anxiety · emetophobia · life · panic attacks · therapy

Therapy update #4

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Hi all, hope you are having a great weekend.

Time for my therapy update and they have given me homework…to be my own detective and figure out what triggers my panic attacks. Let me explain.

We figured out that the majority of my panic attacks happen very quickly unless they are related to my emetophobia than I obviously know what triggers it or I am in a situation where I feel anxious and am anxious about it for example if I am at the airport I am always anxious about take off. We were discussing a panic attack I had last week, I had a tight chest, shortness of breath and felt dizzy. I had no reason to be anxious, I was sitting with my mum and sister drinking tea.

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We used the whole session to try find an explanation for this panic attack, did I have too much caffeine that day? Did my mind fleet out of the room for just a second and I was subconsciously worrying about something? (Not unusual for me)

These are the panic attacks that scare me the most, the no reason for it and the physical symptoms are quite worrying.
At the time it happened so fast I had no time to search for an explanation, the physical symptoms or shall I say the expression of my anxiety was there instantly.
It is so frustrating!!
We spoke about the physical symptoms and my therapist did tell me nobody has died from a panic attack before, maybe he could see the fear in my eyes. He made some reassuring comments, the physical symptoms is our body language, it is telling us we are anxious.
He also told me that worrying about things like say a job interview, a driving test, and moving home (which I am going to be doing next week) etc are going to make us anxious or nervous and it is normal, it is just our body expressing the emotions.
Deep down I know this is normal but sometimes I still need the reassurance.
We also spoke about the flight or fight response – our minds cannot tell the difference between a real threat or an imaginary one. If you tell yourself something enough you are going to believe it.

So to sum up the session, we have decided to work on exposure therapy for panic attacks first and than move onto my phobia, and my mission for the week is to cut out caffeine to see if it makes a difference and to be vigilant when I suddenly feel anxious and write down what I was thinking. I also need to start weaning out of my safety behaviours.

One thing I must say about my sessions is that afterwards I feel so sleepy, I don’t know if it is because it is mentally tiring or the fact that it is a very quiet room and all you can here is a clock ticking. Anyone else had this?

Until next week…

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