(Posted September 12th 2016 @ 3:55 PM by: Cindy Miller)
The phone rang at about 3:30 a.m. Groggily, I lifted the receiver and heard a gasping, anxious voice on the other end. “I’m dying. Help me!” the panicked voice pleaded. Julie had been suffering with panic attacks all summer. She had recently moved to the area with her husband and new baby. The move away from family to a new area along with the subsequent birth of her daughter had been very stressful for her. She felt alone in a new town and fearful about her ability to care for the baby. Shortly after her husband began working twelve-hour shifts through the night, Julie began to experience chest pains and shortness of breath. Doctors ran all the tests, but nothing was found. Julie was referred for counseling to help her work through the issues of stress and anxiety.
What is Panic Anxiety Attack? A panic anxiety attack is often experienced as unexpected and oftentimes repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms that may include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, or abdominal distress, often imitating the symptoms of a heart attack or other life threatening medical conditions.
Facts About Panic/Anxiety Attacks
Attacks usually are brief, lasting about ten to fifteen minutes, but may leave the sufferer exhausted and frightened.
Twice as many women as men suffer from these attacks. It is suspected that the multiple roles of being a breadwinner, homemaker, and the primary childcare provider may be behind this alarming trend.
There is a definite correlation between panic/anxiety disorder and stressful life events. It need not be traumatic stress; long-term “everyday” stress may be behind the disorder.
There is often a link between gastrointestinal problems and panic anxiety.
The problem is frequently misdiagnosed or minimized in health care.
When treated, panic anxiety shows rapid improvement.
While panic/anxiety attacks are on the increase, with a reported three to six million Americans suffering daily, the good news is that there is hope for you. You are able to help yourself abort further attacks. Each attack reinforces a “fear of fear.” There is dread and anxiety centered around a possible reoccurrence. If you are experiencing panic anxiety, try keeping a record of when and where the attacks occur. A reoccurring pattern usually begins to emerge that gives the sufferer information for preventing further attacks. Making simple changes in your lifestyle may be one component to eliminating anxiety.
For example, we are daily bombarded with depressing information called “The News.” You may need to turn your radio to a station that plays soothing music rather than absorb a continual monologue of bad news. By using the information of when and where the attacks occur, you will be able to make changes to eliminate triggers.
It is always recommended that you consult with your doctor to assess for other medical problems. However, taking control over your thoughts and emotions is your responsibility. Recovery starts with you. Adjust your lifestyle to eliminate stress. (Yes, you can!). Learn to relax. Make time to laugh and play. Make use of the wonderful natural tranquilizers that our brain provides by improving your sleeping quality, staying positive, taking walks, and stopping all unnecessary busyness.
Panic anxiety results from an interplay of body, mind, and spirit. We cannot neglect the spiritual component and expect full recovery. The greatest gift you can give yourself is daily restoration. Develop a time to meditate on the Word, pray, worship, and focus on God
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV).