I read an interesting article about anxiety:
To sum it up, the author, a psychologist, suggests that anxiety & panic attacks are a result of not dealing with emotions for too long. The attacks are the mind & body’s way of releasing enough pressure so we don’t get overwhelmed.
This makes sense in a way to me. Feelings do have a way of demanding to be heard.
My first panic attack happened the night before my grandmom’s funeral in 1996. I’d never heard of panic attacks & thought I was having a heart attack. My husband had them before & figured out quickly what was going on, thankfully. Anyway what triggered the attack was thinking about seeing my family. I hadn’t seen them in a few years at that point, because my mother then later also my ex husband told me my grandparents hated me. Since my family was close at the time, I figured if my grandparents hated me, everyone else did too. I pulled away from them in 1992. I thought if I showed up 4 years later at the funeral, these people who hated me would kick me out or show their hatred of me in some other way. I didn’t feel capable of dealing with losing my grandmom, who I loved, in addition to being hated. Thinking about that was painful. I tried to push all my thoughts aside because I felt overwhelmed. Then, a panic attack started.
Other times, panic attacks have started in similar ways. Trying to push aside fear of going into a public place or ignoring anger rather than facing it can trigger panic attacks for me. Before I stopped speaking to my in-laws, knowing I was going to see my mother in-law triggered panic attacks. I knew she hated me & if we were alone for any length of time, was going to say or do something hateful. Trying to ignore the anger I felt at being forced to deal with her triggered panic attacks.
I don’t know if this psychologist is right about all panic attacks, but when I thought about it, I realized it’s definitely true for at least some of my panic attacks. Does this describe yours too?
Unfortunately the author didn’t offer suggestions on ways to cope with these panic attacks. I’m guessing though the best way to do so is to face the feelings that accompany them as soon as you can. Pray, talk to a supportive friend, journal… whatever way works best for you to cope with your feelings. I also wonder if writing in a journal on a daily basis could help. Daily recognizing your emotions & dealing with them seems like it should cut back on panic attacks.