Have you ever suffered from panic attacks? the most common symptoms are an irrational fear, physical reactions such as heart racing, sweats and shallow breathing as well as a total loss of control. Panic attacks can hit anywhere and at any time, and it’s quite common to suddenly experience an attack without any prior warning.
Based on my experience working with clients having suffered from panic attacks, I found that whenever the panic attacks in closed environments such as planes or tubes happened, often there was a trauma at the source of it. The feeling those clients described was similar to feeling trapped. Research on the brain suggests that when we experience a trauma reaction, it’a often a sign that the brain has identified a trigger, a sound, an environment, a place that is similar to one that was present in early days during a traumatic situation, and the brain responds in the present moment as if the initial trauma was happening again.
A traumatic situation however doesn’t have to be an extreme experience, it can be an event that has had a strong negative impact on someone but would be seen as insignificant to someone else. My definition of a traumatic event is therefore based on the impact it had – and still has in the present on that person. Hence I have seen in my clients traumatic events ranging from a parent’s separation to a full on physical and sexual abuse. The impact is what defines the event as traumatic for someone, not the actual severity of the situation.
Anyhow I have approached panic attacks on that basis, with the assumption that the panic is probably a response to a present trigger that actually unconsciously reminds the person of a past trauma. So I look for the trauma and if there is one, my treatment consists in healing it with a combination of hypnotherapy, NLP and EFT.
In some extreme cases, the trauma was actually symbolised as a past life, as you may have read in one of my previous post. And the most extraordinary thing is that healing the trauma in that past life, or in the interpretation of that event as a past life – was sufficient to resolve the panic attacks.
In another case, the client’s trauma underlying the panic attacks was to live with a highly dysfunctional mother and feeling trapped in that unhealthy environment during her childhood. Once more, by addressing those memories we managed to eradicate the panic attacks – they disappeared and it’s now almost been a year and this client is able to travel on packed buses and tubes without a flicker of anxiety.
The unconscious mind is benevolent, and I always keep this in mind when working with clients. So I assume that the apparition of a panic episode is simply the unconscious mind trying to bring attention onto something – a past unresolved experience – that needs to be addressed. So I welcome that manifestation and work with the unconscious mind, with the panic attack – instead of against it. I listen to what it has to say – with the help of Hypnosis and NLP – and we work to heal the trauma behind it. I must say the results are astonishing so far and I wonder what other issues can be resolved using that approach…
Have you had panic attacks? What’s your experience of it? What helped you get rid of them?