Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Panic Attacks.

Is there anything more horrible than a panic attack? Millions of people have them and yet there is still very little known about these horrible episodes which can be serious and extremely debilitating.
For years and years I would awake at night with my heart banging in my chest and a great feeling of impending doom. Sometime later, after the birth of my first  child they seemed to take on a whole new meaning and were much, much worse leaving me scared out of my wits and an underlying sense of going 'crazy' or 'mad'.

At one point, my attacks were so severe I had to go to A and E as I was so convinced I was having a heart attack. This of course was highly embarrassing and left me with that all too consuming sense of shame as I felt that I was wasting everyone's time!
 So what is happening when you have an attack? Or should it be, what has happened.?

It is my understanding that an attack is left over from our predatory days where the flight or fight system was highly active and we were running from danger. This highly complex strategy becomes abnormally active and floods the body with cortisol and adrenaline (stress hormones) which is why you get the terrible palpitations and shortness of breathe. The feeling of terror (which can come out of nowhere) is a reaction to these chemicals flooding the body and so now you have created a perfect chemical chaos which interferes massively with brain chemistry. This can leave one feeling horrendous, often for days after ,and the cycle can even create another attack,so now we have an awful situation where one attack creates yet another ! Nasty!

The main component when speaking to people that have suffered, is quite often STRESS, which somehow interferes with the natural bio-rhythms of the body and  I urge the sufferer to look at what is currently happening in their personal lives ( and really look) to see what is the bigger picture. Do you have unresolved issues for example, or childhood baggage? Do you smoke cannabis or drink too much? Maybe you have a stressful job and are emotionally and physically exhausted. Is there an imbalance of some kind? Sometimes however, a panic attack can come without reason and that is why I'm hoping that more funding and research will become available in the near future. For further help you can contact ' NO PANIC on 0800 1388 889 and they will assist you and help you discover the real reasons for your crippling anxiety.

Incidentally ( and I know this may not be true for everyone) my panic attacks stopped immediately as soon as I stopped using the contraceptive pill which came as a huge, but more than welcome surprise. See....... I blame the Hormones.

Peace and love
Suzi xxx

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Suzi. . I loved this blog .. and I loved your description of fight or flight .. I began having panic attacks at about 13, shortly after I started menstruating in fact. After quarrelling with a family member I found that I couldn't stop crying, so histerically in fact that I couldn't catch my breath and thought I was going to die .. The argument wasn't that bad but I couldn't control my hysteria .. you've helped me realise the link between my first panic attack and first period .. I'd love to hear others share experiences on your blog .. I know a few people who suffer from panic attacks also and it's a very scary process
    Thanks for you blog