Practical exercise to find out personal causes of panic attacks
Somehow I myself thought of doing this, and this idea wandered around in my head for about a week, but it did not come be provided into life – either because of a lack of desire, whether it was through home troubles, or because of lack of self-discipline. And now I did it. I took sheets of LETTER paper and began mentioning when I felt panic attacks. I was writting down when I felt first panic attack, the second one and so on. I also wrote down circumstances I was in when the panic attack was happening. I was writting down every case of my panic attack I remembered on separate piece of paper. It looked approximately like this:
My first panic attack. It happened on the bus stop. Before that I had solid coffee. It was on the next day after drinking alcohol on the corporate party we had at main regional office of our company.
My second panic attack. It happened in the shuttle bus. The next day after drinking alcohol. On summer in the sea side. When at the bus I realized that I can not leave it when I want, if suddenly something bad happens to me.
My third panic attack. It happened at work. When I realized that I would not be able to leave the workplace myself if I something bad happens to me.
My fourth panic attack. At work, the next day after drinking alcohol, when I realized that I am not allowed to leave my work place in case I need.
My fifth panic attack. At work, when I could not leave work until I finish the task.
My sixth panic attack. At work, I urgently need to complete a project and I can not leave the work and go home when I want.
My seventh panic attack. In a bus – I can not leave it if I feel start feeling bad.
My eighth panic attack. At home, when I urgently need to complete the task, otherwise I can not leave the computer when I want.
My ninth panic attack. In the cafe at the table, when I wait for waiter to bring my food and I can not leave this place, because I am here not by myself and besides, I have not paid yet.
In fact, there were much more different situations where panic attacks occured to me, but I wrote only the main ones due to the fact that many of them were repeated. I highlited similar reasons for each specific case of my panic attack with one color. At first, it all seemed illogical, but when I looked at what I wrote, I realized the reasons! Look at the colors yourself. The reasons are one and the same all the time, or there is even one main reason and other factors only contributed to the increase or occurrence of panic attacks. I will decipher what I mean.
The first place took the reason which I highlighted with red color and it sounds like I can not leave a certain place when I want. In 100% of time my panic attacks occurred where I could not leave the place of my own free will. Whether it’s a coffee table, a birthday party, a taxi, a workplace or a queue at a post office or in a bank. Now, after two months of working on myself in these places and in these situations I feel increased anxiety, but no longer panic attacks. I believe that it all started to happen with me because of stressful work. I have never felt any panic attacks ever since. Physical work or work which I like only brought me joy or was neutral. Just after I changed the job for the office – after a while I started to feel panic attacks again. Realizing the situation with the emergence of panic attack, you can release this situation (you let it go) and everything will be ok since then. Panic attacks will disappear and only a certain disturbing state will remain for some time, and this is already a conditioned reflex and it will gradually disappear itself, because there is no major reson (s) – the cause (es) of panic attacks. It is some kind of reason that moved from your consciousness into subconscious and causes your panic attacks. This reason must be remembered, thought out and released. True, I do not think that if the reason was stressful work in the office, I understood this reason and let go, then if I return to a similar job, then panic attacks will not happen again. Perhaps you need to do what you want or at least something neutral, and not torture yourself doing the job which is compltely not yours. You have such a body feature – sensitive, not hardened or injured nervous system. Therefore, someone who survived a heart attack is not allowed to do hard physical labor, similar to those who survived panic attacks should not engage into too stressful work. If others want to see you as an office worker, let them wish, but it’s your life, and if you do not like it, do not work at the office, that’s all. But you have to know that even if you did everything right then complete recovery will not come suddenly. The source of stress has disappeared, but it left its traumatic footprint – and the nervous system should recover from injury and strengthen.
The second place took highlighted by the green color cause – the next day after drinking alcohol. I reasoned over this one for a long time. I thought alcohol was the main reason of my panic attacks, but I could not understand why sometimes I drink heavily and the next morning I feel great. If I had a little doze of hard alcohol or if I had some beer I have never had panic attack next morning. It all depends on the tone of the nervous system. If the nervous system was suppressed and “dried” and I was drinking alcohol, because in this way I thought I would relieve the stress associated with work, then I definitely experienced panic attack on the next day. Even healthy people on the second day of alcohol have a strong oppression of the nervous system, and what to say about those who are ill with anxiety disorder and panic attacks. However, alcohol was not the root cause of my panic attacks, as we see, but provoked their occurrence. In general, we often enter the vicious circle. Work is stress – to relieve stress we use alcohol, after alcohol – work again – that is, all factors are ineffective and suppress the nervous system and are very stressful. And is this not a way of life of a modern city dweller? Somebody has PA and anxiety in this background, and someone has a stronger nervous system and withstands, but he can get sick with other illnesses, for example – cardiovascular.
All other reasons I do not consider to be the reasons, but only provocateurs of panic attacks against the background of the suppressed nervous system, these provocateurs are – caffeine, nicotine, alcohol. Each of them operates in different ways, with varying strength and at different time intervals, but these are all provocateurs and they can very much affect the emergence and the course of a panic attack. If eliminating “provocateurs”, panic attacks can happen less often, but they will not disappear, because this is not their cause; so panic attacks and anxiety will remain, if not to work on the global causes of their occurrence – and this is already in psychology, attitudes, and complexes. Therefore, we need to work on ourselves in terms of development and identification of these reasons. You can visit a psychologist, you can and should do meditation, which not only helps reduce the number of panic attacks and their strength, but also understand the true underlying causes of panic attacks and understand yourself, understand what you want from life – where to live, on which work to work and other.