Hypnotherapy for Panic Attacks
Panic Attacks & Anxiety 101
Panic attacks can be characterised by bouts of apprehension or an intense fear that comes on suddenly, and often, without warning. The attacks can vary in duration and can last for a few minutes to as long as a few hours. Typically, the attacks subside in a few hours without treatment, but for first-time sufferers, they can be quite overwhelming and can be easily mistaken as a heart attack. Panic attacks are experienced by about 1.7 % of Australia’s population. They are twice as common in women than in men and can often develop into phobias. Panic attacks may be due to psychological reasons and can even have biological causes like hyperthyroidism. Sometimes the withdrawal of a drug such as caffeine or medication can have an effect.
Some of the Symptoms of Panic Attacks
The symptoms of panic attacks are usually sudden and can happen without any warning. These symptoms can include:
- Palpitations or increased heart rate
- Physical distress like chest pains and stomach upset
- Feeling nauseous, dizzy, and light headed-ness
- Breathing difficulties
- Tingling sensation in the hands
- Chills or hot flashes
- Shaking and trembling
- Thinking that something horrible is about to happen
- Feeling out-of-control over something
- Feeling the need to escape
- Sudden fear of dying
Doctors typically offer medications and psychological therapies in treating panic attacks. In a lot of cases, doctors will suggest the administration of benzodiazepines upon the onset of the attack, which can effectively ease the person out of the symptoms quickly. Other medications include sertraline, or commonly known as Zoloft, clonazepam, lorazepam, and certain beta-blockers. Nonetheless, it is suggested that these drugs can cause some side effects including the possibility of dependency, and do not treat the cause of the disorder.
Hypnosis as a Form of Treatment for Panic Attacks
While there are no significant number of research and studies available proving that hypnosis can stop panic attacks, a 1990 journal states that a study was conducted to assess the effectiveness of hypnosis in treating them. The study involved a subject who had undergone a 13-week and a 6-month follow-up of hypnosis treatment. Results showed hypnotherapy increased the subject’s sense of control, improvement in self-concept, as well as a reduction in of panic attacks.
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Dryden-Edwards, Roxanne, MD. “Panic Attacks.” MedicineNet. N.p., 10 Sept. 2013. Web. <http://www.medicinenet.com/panic_disorder/article.htm>.
“Panic Attack.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 25 May 2014. Web. 31 May 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic_attack>.
Der, Du-Fay, and Philippa Lewington. “Rational Self-Directed Hypnotherapy: A Treatment for Panic Attacks.” American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 32.3 (1990): 160-67. Web. <http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00029157.1990.10402820#.U4mVp3Yb3Fw>.