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Anxiety or Panic Disorder (Panic Attacks)

(Federal Government Information)

Plus My Information on Anxiety and Panic Disorder


See our privacy policy. It started 10 years ago. I was sitting in a seminar in a hotel and this thing came out of the clear blue. I felt like I was dying." "For me, a panic attack is almost a violent experience. I feel like I'm going insane. It makes me feel like I'm losing control in a very extreme way. My heart pounds really hard, things seem unreal, and there's this very strong feeling of impending doom." "In between attacks there is this dread and anxiety that it's going to happen again. It can be very debilitating, trying to escape those feelings of panic." People with panic disorder have feelings of terror that strike suddenly and repeatedly with no warning. They can't predict when an attack will occur, and many develop intense anxiety between episodes, worrying when and where the next one will strike.

In between times there is a persistent, lingering worry that another attack could come any minute. When a panic attack strikes, most likely your heart pounds and you may feel sweaty, weak, faint, or dizzy. Your hands may tingle or feel numb, and you might feel flushed or chilled. You may have chest pain or smothering sensations, a sense of unreality, or fear of impending doom or loss of control. You may genuinely believe you're having a heart attack or stroke, losing your mind, or on the verge of death. Attacks can occur any time, even during non dream sleep. While most attacks average a couple of minutes, occasionally they can go on for up to 10 minutes. In rare cases, they may last an hour or more.

You may genuinely believe you're having a heart attack, losing your mind, or on the verge of death. Attacks can occur any time, even during non dream sleep. Panic disorder strikes between 3 and 6 million Americans, and is twice as common in women as in men. It can appear at any age--in children or in the elderly--but most often it begins in young adults. Not everyone who experiences panic attacks will develop panic disorder-- for example, many people have one attack but never have another.

For those who do have panic disorder, though, it's important to seek treatment. Untreated, the disorder can become very disabling. Panic disorder is often accompanied by other conditions such as depression or alcoholism, and may spawn phobias, which can develop in places or situations where panic attacks have occurred. For example, if a panic attack strikes while you're riding an elevator, you may develop a fear of elevators and perhaps start avoiding them. Some people's lives become greatly restricted--they avoid normal, everyday activities such as grocery shopping, driving, or in some cases even leaving the house. Or, they may be able to confront a feared situation only if accompanied by a spouse or other trusted person. Basically, they avoid any situation they fear would make them feel helpless if a panic attack occurs.

When people's lives become so restricted by the disorder, as happens in about one-third of all people with panic disorder, the condition is called agoraphobia. A tendency toward panic disorder and agoraphobia runs in families. Nevertheless, early treatment of panic disorder can often stop the progression to agoraphobia. Studies have shown that proper treatment--a type of psychotherapy called cognitive-behavioral therapy, medications, or possibly a combination of the two--helps 70 to 90 percent of people with panic disorder. Significant improvement is usually seen within 6 to 8 weeks.

Cognitive-behavioral approaches teach patients how to view the panic situations differently and demonstrate ways to reduce anxiety, using breathing exercises or techniques to refocus attention, for example. Another technique used in cognitive-behavioral therapy, called exposure therapy, can often help alleviate the phobias that may result from panic disorder. In exposure therapy, people are very slowly exposed to the fearful situation until they become desensitized to it.


 

My Information on Anxiety


Anxiety is a normal thing for humans to feel. The more of it they feel, then the less calm, peaceful and happy they are. People only worry about it when it gets very bad. That is a mistake. Then they may just reduce it so it is no longer very bad. This is something that people should spend their whole life trying to reduce. The less anxiety you feel, the more peace and happiness you will feel. The anxiety comes from projecting yourself into the future. You need to learn to be more in the moment or in the present.

A very famous American psychologist, Abraham Maslow (1908-1970), said "I can feel guilty about the past, apprehensive about the future, but only in the present can I act. The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness." A famous poet, Kahlil Gibran said "Every person has inside of them a cup of joy. But you cannot drink from it, save [unless] you forget the past and renounce the future." Renounce means to give up or resign. It means that you have nothing to do  with it.  Yoga and meditation helps one to be in the present. The more in the moment you can be, the happier you can be. The flow experience in psychology is described as a feeling of time stopping.

To do this you need more trust. It does not have to be in anything (God, universe, angels or guides). It is just a feeling of trust. Things that can help this are things like reading, playing sports, yoga, martial arts, tai chi and meditation. I have done  all of the above. They help you to have the flow experience (something that psychologists found). This is talked about on the Prescription for Happiness page. My mother and brother got into reading a lot but they read mostly fiction. I also got into reading also, but I liked reading only non-fiction. The above things help you to focus and concentrate better. I did not know at that time that I would be writing down a lot of what I read for everyone to read.

