(This post is in response to an article I just read about Panic Attacks – I am just venting)
I take acupuncture for my anxiety, did I ever mention that?
I’d say I’ve been about 3 or 4 times since November. The acupuncturist is a man who I saw back in 2005 and came to my attention again because my father had started going to see him.
He doesn’t use needles, but an infra-red light on the pressure points. Strangely, I haven’t asked why. He tells me that after the session, depending on how anxious I am, that I will feel a little sleepy – and that I should do whatever I can to help it to “stick.” I have felt this calmness. My inner skeptic asks me if it is actually working, or the suggestion from him is what is calming me. I respond: “What does it matter? I’m calm!”
We talk about a whole list of different things, but mainly about anxiety and what each point is supposed to do. There is a huge sense of comfort with him because he doesn’t hide anything from me. He doesn’t guard his knowledge like I feel some doctors (that I have personally seen) do.
He explained to me that what he was doing is “resetting” my body, tricking it into functioning in a different way – or, rather, the normal way. He explained that everyone has an anxiety curve. With most people their curve returns to normal after their fight or flight reflexes are activated, but for some unknown reason others have a more difficult time resetting their curve.
So, what happens is their little marker keeps going up and up after each anxious experience, until it is stuck in Panic.
I read articles arranged by “experts” or even just “mindful” people, explaining to me all the reasons why I shouldn’t be scared of a panic attack, and I roll my eyes. They have obviously never known what it is like to be in a state of panic that you can’t control. I’m not talking about a normal panic attack, I’m talking about being stuck on Panic.
You may not agree that there is a difference, but from my own experience, I would beg to differ.
I sit here typing this with my abnormal anxiety, not quite normal, not quite panic. If you were to come to me while I felt on the verge of panic, told me to breathe deeply and walked me through a quick, calming meditation I would respond – and I would calm myself.
5 months ago I would say: “Good luck to you, Sir.”
While stuck on Panic, I was scared of every little physical change in my body. I have never been afraid of dying, however what I was feeling could only be explained in that way. Now, here I am, not afraid of dying again. Something, during that state, was affecting me. It wasn’t my own thoughts – it was a built in mechanism.
This fear of dying is built in to every one of us – not mentally, but physically. If it wasn’t then no one would ever have a panic attack. While I agree that people should be informed to what a panic attack is, why is it “silly” to want to save your life? These panicked feelings are intense – they are designed to get your attention.
I cannot seem to put this all into words the way I wish to.
I mostly want to suggest to such article writers: stick to what you know. If you haven’t suffered from GAD, Panic Attacks or any type of phobia, no amount of study (or looking it up online) is going to make you an “expert.” If you want to really know what happens, talk to us. Don’t spout off facts about why we shouldn’t be afraid because it has no meaning to us.
(The reason I assume this was written by someone who has never suffered from this affliction is because it lacked understanding and love. Someone who has been through this would never write in such a derogatory way.)
I’m sorry but I just feel it is articles like that which perpetuate the stigma around anxiety-related conditions.
Well, that’s it. I will now go and enjoy my day. I hope you enjoy yours.