Panic on the streets of London…and every where else in the world it seems

During my days working in rehab it was common to see these beautiful human beings who were so fragile due to the pressures and lifestyle that they had come to address struggling to move forwards with their recoveries due to newly emerging panic attacks.  Many man and women had lived a barren life for too long and needed to take their lives back. What started out as an adventurous, fearless, fun loving person had withered into an empty carcass of existence.  Panic attacks were an all too familiar experience of those making their first steps back into the world. Sometimes panic attacks emerge to stop you doing what you are doing now or as a response to the fear of change, even though that change is for the better. The fear emerges because it is the worst type of fear, the fear of the unknown.  Those steps needed support, guidance and most of all the sense that in this maelstrom of emotions they were safe.  Panic sets in as a defence mechanism. The problem is the regulator on this mechanism has gone wonky and fear is found in those once everyday situations and routines.  Breathing, blushing, fainting, sweating, feeling like you are dying were the common stories.  It was inspiring to watch people figure their way out of this maze of uncontrolled emotions. Therapist can have all the answers to move people forward through the pain and anguish of panic attacks but during the attacks we remain mere observers on the touchlines, willing the client on to work through those feelings and experience and challenge the thinking in order for the panic to subside and end. Taking the time to keep trying, to change their language and focus on what they can do, instead of what they found too much today; to be grateful.  Overtime, people who experience panic attacks find they disappear as the panic has done its job, it has slowed you down, given you time to reflect and make changes to the way you live, think and behave.  Want to beat panic attacks, accept, adopt and address the life you live.  In the words of the late Susan Jeffers Feel the Fear and do it anyway.

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