Panic Attacks Basic Symptoms

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If you’ve located this site on the Internet, it may be to discern if you qualify for panic attacks treatment.  You’ve come to the right place.   First of all, we would like to extend our warmth and compassion to you as suffering panic attacks can be devastating.  This is not an easy place to find yourself in and we are hoping that the description of each of the escalating symptoms below helps alleviate your anxiety and fears by replacing them with knowledge and self-acceptance.  We’ve also suffered acute panic attacks symptoms ourselves and in the resolution of our suffering, we offer not just a description of the symptoms but if you follow the links to our other related sites, we’ll also help educate you on principled solutions that may resonant with you.  Just know that there are long-term solutions that don’t require a whole host of drugs or protocols that can cause you harm.

 

The good thing to note is that while profoundly uncomfortable, acute panic attacks are generally just that, “acute;” short-lived and while severe in effect at the time, the longest the effects can last is about 10-20 minutes.  While this may be little comfort while in the throes of an acute panic attack, at least it isn’t chronic inflammation of a joint lasting weeks or even months requiring long-term management or surgery.  Acute panic attacks can be easily resolvable with principled panic attacks treatment.  While panic attacks can have a sudden onset, which is what most folk find so destabilizing, they generally run their course in short order. 

 

Panic attacks can come out of anywhere and are usually the polarity of trying to control the “uncontrollable” in our lives.  I suffered several of these bouts myself en route to my in-laws before my marriage to my first husband.  His family was orthodox Jewish and I was orphaned with little religious construct and I was being strongly advised to convert over a lengthy three years.  I felt, unaccepted for my natural self and inundated with criticism.  Over time these fears of being un-loved and accepted for who I was worsened. You may be able to sympathize with the psychic cause of my panic attacks which materialized for me physically as suffocating asthma attacks.  I felt that I had little room to breath.  I perceived that I was given no choice in the matter.  If I chose not to convert, my fiance would be forced to leave me.  It was awful.

 

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Most folks, like myself, become filled with dread and worry regarding the onset of the next panic attack.  This state of vexation, fear and anxiety can be enough to provoke the fright or flight state of an acute panic attack.  In either the absence or presence of physical symptoms, the person can start to feel prey to their psychological stress, uneasiness and dread.  Emotional discomfort may start to appear as distress, mild phobias around the next attack or even hypochondria; a deprivation of emotional ease.

 

Over time, the acute spikes of panic attacks may become anticipatory anxiety which is a multi-system response on the level of your central nervous system that begins to hold the body in a tightly wound sympathetic state.  It may feel like you are too tightly wound, perceiving innocuous stimulus like the phone ringing as a perceived threat.  This contracted state will loop in fright or flight without the ability to let go spiritually, emotionally or physically into a desired state of relaxation defined as a more parasympathetic state.  Eventually the adrenals suffer exhaustion from pumping adrenaline into the system because your mind is telling your body that there is a lion bearing down on it, even though your innocent house-cat may have just hopped onto your bed in the night.

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Folks suffering anticipatory anxiety over a period of time may begin to suffer mental or nervous breakdowns as the adrenals throw up major white flags of distress.  The individual can feel a constant sense of foreboding as if he is dying, going crazy or that he is destined for a sojourn at “Shady Acres.”  This is a frightening state to find yourself in as your behavior will feel inappropriate to relatively benign stimulus, you’ll generally stop trusting your inner intuition and wisdom, suffering depression and avoiding people, work or situations that may provoke anxious feelings.  We’ve worked with folk who have sadly become “shut-ins” due to the deleterious effects of long-term panic attacks.  Thankfully, they’ve been able to resume normal lives.

Over time, you may notice that the emotional aspects of your suffering show up more and more on the physical level of your being.  Feeling faint from a temporary lack of oxygen in the brain due to a temporary constriction in the breathing apparatus, nausea, or numbness can be symptoms qualifying you for panic attacks treatment.  Alternatively, some individuals will suffer the opposite symptoms such as heavy breathing or even hyperventilation, which is abnormally fast or deep respiration, which results in the loss of carbon dioxide from the blood, thereby causing a fall in blood pressure, tingling of the extremities, and sometimes fainting.

