Many of us go from one therapy to another, only to find ourselves ending where we started. Although the panic attacks and anxiety may diminish for a while, they come back, sometimes worse than before.
Irrespective of how many therapies we have tried, the overall lack of understanding means that most of us have never been taught how to manage our disorder ourselves. Most treatments not only fail to teach management skills, they usually only treat one particular aspect of the disorder. The disorder and its secondary conditions need to be treated as a whole, not in isolation.
It is important for all of us to understand that although various therapies have not worked by themselves, when they are used together they can become extremely powerful tools for recovery.
Medication, particularly tranquillisers, has been one of the first defences against panic attacks and anxiety. In many cases it has been the only form of treatment we have received. Even if a miracle drug for anxiety and panic attacks became available, I wonder how many people would want to take it permanently From what I have been told over the years of people’s intense dislike of taking any form of medication, I don’t think many people would.
People with anxiety disorders report becoming very sensitive, not only to light and sound, but their whole state of being becomes very sensitive. It is not unusual for people with panic disorder to develop allergies which they didn’t have before the onset of the disorder. This sensitivity can be quite acute, so it is advisable to be aware of it and to be careful when taking any medications, including herbal or other preparations bought over the counter.
If you haven’t been diagnosed as having panic attacks or panic-related anxiety disorder, but think this may be what you are experiencing, speak to a doctor. Don’t self-diagnose. You need to know exactly what it is you are trying to recover from.
The attacks are not harmful, despite the multitude of sensations and symptoms we all experience. We can take back the power by learning to minimise their impact through understanding and accepting how the attacks and the anxiety are being perpetuated.
Understanding is the first step in taking back the power and in working toward recovery.
Recovery is a step-by-step process. If we have been diagnosed as having a panic-related anxiety disorder, the first step is to fully understand the disorder and to accept the diagnosis.
Everyone experiences stress, and everyone reacts in different ways when they reach their individual threshold to stress. For example, some people will experience high blood pressure, others may develop an ulcer. When we reach the limit of our threshold to stress we experience a panic attack. Our lack of understanding and our reactions of fear and anxiety place us under further stress, and the vicious circle begins. Recovery does not necessarily mean the end of attacks. However, it does mean the end of fear, panic, anxiety and the secondary conditions.
Anxiety disorders are not life-threatening in themselves. It is only our lack of understanding which makes them appear so.