Panic Attacks / Hypnotherapy
For many sufferers of panic attacks, the most distressing aspect is the unpredictability of an occurrence.
The feeling that they could experience an attack, without warning, in any place or at any time gives rise to a constant heightened degree of anxiety. This constant fear of panic, can itself lead to the development of phobia, as the sufferer seeks to avoid places where they think an episode may occur. As this could be anywhere, even busy places like shops or cinemas may become areas that are actively avoided, so as to negate the possibility of an attack. The momentary comfort that the sufferer then derives from not being exposed to the distress of an attack then serves to reinforce the avoidant behaviour. This then strengthens the decision to become even more avoidant, eventually leading to only one place becoming 'safe', usually the home. By the time that the condition has deteriorated to this extent, the sufferer has developed agoraphobia, and may require extensive therapy to become well again.
The actual symptoms of a panic attack, while undoubtedly distressing, fortunately do not necessarily lead to actual physical harm, but the increased stress placed upon the body's resources can be exhausting and may cause other problems to come about.
Ideally, intervention should take place as early on in the cycle as possible, so that new behavioural patterns can be learned in good time to prevent a worsening of the condition and to lead the sufferer back to regaining control over their emotional responses.
The Hypnowellness approach to panic is to employ an integrated therapy. Hypnotherapy is used to eliminate or modify thought patterns and the symptoms of the patient, working in harness with behavioural techniques such as CBT and NLP which serve to empower the client and increase self-esteem. By using a SUDS scale ('Subjective Units of Distress') such as the one below, the client can learn to understand the scale of their response, and begin to regain control in a managed and deliberate way. The client can place their response to their feelings on this scale, and use it determine how different situations can bring about different intensities of feeling.
Please call for a free consultation if you experience panic attacks or feel you may be developing a phobic response. It would be advisable also to discuss this with your doctor so as to eliminate the possibility of any underlying physical condition.
Example Of SUDS Scale
0: The absence of any distress. I am feeling calm and totally relaxed.
1: Neutral feeling or I feel just OK, but not as relaxed as I could be.
2: I feel a mild irritation. First awareness of tension or vague stress.
3: There is an increased discomfort, unpleasant, but in control.
4: Noticeable discomfort or distress, perhaps agitation, but it is still tolerable.
5: Discomfort is very uncomfortable, but I can stand it.
6:Discomfort worsens and affects my life.
7: Discomfort is severe and emotional pain interferes with life.
8: Discomfort increases and it is in my thoughts constantly.
9: Discomfort is nearly intolerable.
10: Discomfort is extreme and the worst imaginable. I feel panicky and overwhelmed.