cardiac disease, and it recommended to address to the psychotherapist.
I started with pharmacotherapy, followed by cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnotherapy. Together with the woman, we found out the reasons for the appearance of panic attacks: thanks to the attacks, she was able to communicate less with her unpleasant nephew, and on the contrary , her husband began to devote more time to her , her life calmed down. The husband stopped inviting his nephew into the house, and spent time with her while she was feeling bad.
Together with the woman, we found out the reasons for the appearance of panic attacks: thanks to the attacks, she was able to communicate less with her unpleasant nephew, and on the contrary , her husband began to devote more time to her , her life calmed down.
That is, thanks to panic attacks, you can not only hide from something, but also get something, more attention, for example?
Yes. For example, I had a married couple. The wife started having panic attacks after her husband cheated on her. Due to panic disorder, her husband began to pay more attention to her , began to spend more time with her.
Interestingly, she did not want to be treated for panic attacks, because everything suited her, panic attacks did not bother her and, in principle, even almost passed. Attacks occurred when the husband was not around. When he stopped paying attention to other women and began to spend time with her, the panic attacks subsided.
Despite the fact that panic attacks “protect” us from many unpleasant things, they reduce the quality of life – a person can not work, study, sometimes even leave the house. If you do not understand the reasons behind them, then they can return.