Monday, August 21, 2017

Do you understand the devastation of Panic Disorder?

Fear is the controlling emotion in a panic disorder. It comes on quickly and powerfully. Sometimes the panic is a reaction to environmental “cues.” In some people, though, the panic comes for no identifiable reason.

Impending Doom for Millions

Image result for fear

An estimated 6.5 million persons in the United States experience panic attacks. It is common to have both classic depression and panic attacks, and many who experience panic disorder also suffer from other mental illnesses. Attacks can cause almost unbelievable distress. This is not the “panicky” feeling one gets when a real threat is perceived. Panic is a normal stress reaction when there is threat of danger. Panic attacks relate to no discernible threat, but the person feels paralyzing terror. The person feels a sense of impending danger or dread, sometimes called “angst.” The heart pounds and races, as the body goes into its “fight-or-flight” physical response. The person may feel chest pain, light-headness , and have difficulty breathing.

The Hurricane Tornado Analogy

Image result for hurricane and tornadoes

Episodes can come in clusters of perhaps two or three a day. A set of attacks can continue day after day, or they can stop for months and suddenly reappear at any time of day or night.

A panic attack that occurs in the middle of a depressive episode is a particularly serious event. It might be compared to one type of storm. Living in Florida, Robyn and I endured the ninety-mile-an-hour winds of Hurricane David (1979). David was a “category 5” monster storm in the Caribbean, but it was losing its punch by the time it reached Florida. Still, like depression, the wind was constant, severe, and seemed to go on and on.

Then there was Hurricane Andrew (1992), the most destructive U.S. storm on record. What made Andrew so devastating was that embedded within its massive cell was a meteorological phenomenon that caused winds to swirl into tornadoes. In addition to the straight winds, tornadoes unexpectedly swept through south Florida, destroying entire communities. A tornado hidden inside a hurricane describes a panic attack that comes along in the midst of an episode of depression. Panic attacks come and go, while the episode of depression remains to debilitate the person.

My Personal Panic Attack.

In the midst of my initial depression, I suddenly felt the pounding heart and feared I was having a heart attack. My hands tingled and I hyperventilated, to the point that for a time I carried around a brown bag to breathe into. It reinforced my fears that I was “going insane,” since the experience of panic also included some feelings of derealization and depersonalization. Those who work in trauma centers of hospital emergency rooms commonly see persons who are certain that they are having a heart problem, when actually they are experiencing a panic attack. EMTs on emergency calls must ascertain whether heart attack symptoms presented are coming from the heart

Do you need help? If you are in South Florida, we can come to you and counsel you where you live.Here is a link to learn how we can also use Skype or by phone.  Please click on our first link then scroll down.

Below is the book from which this  excerpt was taken.
For Kindle please go to:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to respond to my blog. I value your opinion.