Hypnosis for Panic Attacks
Overcome Panic Attacks
Many people are affected by panic attacks at least once in their lives. During a panic attack, which can be triggered by stress and numerous other factors, the body's perception is focused on danger and fear. Sometimes anxiety can cause states of fear which progress into panic attacks. When anxiety leads to panic attacks, the quality of life for the affected person significantly decreases. One speaks of a panic disorder when the panic occurs without an obvious trigger, lasts for an unreasonably long time or reoccurs without a clear reason for the panic. Panic disorders lead to life becoming more and more restricted. Social situations and unfamiliar environments will be avoided, which leads to withdrawal from many activities and opportunities. Hypnosis is a powerful and effective treatment method for panic attacks. Find out more below.
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Panic disorder symptoms
How to Recognize a Panic Attack
A panic attack usually lasts from a few minutes to half an hour, although some episodes can last longer. Most often, panic attacks occur absolutely unexpectedly - suddenly the panic attack is there and can reach its peak in a few minutes. Panic attacks may be related to specific thoughts or triggers, but they do not have to be. People undergoing panic attacks often experience panic attacks as life-threatening. Panic attacks bring many symptoms with them that are different for everyone. The most common symptoms include increased heart rate, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, trembling and sweating. Sometimes panic attacks can lead to fainting. When fears are suppressed and not processed properly, the body can react in different ways. One of the reactions can be panic attacks. The more detailed physical and psychological symptoms are outlined below.
Panic attacks present themselves with different symptoms and reactions on a physical and psychological level:
Physical symptoms include sweaty hands, heart palpitations, a sudden drop or rise in blood pressure, trembling, dizziness, nausea, sweating, intense tension in the body, vomiting, diarrhea and breathing difficulties. Shallow breathing may progress to shortness of breath and feelings of suffocation. Additionally, changes in temperature can be felt: feeling cold rushes that feel like ice going through the body, or feeling unbearably hot.
Psychological symptoms during a panic attack include intense fear, derealization (feeling disconnected from your surroundings), depersonalization (feeling disconnected from yourself), the belief that you are dying, being convinced you are having a heart attack, and helplessness. Additionally, even when panic attacks are not occurring, there might be anxiety and fearful apprehension related to the next possible panic attack. This can lead to social withdrawal and depressive symptoms.
An example from a sufferer of panic attacks on public transport
I had a breakdown two years ago, triggered by permanent stress and overload. Since then I suffered from an anxiety disorder with panic attacks both on public transportation and in the car. I suffered from symptoms such as tingling in my stomach, which slowly moved into my chest and triggered both palpitations and trembling in my arms and legs, feeling weak and dizzy. Just the thought of getting on a plane made me incredibly nervous. I was in talk therapy with a psychotherapist for 1.5 years, which unfortunately didn't do much for me. I continued to feel insecure and increasingly lost confidence. I was looking for an alternative treatment method to finally get my life back under control and met Isabella. I immediately took a liking to Isabella. She has an incredibly friendly and open manner. She takes her time, gives useful feedback and listens attentively. In the first hypnosis sessions I could not relax completely because I am a person who likes to stay in control. But with each hypnosis session, I fell into a deeper relaxation and was able to let go completely. We set anchors - images that I can recall in a tense situation to help me get back into relaxation. Now, after the hypnosis treatments I feel much better. I can get into the car and/or on the train and no longer suffer from the previously mentioned symptoms. Since then, I have even flown again three times! I definitely recommend Isabella to others. I am very grateful for her help and support!
Panic attacks self test
Do I suffer from panic attacks?
The following questions may be initial clues as to whether you have panic disorder:
Do you experience episodes of intense fear that appear very suddenly?
Do you experience heart palpitations, sweating, trembling, or a dry mouth?
Are you afraid of losing control or going crazy when you become fearful?
Do you experience intense feelings of fear without knowing why?
Are you withdrawing or avoiding certain situations because you can’t predict if you will have another panic attack?
If you can answer yes to any of these questions and feel restricted in your everyday life, you should seek medical or therapeutic advice. You may have a panic disorder. Please note that questions are always asked broadly, so it is possible that people who do not have a panic disorder may receive a positive result. Not everyone who has anxiety or fear suffers from panic attacks or panic disorder.
