The most common problem I am usually giving advice for is panic attack disorder. Experience tells me that women find it the most difficult to bear during their first pregnancy or after childbirth. In such a sensitive period of life, when hormones are also going wild, and a woman needs to adapt to a completely new role in life, and change her life habits, she may feel like she is losing the threads from her hands. When it comes to a baby, during the prenatal or postnatal period – women feel like they can no longer control anything. Panic attacks occur, and the woman becomes worried that someone will notice what is happening to her, that others will think bad things about them. They are confused because they did not expect that at such a wonderful moment of their life, they could feel anything less than complete happiness. This problem can occur to anyone in any period of life. It is not solely related to pregnancy and the time after childbirth. Even men come for therapy due to panic attacks! It is vital not to give up even when it seems that you have already tried everything. The solution is there – you just have to find the right one for yourself!
Read the tips below and help yourself. Follow the instructions carefully and take care of yourself. Your health, both physically and mentally, is a priority. The well-being of the child and the happiness of the family, as well as your own, depend on it. The children of satisfied mothers (and fathers, of course) are themselves more satisfied.
STEP 1 – Learn about anxiety
This is an important step because it helps you understand what happens in your body when you are anxious. All the worries and physical sensations you experience have a name – ANXIETY. Learn the facts about anxiety.
FACT 1: Anxiety is normal and adaptive because it prepares us for danger. The goal is to learn to deal with anxiety, not to eliminate it completely.
FACT 2: Anxiety can become a problem when our body tells us that we are in danger when there is no real danger.
STEP 2 – Learn the facts about panic attacks and panic disorder
FACT 1: Panic attacks are a fight-escape-freeze reaction. By reacting in some of these ways, the body prepares for defense (e.g., the heart beats faster to bring the necessary blood to the muscles, after which we would have enough energy to fight or escape danger). However, our body sometimes reacts this way even when there is no real danger.
FACT 2: Panic attacks cannot harm us even though they are uncomfortable or frightening. Precisely because panic attacks are a physical alarm, their purpose is not to hurt you. You may feel like you are dying or going crazy, losing control, etc., but that will not happen. You would have the same feelings in your body if you were in real physical danger (e.g. when you met a wolf).
FACT 3: Panic attacks are brief (usually lasting 5 to 10 minutes at the highest intensity), although they can sometimes seem to last an eternity. As they take a lot of energy from the body, they swiftly run out of fuel. That is why they do not last long. However, due to the energy they expend, you may feel completely wearied when they pass.
FACT 4: Panic attacks are personal experience. Others (other than close people) can’t assume you’re experiencing them if you don’t tell them.
Panic disorder is the result of a misinterpretation of the significance of bodily reactions. When the heart beats quickly, we can think that we are in love, tired, angry, that we will have a heart attack or anything else. If you think that you will experience a heart attack every time your heart beats fast, you will live in fear of a heart attack and you will start avoiding anything that could cause a panic attack. You might find yourself living in anticipation of the next attack by constantly scanning your body for symptoms that could be related to panic.
FACT 5: You will not die, go mad, suffocate, or faint from a panic attack.
STEP 3 – Prepare your weapons for battle
The best way to deal with panic is to prepare your weapons for combat in advance – strategies you can use when you experience a panic attack. It is important to remember that panic attacks are common, and not threatening. The goal is not to eliminate them but to learn to control them without fear. Weapons that would be useful to you are:
Learn to relax by calming breathing, relaxing muscles
Learn to think realistically without exaggerating and catastrophizing
Make coping cards
Face the fear
STEP 4 – Build courage
Learning to deal with panic attacks is hard work – reward yourself for every success, for every progress. And don’t forget to tell yourself “I DID IT!”
The only thing needed for maintaining progress is PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE !!
Think of it as training. Without regular exercise, there is no lasting progress or great success. Make practicing coping skills a habit even when you have made great progress. Do not be discouraged when the symptoms recur even after a lot of effort and a long period without panic. It is quite common that in stressful situations or periods in which you experience some changes, some symptoms return and even get worse. Dealing with anxiety is practiced all your life, and it is essential to never give up on yourself and your recovery. If you succeed once, you will definitely succeed again!
If you feel that you cannot deal with the problem on your own, seek professional help. Psychiatrists, psychologists, but also hypnotherapists know different ways and techniques that can help you. The combination of counseling and hypnotherapy proves to be extremely effective, but among a range of techniques, you need to find the one that suits you. Not all people are the same, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Just keep believing that a solution exists!
Your health is important! Work on it every day!