Now you may have gotten to this page because of too much anxiety but you can help it so much that someday most people are much more anxious than you. As a youth I noticed that I loved the feelings that I got from reading and playing sports and I wanted to feel more of that. Also I wanted to feel a lot less of the feelings of worry and being concerned about things. Drugs, drinking and even smoking all make this anxiety much worse. So your your priority in life should be to be as calm as possible. Everyone will have things in life that they do not like. If you think that someone has a great life, remember that someday everyone they know will be dead. Also they will be dead. So things happen, but the challenge in life is to still feel good and not worry.

There are those 2 sayings "don't sweat the small stuff" and "it is all small stuff." This page is under the Natural Healing webpage so make sure to read that. That part of you that lives outside of the physical universe, lives in a state of eternal peace. In that world, there is no birth and death. Things are always the same, but it is not boring like in this world. Things are always perfect. This is why some people kill themselves, in hope to get there but it does not work that way. Meditation is something you can do at anytime.

One bad thing I see is that when people are waiting awhile for something, they will sit and do nothing for a long time. That is no good. I would always carry a book with me to read. My family would go out to eat and we would all have books with us. Then if we were not talking about something interesting, then we would be reading. You can even carry a pen and paper with you and write about something when you have to wait for something. There is a saying about meditation. "To the world he is dead, but to the one deep in meditation, the world is dead." They are dead to the profound peace that is within themselves. It is all about becoming more relaxed and calm.

Now you may think that this all sounds good but it is not possible. But ask yourself this, "why does it sound good?" Does it sound good because humans like to suffer? No, it sounds good because humans like to feel good since that is their true nature. Also there are uplifting movies you can watch to help you. One is Brother Sun, Sister Moon. It is about St Francis of Assisi who was great at trusting things to work out. He created that saying "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can change and the wisdom to know the difference." Now L Ron Hubbard (the founder of Dianetics and Scientology) said "Try to control the things that you can control and do not try to control the things that you cannot control."

Social Anxiety

This is normal and common in today's society. For hundreds of thousands of years, people lived in villages. It was like a big family. That is why there is the saying, "it takes a village to raise a child." People took care of each other and shared things so there was no idea of stealing.

If they met with another village to trade or celebrate and have done this many times, they felt relaxed with them. If it was a tribe that they never encountered before (strangers), then they had to be very cautious since the other tribe may kill them. They may be there to rape and pillage (the act of looting [stealing] especially in a war).

Some live in small towns where everyone knows each other like where Avril Lavigne grew up (Napanee, Canada). But most Americans live in big cities or suburbs, where most people are strangers. So this environment creates a lot of stress for the person. But this should motivate you to find ways to relax and de-stress (like yoga) and things that will make you a more relaxed person. See webpage about finding happiness and enlightenment. You can become a very relaxed person who feels perfect peace. It is only then can you be extremely happy.

Kevin Trudeau says in his best selling book, Natural Cures They Do Not Want You to Know About, "All illnesses and diseases are caused by the same things; (1) too many toxins in the body; (2) nutritionally deficiencies; (3) electromagnetic chaos exposure; (4) mental and/or emotional distress." "The most effective way to cure and prevent disease is by getting the toxins out." "One very powerful cleanse is, of course, fasting." "Drugs only suppress symptoms, and they cause disease because they are toxic." In More Natural Cures Revealed, Kevin Trudeau says "The facts are clear, drugs, both prescription and non-prescription, do not make you healthier, they make you sicker. Drug companies are not interested in your health. Drug companies only want you to buy and use more drugs. If you want to cure yourself of any disease you have and remain healthy, you must eliminate all non-prescription and prescription drugs."

Kevin Trudeau says in Natural Cures,

"In the Natural Cures book I talk about the fact that the sun does not cause skin cancer. The sun is needed for life. If you do not spend time in the sun you will be sick. The sun is vital for health, longevity and to be disease free....Without sunlight you develop diseases including depression, lack of energy, poor sleep, poor digestion, weight gain, arthritis, constipation, bad breath, body odor, cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, ADD, stress, headaches, susceptibility to colds, flus and viral infections, PMS, male erectile dysfunction, loss of sexual desire in women, infertility, anxiety and more." Sunbathing will help you relax, look better and lose weight if you need to.

Things to Help Anxiety and Stress

A practical thing that you can start doing right away is yoga. Besides the benefits of regular exercises it produces a lot extra of those feel good chemicals in the brain (endorphins) since the positions produce stimulation to the organs and the glands in the body. The book below teaches the best yoga. There are pictures of the founder with President Bill Clinton, Madonna and John McEnroe in his studio. I learned this yoga from this book. I have been doing yoga since age 12.

