There are two branches of government here. The first branch is anxiety and the second is Panic. The two interact.
They create a sensory overload and mental chaos. The chest tightens, and it’s hard to breathe.
The heart races like a thousand angry horses, charging fast, and you can’t escape. You can’t get away.
Suddenly, it’s like the whole goddamned world is closing in on you, which becomes more frightening because you are vulnerable; you scream or you cry, and more than anything, you just want to jump out of your own skin. More than anything, you want everything to stop so you can calm down. The only problem is the harder you try to recover, the worse the symptoms become.
This is life with panic and anxiety disorder.
Keep in mind, there is a difference between panic attacks and anxiety attacks. Anxiety attacks are triggered by stressors. Often times, when the stressor is removed, the anxiety rests. Panic attacks however are unpredictable. They are unprovoked, intense, and sudden.
Out of nowhere, the fear escalates. The panic takes off and everything is irrational. The fear receptors overact, which is what causes the physical symptoms. But in the middle of the fit; nothing works, nothing calms the nerves, and nothing can remedy the problem.
Everything is out of control. It’s like watching someone you love or watching everything that means something to you be destroyed right in front of you. When the panic hits; all you can do is endure and feel the punishment.
The worst of this is the impending doom. The worst is the fear of loss; as if everything we’ve invested, all of our love, all of our efforts, all our comforts, our security, and every ounce of our being is about to be stripped away to leave us alone—or worse, leave totally vulnerable and naked, or exposed and totally unwanted.
But where does this come from? Is this genetics? Is this stress based? Is panic or stress disorder chemical? Is it Situational? Are they trauma based? Are they preventable? Are they Treatable?
There is so much to learn about anxiety and panic disorders. Worst of all is the stigma attached. Worst is to be seen as crazy or “Less than,” meanwhile, to the anxious, all they ask for is to go through their life without the threat of another attack.
According to my own experience and studies, the complications are as follows:
- Irrational phobias
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Financial difficulties/wok related issues
- Suicidal thoughts and ideas
It becomes so that the two branches of government, both Anxiety and Panic rule the mind and the body.
Of course, you want to be free. You want to get away from this but how does one get away from themselves?
How do you stop the attacks when they seem so unstoppable?
The idea of prevention is more than just health based.
It’s about freedom.
So what do we do?
Find and create a suitable treatment plan. Do not regard too many people i your strategy. Keep your wellness plan between you and your treatment circle. Be mindful because outside opinions (especially conflicting or differing opinions) can often create the fear of being wrong or foolish. This can result as a seed for future attacks
Choose your circle carefully.
Speak to people you feel most comfortable with.
Do not entrust everyone about your situation
Replacing thought with action helps protect us from attacks. The usage of energy and the direction of energy are very helpful; rather than give in to the thought process, defy the thought process by allowing action to distract our thinking.
It is helpful to be aware of the inner conversations we have. Do not interact with degrading thoughts. Again, replacement and distraction is key. Stay clear of reliving old arguments or planning a defense for conversations that have yet to happen.
If thoughts become overwhelming and grow too heavy; stop and be still. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. As you inhale, say the words “That’s not real” and as you exhale say, “This isn’t happening.”
The word, “STOP!” is also very powerful.
Saying the word out loud is helpful too.
Saying “No More!” helps as well.
The idea is the emotional mind is like a child that only wants to be comforted. The language we use comes from the logic brain. And to a child, the word, “STOP!” creates a change when it comes from an adult. This sudden change can be enough to switch thinking into a new direction.
Proper diet is important. Feeding yourself and keeping a good eating schedule is important. Take care of your body and your mind picks up on this. Be aware of ingredients like caffeine or other stimulants. These can often act as triggers.
Do not self-sabotage:
Everyone has bad days. We all do. Do not see a bad day as a helpless or hopeless thing. Do not be afraid to be a work in progress. One by own, step by step (Pasito, pasito, which translates to baby steps) this will allow your treatment plan to address each and every trigger. Learn to negotiate and remove stressors and obstacles.
Aside from financially, we have emotional investments. We invest in relationships. It is important to be free of unfair investing. Keep all relationships mutually beneficial and reciprocal.
Beware of the sunk cost fallacy; do not continue to invest just because you don’t want to lose. It’s okay to walk away. It’s okay to start over and it’s okay to change.
Understand, the road to wellness is important.
(So are you.)
Imagine waking up without the threat of an attack. Imagine living your life to its fullest, possible potential. Think about what it would look like. Think about the people you would remove and the people you would add.
Envision yourself in your home or at your desk at work. Think of how you would decorate this place now that you live the live you choose to live. The phone could ring and there were wouldn’t be any fear. Your eyes could close and without issue, you could sleep through the night.
Wellness: this is what it means to be free