 

If your breathing does shift into this mode, if you feel faint, or your vision begins to tunnel to an extremely narrow point of view, it is best to sit down in a chair or on the floor with your head between your knees.  If you do faint, it is best not to topple from a standing position, hitting your head on the way down, so try to get down safely to a low position at the earliest onset.  On occasion, you may have the urge to strike out or flee which is just your instinct to flight or fright where your bodily resources funnel into your limbs, away from the more noble organs, in an attempt to safely try to eliminate the adversary or run like the dickens to get away from it.

 

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Your body is an amazing system releasing bursts of adrenaline, increasing heart rate, arterial blood pressure, upping blood glucose levels all spawned by your sympathetic nervous system’s response to stress.  It is truly amazing when you think about the dynamic nature of the panic attack and what your body has to go through in it’s efforts to protect you.  Some folks will also report heart palpitations, tightness in the chest, asthma attacks, and then trembling all over the body as the panic attack ebbs.  You may also notice burning sensations with a quick burst of heat, uncontrollable sweating, hot flashes and then cold chills as the body restores normalcy, releasing the flow of adrenaline.  The body will temporarily short circuit it’s thermostat in an effort to pump you up for the impending sprint or wrestling match with that perceived lion and then try to restore equilibrium once the threat has disappeared. 

The other aspect to effective panic attacks treatment is to restore your capacity to think and feel clearly.  Otherwise, in the face of acute panic attacks you can feel impotent of your inner fear and terror to make any decisions emotionally or mentally until you’ve resolved your state.  During an acute episode, your thinking may become muddled, confused and your feelings jumbled, like a very undesirable orgasm.  The trick is how to use the pleasurable orgasm function to discharge the “little-kid” fears and terrors that provokes your panic attacks in the first place.  You may only be noticing symptoms now, but in our experience, the situation has been mounting for longer than your perception of them allows for. 

A Heilkunst trained Physician is an experienced therapist trained in emotional release, preventing the symptoms of panic attacks.  Also, you’ll be armed with an Emotional Support Dropper, filled with natural homeopathic remedies that have no capacity to harm.  Folks tell us that their sequential therapy sessions feel like productive emotional midwifery helping them to birth the negative emotions allowing for the blessed release into healthy reflection, complete relaxation and restorative rest.

 

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The Anatomy of Panic Attacks 

 

acute – sharp or severe in effect; intense: acute sorrow; an acutepain.

 

sudden onset – In medicine, the first appearance of the signs or symptoms of an illness

 

fear and anxiety – root meaning of the word anxiety is ‘to vex or trouble’; in either the absence or presence of psychological stress, anxiety can create feelings of fear, worry, uneasiness and dread.

 

discomfort – an inconvenience, distress, or mild pain, something that disturbs or deprives of ease

 

anticipatory anxiety – Anxiety is a multisystem response to a perceived threat or danger

 

a sense of dying, going crazy, or having a nervous breakdown – Mental breakdown (also known as a nervous breakdown) is a non-medical term used to describe an acute, time-limited phase of a specific disorder that presents primarily with features of depression or anxiety.

 

feeling faint or nauseated – Fainting is loss of consciousness caused by a temporary lack of oxygen to the brain

 

numbness – Deprived of the power to feel or move normally

 

heavy breathing or hyperventilation – Abnormally fast or deep respiration, which results in the loss of carbon dioxide from the blood, thereby causing a fall in blood pressure, tingling of the extremities, and sometimes fainting.

 

tunnel vision – Vision in which the visual field is severely constricted, as from within a tunnel looking out. An extremely narrow point of view

 

urge to flee or escape – run quickly away  ( could not find a better definition ) 

 

fight or flight response – A set of physiological changes, such as increases in heart rate, arterial blood pressure, and blood glucose, initiated by the sympathetic nervous system to mobilize body systems in response to stress.

 

burst of adrenaline – a sudden burst of energy from an increase in the hormone and neurotransmitter adrenaline, esp. increased heart rate and blood pressure, perspiration, blood sugar, and metabolism                      

 

trembling – To shake involuntarily, as from excitement or anger; quake. To feel fear or anxiety. To vibrate or quiver

 

shortness of breath – Shortness of breath, or dyspnea, is a feeling of difficult or labored breathing that is out of proportion to the patient’s level of physical activity. It is a symptom of a variety of different diseases or disorders and may be either acute or chronic.

