Panic Attack Treatment Using Hypnotherapy
A panic attack is an abrupt and strong feeling of anxiety and often panic. It can occur quite suddenly and can really feel overwhelming or frightening. In this article we look at panic attacks and panic attack treatment using hypnotherapy. If you are affected by panic attacks, consider if my
could benefit you, to bring you more calm and peace of mind.
If you are having a panic attack, the body can respond in different ways. You may:
- feel out of breath, begin breathing very rapidly or find it more difficult to breathe
- feel light-headed, as if you might faint
- find lights a lot brighter and more intense
- experience your heart beating really fast
- sweat more than usual
- feel shaky
- have wobbly legs
- have discomfort or pain in your chest
- be teary, or feel like you can’t stop crying
- feel trapped or stuck, like you can’t move
- have stomach cramps
- feel sick and tired
Panic attack treatment using hypnotherapy looks at reducing symptoms
You may feel a few of these symptoms simultaneously or have a different response. Every person experiences panic attacks differently and your feelings are valid. In the course of a panic attack, you may also feel like you can’t manage what’s happening to your body, or feel out of touch with what’s going on surrounding you. You might feel afraid that your body is in possible danger or even feel like you are having a heart attack.
Even though this can feel very scary, it is important to know that a panic attack won’t cause you any harm. Even though you don’t experience it during an attack, try and bear in mind you are in control and the feeling will pass.
It feels like a sudden bubbling up of raised anxiety to the point where your physicality changes entirely.
Panic attack treatment using hypnotherapy looks at why you have panic attacks
A panic attack can take place at any time or place, and since it can happen quite quickly, it may feel unpredictable.
Since a panic attack is a strong feeling of fear and often panic, it frequently takes place if you are already feeling very anxious about something taking place in your life, or you have experienced something challenging or demanding. This might be:
- a difficult situation at home that is causing you to anxious
- a distressing experience like abuse, or neglect
- feeling stressed about things like exams, work, relationships or friendships
- if you have lost a friend or family member
- if you are being bullied
- anxiety around work, college or university
Many reasons exist for why you might feel anxious and have a panic attack. Everyone has different experiences and that’s totally all right. Occasionally, it might feel like there is absolutely no apparent reason why you are experiencing a panic attack.
What’s important is to consider and understand what you may be feeling anxious or worried about, and what kinds of situations or places can result in to have panic attacks.
By knowing your triggers, you can begin to think about what you can do in those situations to manage, or talk to someone concerning how you can cope with those feelings in that situation or place. At times, we may find it easier to avoid a situation or place which makes us nervous. It’s very easy to understand that we would want to do this, but in the long term, staying away from situations can make the anxiety feel greater. The goal is not to find a way to always avoid circumstances that will make us anxious, but to learn to deal with how we are feeling in those situations.
The first step to accomplishing this is to speak with someone you trust, such as a friend, relative, colleague or your GP. Someone trusted can help you understand what you are experiencing and help you find the support you require.
Panic attack treatment and what to do if you’re having a panic attack
During a panic attack, you can experience as if you are losing control, but there are steps you can take to truly feel back in control, or feel ‘grounded’ once again.
Pay attention to your breathing
Pay attention to breathing in slowly and then breathing out slowly but surely. It can be beneficial to count when you’re breathing to focus your mind. You can begin small at first, like counting to three as you breathe in and counting to three as you breathe out. When you begin to calm down, you can increase how long you hold each breath to five seconds or seven seconds.
There are lots of different breathing strategies that you can try out. You can use apps like Headspace and Calm to practise breathing exercises, or have a look on the internet and see what might work well for you.
Find a safe space
If a situation is causing you to feel panicked, try and find a space where you can easily take a moment to breathe and relax your mind and feelings. If you can’t physically go to a safe space, try visualising yourself somewhere where you feel calm, like on a favourite vacation spot.
Give attention to your senses and surroundings
When you are having a panic attack, you can feel out of touch with things surrounding you. One method for you to feel back in touch with your surroundings is by choosing five things you can see, hear, taste, touch, or smell. This is known as a grounding exercise. You can choose a few for each sense, or focus on one sense, like locating five things that you can see. This can help you feel connected with your surroundings and in control.
After you’ve had a panic attack
Once you feel your breath returning to normal, you start to feel more in control of your body and your thoughts start to calm down, you might feel drained and tired from the panic attack. It can be a good idea to take some time out to look after yourself and rest if you are able to. If you are not sure what to do to relax, here are some things that might help:
- Breathing exercises – a simple breathing exercise can have a calming effect and help you to relax
- Use a self-soothe box. A self-soothe box contains things that make you feel relaxed. You can put some of your favourite things in there to focus your mind.
- Listen to some of your favourite music or watch your favourite TV programme. This can help you switch off from your anxious thoughts and help you to calm down.