Panic Attacks Facts
Where and when do panic attacks occur?
Panic attacks can happen anywhere and at almost any time. Here are only some of the situations where panic attacks can occur:
while standing in line at the supermarket
while driving: during red lights, traffic jams, etc.
while on vacation or doing mundane things at home
while lying in bed or before falling asleep during a shopping trip
Thus, panic attacks can arise without having felt a concrete fear directly before they start. Because affected individuals have difficulty understanding their panic attacks and they worry about the unpredictability of their emergence, panic attacks can be very difficult to cope with. It can also take years before a diagnosis is made when individuals lack support or attempt to hide the condition from others. Oftentimes, individuals might seek out medical examinations, which tend to make things even more frustrating when no underlying physical cause is found. Nonetheless, the symptoms of panic attacks can feel very physical and very concerning: heart racing and palpitations, chest tightness, pain, shortness of breath, the feeling of suffocating, dizziness and even alienation experiences. A "fear of fear" often develops, which is frequently accompanied by avoidant behavior and difficulty in making decisions. Panic attacks occur frequently alongside agoraphobia, a type of phobia that is triggered in certain places and situations such as shopping at the mall, driving, or while being in large spaces or crowds.
The fear of the next panic attack - the fear of fear
During panic attacks, body sensations, sensitivity and perceptions are heightened. The physical body enters “high alert” mode. When panic attacks keep reoccurring, a type of anticipatory fear creates a vicious cycle: the fear of the next panic attack. This fear can become so intense that normal everyday situations become unbearable and affected individuals withdraw more and more. It is often situations in which one or more panic attacks have already been experienced that are avoided, further reinforcing the fear cycle. This fear also has a name and, more precisely, belongs to the phobias: phobophobia - the fear of fear.
Own representation, data source: https://de.statista.com/ Question/title: The most common mental illnesses, source: study "Mental disorders in the general population," Springer Verlag
, accessed 11/13/20
Own representation, data source: https://de.statista.com/ Question/title: proportion of population with anxiety disorders (lifetime prevalence), source expert(s) (Kessler), survey by expert(s) (Kessler), Published by Focus, source reference Focus 14/2011, 04. 04/2011, page 86, publication date April 2011
, accessed 11/13/20
Own presentation, data source: https://de.statista.com/ Question/title: prevalence of selected anxiety disorders among children and adolescents in Germany by gender in 2017, source DAK, survey by DAK, Published by DAK, reference of origin, DAK - Kinder- und Jugendreport 2019, page 134, publication date, November 2019
, accessed 11/13/20
Panic attacks causes
This is how panic attacks develop
Panic attacks usually have an underlying cause of which the affected person is unaware. Since many of our fears are tucked away in the subconscious, the roots of panic and fear can be uncovered and processed through hypnosis. In our modern Western society, fears are usually seen as a bothersome obstacle to everyday life. Yet fear serves an important evolutionary purpose: fear belongs to an ingrained warning system (fight or flight response) and prepares us to ward off danger and ensure our survival. When we are in danger, our body activates the fight or flight response and makes all available energies and reserves available for this purpose. Nowadays, we might not be in life-threatening situations as often as in the days when humans had to physically fight to stay alive. The instinct and fear response is still ingrained in our DNA, nonetheless, since there may be other elements in our life that are threatening our well-being. When our system cannot cope with repressed fears and problems that remain unattended, it often reacts physically to give us a warning signal that something needs to change. One of these warnings can come in the form of panic attacks. Hypnosis can uncover the roots causing panic attacks and gently guide you through making the necessary changes to break the cycle.
Panic attacks consequences
What consequences can panic attacks have?
The longer panic attacks persist and remain untreated, the greater the suffering of those affected.
The consequences of panic attacks can include:
Feeling insecure and decreased confidence due to repeating panic attacks.
Increased feelings of helplessness and low self-esteem in private and professional life: psychosocial, somatic and financial consequences.
and problems, sometimes leading to unemployment.
Affected persons often seek out numerous medical examinations due to the belief that the panic attacks are a symptom of an undiagnosed illness.