 

heart palpitations – Palpitations are heartbeat sensations that feel like your heart is pounding or racing.

 

chest tightness – This is one of the main symptoms of asthma. Chest tightness is often described as a feeling of ‘congestion’ in the chest or a heaviness. Less commonly it can be felt as chest pain.

 

hot or cold flashes –The more your anxiety rises the more sweaty and hot you feel. The adrenalin rush is a factor as well. With the increase of anxiety you become pumped up just like you were running in a race. Your heart rate may increase. Your brain is in overdrive, causing the sweating. Cold flashes sometimes appear more after the panic attack. The sudden rushes of anxiety causes the sweatiness, and by calming down you may feel cold, and have chilling feelings overcome you. 

 

burning sensations – Burning sensation is an abnormal feeling of burning in the absence of heat.

 

sweating – To excrete perspiration through the pores in the skin; perspire.

 

A Mini Performance Anxiety Case Study

I’ve been working with a family, who has recently sent their eldest child off to university. In her first week, she was suffering a number of symptoms related to anxiety, including insomnia and diarrhea. She had many concerns about what was going to be expected of her, and if she’d be able to live up to expectations, especially her own.

When the mom called me, she described the total mental and emotional state, along with the specific physical symptoms. Aside from the symptoms I’ve already mentioned, the mother described that the daughter had been very irritable, and snapping at her siblings in the days leading up to departing.

Another thing that the mom pointed out about the diarrhea, was that it seemed to correlate with the daughters increased sweet tooth, which had gotten out of control towards the end of the summer. One particularly noticeable symptom was a very loud rumbling in the young woman’s stomach.

I gave her the homeopathic remedy argentum nitricum (which is made from silver nitrate), and within 48 hours everything was at least 90% back to normal. I chose this remedy on the basis of all of the symptoms that I’ve listed, as well as the core state of mind of this remedy which matched hers — that of an anticipatory or performance anxiety. On a similar token, this is one of the most commonly used remedies for stage fright, or any form of performance anxiety, whether on stage or off.

Armoring of the Abdominal Segment

This blog is part of a series; its original title was Heilkunst Basics : University, 3rd Year (Armoring of the Abdominal Segment)

While I am continuing my descent down the seven segments, always keep in the back of your mind that is not a simple black and white or linear process of starting at the top and working your way to the bottom. While this is conceptually true, and this  overall sequence needs to be respected, the dynamics of a real-life case will also involve a kind of cyclical movement, due to the multiple layers of armoring within each segment, which call for the treatment to return back to work on some of the upper segments before continuing on again with the current segment under treatment. Add to this that de-armoring represents a particular aspect of the overall Heilkunst treatment, and that other therapeutic goals and modalities are woven together along with the treatment of the segments.

After the diaphragmatic segment, the abdominal comes next. It is more of a transitional segment, bridging the stronger content of the diaphragmatic and the pelvic. The prime feeling of the abdominal segments relates to the feeling of security (versus insecurity), and our perceived ability to move about the world freely, or in a guarded way. Feeling “tightness” in our abdomen versus a free-flow is the key difference here.

 

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Treatment can include a pressure placed on the abdomen, or possible a gentle stroking to encourage it to release. Thedeep breathing exercises done when working on the diaphragmatic segment can be continued here. Some of the homeopathic remedies used for general anxiety can be helpful in treatment here, including gelsemium and aconite.

The Chthonic Realm : Baryta Carbonicum

As Arnica was the first remedy representing the cold stream of the Chthonic Realm (at the level of the physical body), Baryta Carbonica is the remedy for blockages related to the etheric body, which is the locus of all life functions and processes. You could say that it is an inversion of the themes in the chthonic remedy Stramonium, which is the more extroverted form of the types of fears expressed in Bar-c. The picture that comes to my mind when I think of the essence of this remedy is of a bashful child hiding behind their mother’s skirt. This is an image which portrays both the deep shyness of this remedy, as well as the state of emotional dependence.

