Well , I can tell you by personal experience that it's true! You have the power to end your panic! The answer may sound easy for some but I assure you that no matter how easy it may sound, it will take a lot of effort on your part to make recovery from panic a reality.
It is only through facing your panic sensations and working through them that you will stop panic attacks. When I first heard this, I thought for sure that there had to be an easier way...a quicker way.... a less threatening way. Boy was I wrong! I read many books and they all said the same thing. The only way through a panic disorder was to work through it. I had to put myself in situations that provoked those panic sensations. It definitely was not easy and I definitely did not do it without the necessary skills! Anyone can face panic and survive and this is NOT what I am talking about. Mastering skills such as breathing exercises, positive thoughts, and using the stress management tips will help you overcome your panic. These skill are very much like weapons to win an internal war. Facing panic might be very difficult for you especially if you suffer from agoraphobia, but I assure you that once you begin facing those feelings and begin using your skills while practicing you can find real recovery and healing! Repetition, persistence and a good attitude are crucial to recovery.
Although panic attacks feel as if they are caused by an outside source they actually come from inside your body and are created by you. I know it's hard to believe that you are the one that is actually doing this to yourself but it's absolutely true! It was also very hard for me to believe that there wasn't something else causing my panic. I spent many hours researching my symptoms, went to countless doctors only to find out that I tested normal in all areas. Convincing myself was one of the hardest things to do! Convincing myself that I was physically fine and that I had to believe what others who have previously recovered were telling me was true was incredibly difficult. It was a matter of putting my trust in something I could not see for myself and a matter of trusting someone I didn't know to show me the way to recovery - someone who had been there and made it to the other side! There is much to be said about having the encouragement and support of someone who has been there personally and understands. If you have been to the doctors and have ruled out any physical reasons for your anxiety and have been diagnosed with having panic attacks or anxiety then you must know you are not alone. I have been there myself and know exactly how it feels. It's scary not to understand what's causing an attack , it leaves you feeling like a victim of some event you cannot control. Who wouldn't feel afraid after an experience like that?
Panic happens when people who are overcome with anxiety become fearful of their anxiety symptoms! When a person feels the negative effects of stress and anxiety they can outright scary! When they are experienced there is a tendency to add a second fear.... the big "what if". When the mind doesn't accept the normal symptoms of stress and anxiety as normal, they search for reasons thinking it must be something else, something much more serious. This results in people searching endlessly for answers that do not exist! Panic is the end result of "fear of fear symptoms"!
To stop panic attacks you must stop being afraid of panic! How do you do this? You do it by challenging your symptoms and by realizing they follow a pattern of their own. Panic always reaches its highest point and never gets any worse. People with panic are always waiting for something worse to happen but it never does. When you notice the common routine of a panic attack it becomes predicable and when something is predictable, you can learn not to fear it. Once you lose the fear of panic you will stop panic attacks. Fearing your symptoms only keeps panic alive. If you really want to stop panic attacks, you have to force yourself to do the very things that provoke your panic sensations. You have to realize that as quick as panic comes, it goes!
For Example: Panic always begins with a routine awareness that something is wrong. You may get a feeling of dread or a feeling that something terrible is about to happen.... then it is followed by anxiety and panic symptoms (perhaps they are more intense than the last time but the same nonetheless). The heart begins to race, you may tremble, sweat, or have obsessive scary thoughts, and you may provoke the fight or flight response which makes you feel like running or finding a safe place. Whether you run and leave your situation or stay still, the rapid heartbeat comes to a peak and then begins to slow down. All that is left is you feeling nervously exhausted. The routine of a panic attack is much like contractions in labor when having a baby. They come, they peak, and they taper off. It's the same old song and dance every time. Sometimes the panic cycle is longer than others or perhaps more intense but they all inevitably come to an end.
The answer to this horrible cycle is to face the panic, accept your feelings and do not run from them , allow your panic to rise and fall. The more you do this while telling yourself the truth, the less and less afraid of panic you will be. As horrible as it feels, it cannot hurt you! You must deliberately put yourself in situations where you can experience panic sensations in order to practice the cognitive-behavioral methods. However, it is very important that you do not provoke panic sensations until you have a good understanding of positive thought replacement. Thought replacement (the cognitive work) MUST work together with actually challenging (the behavioral work) those panic sensations . In order to practice overcoming panic, it takes much repetition. As long as you persevere, you cannot lose!
The time it takes to overcome panic, can be quick for some and for others may take much longer. It really depends on the person and how hard they work towards recovery. Repetition is very important! Read all you can, research all you can, by doing so you are more likely to be convinced that what I am telling you is true.
If I can stop panic attacks then you can stop panic attacks..... in fact, anyone can stop panic attacks!