Significant behavioral changes due to social withdrawal
Increased health risks through "self-medication"
Panic attacks and secondary conditions
Psychologically, panic attacks are manifested by negative thoughts and combined with other fears. Very often it can be observed that a fear of fear arises - of the next panic attack. Affected people begin to avoid situations in which they have experienced a panic attack before, so as not to expose themselves to the experience and memory again. Often people with panic attacks feel shame and feel they are not good enough because they cannot function “normally” like others. They often show signs and symptoms of depression
as a secondary condition and also social phobia
Panic disorder or panic attacks?
Panic disorder and panic attacks can be confused
A panic attack can occur once, but it can also develop into a panic disorder. We speak of panic disorder when panic attacks are recurrent, keep returning, and do not relate to a specific situation or circumstance. They tend to occur without a clear trigger or recognizable cause.
How fear can lead to panic disorder.
An untreated and persistent panic disorder has a tendency to worsen and become chronic. At this point at the latest, professional advice should be sought to break the negative cycle and prevent the panic disorder from leading to irreparable damages at work, socially or financially. While fear is necessary and even life-saving in many situations, it becomes a problem when the fear persists although a threat or danger cannot be found consciously. When fear and panic attacks begin to take over on a daily basis, life becomes more and more confined and restrictive. The radius of "movement" becomes smaller in life, and the thought of another panic attack can cause avoidance and withdrawal behavior. But the causes of panic disorder are usually uncovered quickly with the help of hypnosis, and from that point onwards panic attacks also tend to cease.
Panic attacks hypnosis treatment
Treat panic disorder and attacks with hypnosis
Hypnotherapy is a powerful and effective method for the treatment of anxiety, phobias, fear and panic attacks. Blockages are released, past experiences and traumas that might have been submerged deeply in the subconscious are brought to the surface and processed. At the same time, individual resources are recognized and strengthened. During hypnosis, the triggers and issues that lead to panic attacks are uncovered and altered. The hypnotherapeutic process involves not only uncovering things but also offering alternative solutions - beginning directly in the subconscious mind. Hypnosis will also help you gain self-efficacy and self-control over your life by strengthening your ability to stay calm and develop coping strategies for dealing with fear and panic states. After the hypnosis session, clients can once again consciously "be with themselves" in everyday life without needing to be paralyzed by fear. This leads not only to feelings of relief but also significant changes in the quality of life socially, at work and with loved ones.
Hypnosis helps redirect the focus during panic attacks
Hypnosis can help us redirect the focus on what is actually good and alright when everything seems to feel like it’s falling apart. It helps us gain confidence and feel safe in our own body. In this manner, once you realize that your thoughts are not uncontrollable, and that even in intense panic states you can redirect your attention to very simple things - your surroundings, your body, your breath - and to learn to be “okay” with everything that is perceived as unpleasant. These can be changing thoughts like “My heart is racing and I think I’m going to die” into “My heart is racing, but I know that it will pass, and if I breathe deeply and focus on something familiar, my heart rate will return to normal.”
Working on unconscious triggers and the causes with hypnosis
It is not uncommon for panic attacks to arise as a warning signal that something in your life needs to change. This can be because of imbalances in your lifestyle, major life changes, existential or midlife crises, as well as relationship problems which we might be unaware of. The causes of panic can be more easily identified with the help of trance during hypnosis. In most cases, the cause of panic attacks is initially unknown. This is especially the case when panic attacks have no specific trigger. Panic attacks are not always the result of trauma or unprocessed childhood events. Panic attacks can also reflect that something in our current life is not right - like an unfulfilling relationship or job. But since we are often not in touch with ourselves and disconnected from our innermost feelings, the actual triggers of panic attacks can be hidden deep within the subconscious. Hypnotherapy helps the client unravel and work on the causes. Through this process, it becomes apparent that the panic attacks were never pointless or meaningless - they were part of a natural defense mechanism of your mind and body, trying to ensure that your most basic needs are met in life. During hypnotherapy, people learn to process and let go of thoughts that might have been overwhelming in the past. This can lead to powerful changes in the present and future. You can learn more about our methods and hypnosis process by navigating through the website.
Read more about it in the German Medical Journal about the efficiency of hypnosis for anxiety and pain