This is a remedy which is useful for any number of conditions which involve some form of developmental delay, including the various forms of autism. Delays at any level can be helped with this remedy, including physical, mental, or emotional. Likewise for adults whose process of growth was halted at a certain life stage, where you get a palpable sense that their mental or emotional maturity is still frozen at an age much younger than their chronological one. As with any remedy, this can be true at very subtle levels, which may or may not be discernible in any given case. This is especially true with this remedy, which has a core fear of being laughed at, or ridiculed, and will often work out one or several means of “covering up” their core vulnerability.

Bar-c is useful for any physical delay in development, such as in children who seem to fall to the bottom of the statistical growth charts for their age, in terms of height, weight, or other developmental milestones. Early diagnosis of autism, for example, is defined in terms of identifying children who do not achieve characteristic milestones by certain chronological points in their development.

The Sean Penn movie I Am Sam portrays the Bar-c state quite accurately. It is a story of a mentally retarded father, who is fighting a custody case with the State, who is threatening to take his daughter away on account of his mental age being about age 7. His lawyer, portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer, is a great illustration of the phenotype Nux Vomica, as she is a hard-driving career woman who has alienated herself from her own son. The theme of “all you need is love” runs through the movie, and Sam melts the icy heart of this lawyer, and many people around him with the purity that only a child could muster.

The Ideogenic Realm : Cocaine and Coca

There are two homeopathic remedies which are largely similar, as they are derived from the same plant : Coca and Cocaine. I am presenting them together in this blog post, as from an ideogenic point of view, they touch on the same theme. Coca is the remedy potentized from the leaves of the coca plant; while Cocaine also originates from the leaves of the coca plant, it is much more processed, and its effects much more intensified. The leaves of the coca plant have traditionally been chewed on by mountain climbers as a means of preventing altitude sickness. This gives us a big hint as to the core theme of the remedy revolving around fear of heights and fear of falling.

As we saw that Cannabis has a strong cultural affinity for the Hippie movement (based on a strong similarity in state of mind), Cocaine has a cultural affinity for the state of mind surrounding high-powered executives, as well as the players in and around Hollywood film production. Both of these situations relate so strongly to the theme of Cocaine, as they involve acts of incredible human capacity, where much is risked in order to achieve high returns. A Hollywood star can rise to the top just as quickly as he or she can fall to ruin, and the dynamics and pressure of this are embodied in the remedy state of Cocaine.

 

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There is also a similarity here to Nux Vomica, which is a state driven by the false ego to achieve their worldly ambitions, and will burn themselves out in the process. Cocaine is the ultimate “performance anxiety” remedy, where the projected success of the ego is seen as a gigantic task, and which can produce all forms of anxiety and tension as part of the means to get there. Cocaine is used medically as a local anaesthetic, which is analagous to all of the pains which needed to be dulled as someone forces themselves to climb “to the top”. It never ceases to amaze me how there are no accidents in terms of which drugs tend to be used by which groups of people, based on the unconscious drive to match one’s internal ideogenic state with a crude form of the similar medicine.

Although I’ve portrayed this state in a particular way, it is not only applicable for high-powered executives and Hollywood types, but in anyone who has taken on this state of mind in their own situation. I use the more extreme examples, as they very vividly portray the theme of the remedy, but always keep in mind that any state of mind can exist at much more subtle levels in everyday life. The issue of separating out the ambitions of our false ego from the true objective desire of our Self can be helped with this remedy in whatever form it has taken.

How is Rescue Remedy used within Heilkunst?

I described yesterday the basic concepts underlying Dr. Bach’s system of Flower Essences, and in particular how they fit within Heilkunst treatment. He set out that the 38 individual remedies within his system were a finite, closed system, covering the full range of negative emotions and attitudes which humanity is subject to. Each patient of Dr. Bach received a unique combination of essences as required by their presenting state of mind.

 

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Dr. Bach did promote one standardized formula, which he called Rescue Remedy, for use during acute states of anxiety or panic. The five remedies in the Rescue Remedy formula are:

  • Clematis – For that distant, dreamy feeling that one may go into during a state of shock. This helps the recipient to be present here and now with all their attention, as is necessary in any accident or first aid situation.
  • Rock Rose – A deep terror, either from something just experienced, or anticipated. Frozen in fear; sheer panic. This helps bring a calm, courageous feeling to a
  • Star of Bethlehem – For the effects of shock. To keep us from cutting ourselves off from reality, when our sharp attention would be most beneficial.
  • Impatiens – Feeling agitated or impatient. Rushing without paying sufficient attention to what is demanded in a trying situation. Intolerant of others, especially in their perceived slowness
  • Cherry Plum – Feelings of being on the verge of losing control of thoughts, feelings, or actions. Afraid of what one is potentially about to do.