- Drinking some water can help if you were breathing quickly, felt out of breath or were crying a lot during your panic attack, as your throat might feel dry or you may feel dehydrated.
- Everyone has a different way of looking after themselves, so find something that works for you.
Panic attack treatment using hypnotherapy and how to cope with panic attacks
When you have had a panic attack, you might worry about if or when you are next going to have one. This can make everyday tasks like going to work, leaving the house or meeting up with friends much more difficult. But remember, you are not alone and there is support available to help you get through this. If you are worried about when you are next going to have a panic attack, here are some things that can help you cope.
Speak to someone you trust. If you are feeling anxious or worried that you might have a panic attack, talk to friends or family. They can help you take your mind off what is making you feel panicked and support you to find the help you need. If you are struggling to say how you are feeling, you can always write your thoughts down or put them in notes on your phone if you are planning to speak to a therapist or your GP.
If you feel like you’re struggling to cope with everyday tasks, speak to your GP. They can listen to how you are feeling and suggest different types of treatments like therapy, hypnotherapy or counselling to help you tackle your panic attacks.
Panic attack treatment using hypnotherapy and panic disorder
If you are having panic attacks often, on a regular basis, and you are not sure what is causing them, this could be a sign of a panic disorder. If you are feeling anxious and panicked regularly, speak to your GP. They can check in with you to see how you are feeling and find support that works for you.
How to help someone who is having a panic attack
If you have a friend or family member who is having a panic attack, here are some tips from our Activists on how you can help them get through it.
Stay with the person. If you can, stay with the person during their panic attack. Just by you being there, you can help them calm down and remind them that help is available.
Talk to them and encourage them. You can chat to the person about how they are feeling or anything that they like, such as favourite Netflix shows or their hobbies. This can distract them from their anxious thoughts, helping them to feel calm and to slow down their breathing. They might find it difficult to talk and might want to focus on their breath. That’s okay and it’s important to respect their boundaries and how they are feeling.
Check in with the person. Even though they may no longer be in a state of panic, they can still feel anxious or on edge afterwards. You can check in with them to see how they are feeling. This will remind them that they are not alone and you are there for them.
Talk about how you can support them. If your friend feels comfortable to, you can suggest talking about how you can support them in the future. This can be things like helping them find a safe space or finding breathing exercises that can help in the moment. This will help them feel better about coping with panic attacks.
What is Hypnotherapy panic attack treatment?
Hypnotherapy or hypnosis is a form of “complementary and alternative medicine” treatment which utilises guided relaxation, intensive concentration, and also focused attention to gain an enhanced state of attention that is sometimes called a ‘trance’. Anything taking place around the individual is temporarily blocked out or disregarded. In this very natural state, an individual may concentrate their attention, through the help of a trained hypnotherapist, on certain thoughts or activities.
How does panic attack treatment using hypnotherapy work?
Hypnotherapy is generally considered a support to certain forms of psychotherapy counselling. It can also be used as a treatment by itself. It may sometimes help with psychotherapy because since the hypnotic state permits people to explore uncomfortable thoughts, feelings, and experiences, which they may have hidden from their conscious thoughts. Furthermore, hypnosis allows people to experience some things in a different way, for example blocking out the consciousness of pain.
Hypnotherapy is often used in two complementary approaches, as suggestion therapy or for individual psychoanalysis.
Suggestion therapy: The hypnotic state helps make the person far better able to respond to suggestions. Therefore, hypnotherapy can help many people change certain behaviours, such as giving up smoking or nail-biting. It could also help individuals change perceptions and sensations, and is particularly beneficial in treating phobias, anxiety and certain kinds of pain.
Analysis: This approach utilises the relaxed state to explore possible unconscious factors which may be related to a psychological conflict such as a distressing past event that a person has hidden in their unconscious memory. When the trauma is revealed, it can be addressed in psychotherapy and talking therapy appraches.
What are the benefits of hypnotherapy treatment for panic attacks?
The hypnotic state allows an individual to become more accessible to discussion and suggestion. It may enhance the success of other treatments for many conditions, including:
- Phobias, fears, and anxiety
- Some sleep problems
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Grief and loss
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Additionally, it might be utilised to help with pain control and to get over habits and addictions, such as smoking, drugs or overeating. It also might be useful for people whose symptoms are severe or who need crisis management.
What are the drawbacks of hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy would not be suitable for a person who has psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions. It ought to be used for controlling some forms of pain only after a doctor has assessed the person for any physical disorder that might require medical or surgical treatment. Hypnosis is also not considered a standard or mainstream treatment for major psychiatric disorders like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or serious personality disorders.
If you would like help reducing panic attacks, my hypnotherapy session in London and online, may be able to help you. Click here for more information about anxiety hypnotherapy.