The book says that the benefits for one position is that it helps "develop concentration, patience and determination. Physically, it tightens abdominal and thigh muscles, improves flexibility of the sciatic nerves...." "The balancing stick [another posture] perfects control and balance by improving physical, psychological and mental powers." "The toe stand develops psychological and mental powers-- especially patience." Another great thing for anxiety is tai chi (moving mediation).

Each type of yoga does the postures differently. Here is what the book (below) says: "The Triangle is the only posture in the world that improves every muscle, joint, tendon and internal organ in the body. At the same time, revitalizes nerves, veins, and tissues. It helps cure lumbago and rheumatism of the lower spine by flexing and strengthening the last 5 vertebrae, and it improves crooked spines.... It also firms upper thighs and hips, slims the waistline...." Actress Jennifer Aniston says "Yoga calms me down. It gives me energy and focus." She also does meditation.

Here is something I found this on the internet:

"You want a positive story involving Bikram Yoga? Well I can certainly give you one - my wife and I started Bikram Yoga 3 weeks ago. I had a few reasons why I wanted to do Bikram, the main reasons being that I suffer from anxiety in the early hours of the morning which means I rarely get a good nights sleep, and as a result this makes me an angry and restless of mind person during the day. I can't relax, and I worry about the silliest things. I've been looking for a way to achieve peace of mind for years, and finally I have through Bikram. Now just to let you know, I am very fit, I cycle to work and back every day, don't smoke and don't drink too much.... I was at a complete loss as to what to do, and my marriage was also suffering as a result of my lack of peace of mind... I've found amazing peace of mind and strength through Bikram Yoga."

Here are some quotes about yoga by Timothy McCall M.D. from his book, Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing (© 2007) [See this book at bottom of page]. "I've gained muscle, lost fat and become a lot more flexible." "What's become more important to me is the mental peace that has come...." "Stepping out of the crazy, fast-paced world to pay close attention to what's happening right then and there puts me in touch with a calm place deep inside me-- deep inside all of us." "Yoga [includes postures and meditation] is not a panacea [cure-all], but it is powerful medicine indeed for body, mind and spirit." Dr McCall is a board-certified specialist in internal medicine who started doing yoga in middle age. The cover of this book says "Read this to find out why we teach our patients yoga-- Mehmet Oz, M.D., author of YOU: The Owners Manual."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) has a website by the leading botanist in the world, Dr James Duke, which lists plants that have antianxiety phyochemicals in them. The first one has the highest concentration of these chemicals: valerian root with 2 antianxiety chemicals, garlic 3, asparagus 3, beets 3, bok choy 3, cauliflower 3, brussel sprouts 3, spinach 3 and peanuts with 3 chemicals.

The book, Nutrition Almanac (4th edition 1996-- over 2.5 million sold) says "If a person is tired, irritable, nervous, depressed, or even suicidal, suspect a vitamin B deficiency."  Greens drinks (see Superior Nutrition) contain an abundance of B vitamins except vitamin B-12. The vitamin B-12 supplement is grown on bacteria or mold unlike other vitamins and minerals that are made with (or extracted with) chemicals. I just read about someone having a lot of anxiety and that they also ate a lot of meat. It was mentioned to cut back or eliminate meat since it contains adrenalin. When the animal is being killed, it is scared to death and releases all this adrenalin.

The page on natural healing covers a diet good for depression and mental problems. An additional thing is that when animals are being killed in the slaughter house, they release a lot of fear hormones. Then when you eat them, you are eating those fear hormones which will make you have more fear. So you can avoid eating meat like Einstein and Da Vinci did. If plants have fear, they do not produce hormones. When you eat fruit, you are not hurting the plant at all. The plant wants you to eat the fruit to spread its children around. You spit out a watermelon seed and it becomes the child plant of the one that made the watermelon.

Psychology Today Magazine says "Neuroscientists have found that meditators shift their brain activity to different areas of the cortex - brain waves in the stress-prone right frontal cortex move to the calmer left frontal cortex. This mental shift decreases the negative effects of stress, mild depression and anxiety. There is also less activity in the amygdala, where the brain processes fear." One last thing: If you could unlock all the love in your heart, you would drown all your fears away. To learn how to do this and learn about meditation see the article What is Enlightenment. 

Oprah Winfrey is heavily promoting Eckhart Tolle and his book, A New Earth. His previous book was The Power of Now. It says "Ultimately, there is only one problem: the time-bound mind itself." "You may find it hard to recognize that time [perception] is the cause of your suffering or your problems." "Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry-- all forms of fear-- are caused by too much future, and not enough presence." Note what Abraham Maslow says about time above.

"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends and the most patient of teachers." --Charles W. Eliot "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." --Mark Twain

Copyright 2006 by Chuck Bluestein

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