Bach also developed an externally applied version of Rescue Remedy, for use in external first aid situations, such as bruises or scrapes. In this, he added a sixth ingredient : Crab Apple – This has cleansing properties to help disinfect the wound.

When my patients are looking to stock up for their own home first aid kit, this is one of the key remedies that we recommend is always kept at hand. I prescribe Rescue Remedy frequently for patients during the course of their treatment, particularly in assistance to strong healing reactions, where much hidden content inside the patient is rising quickly to the surface, and they are having trouble integrating the healing due to feeling overwhelmed.

In conjunction with specific homeopathic remedies for anxiety, I am able to provide the patient with an awesome formula for dealing with anxiety or panic situations from 2 sides : Rescue Remedy applied on the law of opposites (to help bring the patient back into a state of balance), and the specific homeopathics based on the law of similars, to help remove any of the anxiety which has started to more deeply embed itself into the generative power, and begin to cause an actual disease disturbance.

Rescue Remedy is safe to use and even self-prescribe without any side effects. For more deep or chronic patterns of anxiety or panic, your Heilkunst treatment will work systematically to remove the root causes permanently.

Overcoming Stage Fright With Homeopathy

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My blogging friend, Janet Kidd, has recently written about stage fright, and how to deal with it as a singer. I’d like to add some homeopathic remedies into the mix of her suggestions for helping with stage fright. For some patients, we’ll not only give them these remedies for when they do public speaking or performing, but also for generalized anxiety issues which paralyze them in their life generally. This is a good case study, by the way, of the importance of treating the unique qualities of a given condition, rather than matching a pharmaceutical drug to a generic label (such as “stage fright” in this case).

  • Gelsemium – “Frozen in fear”; A tendency to “freeze up” on stage, or in life situations in general. The mind which goes blank in an exam or interview situation. Involuntary responses, such as trembling, or frequent loose stools or urination. Feeling a tremendous anxiety in anticipation of an event. A defensive posture of tiredness or droopiness. This is usually more of a tendency for introverted types.
  • Argentum Nitricum – A nervousness which expresses itself with fidgety and strange or impulsive behaviours. Excessive talkativeness as a defensive posture. Enactment of superstitions or ritualistic behaviours are used to try to dispel the nervousness. Distorted sense of time, and usually tends towards feeling that it is going by too fast. The Argentum Nitricum subject generally feels better when other people are around (the classic extrovert response). Experiencing bizarre thoughts or perceptions.
  • Aconite – Primarily used to treat a state of shock, but also for the type of anxiety which mimics this. The intense and sudden symptoms of panic attacks are addressed by this remedy, including shortness of breath. The feeling that their death is near – this may explain the statistic that people are more afraid of public speaking than they are of death. An extremely restless state of mind. Especially suited for anxiety symptoms that come on quite rapidly and intensely, like a storm that seems to appear out of nowhere.
  • Ignatia – Over-sensitivity of emotions, with a tendency to expect to be disappointed. Feeling emotionally vulnerable in front of people, with a desire to run away and hide. The root of this anxiety is generally connected to some form of unresolved grief. A sensation of a physical lump in the throat can get in the way of speaking or singing.  Frequent involuntary sighing or yawning. May be linked with physical symptoms of headaches, or lots of sweat on the face.

 

 

 

Choosing the remedy, or combination of remedies which best match your symptoms can work remarkably well to help you through a performance or public speaking event. Over the longer term, the deeper process of Heilkunst treatment will remove the underlying factors which create this tendency towards stage fright, and eventually the remedies won’t be required any more, as you claim more and more of a natural state of biological and psychological functioning. There will be any number of deeper factors contributing to such triggered responses of stage fright which can be transmuted through depth treatment. Common wisdom would suggest that stage fright is “just the way someone is”, but is not a natural state in itself, and is entirely reversable through treatment.