Panic is NOT, as the name suggests, the result of extreme fear... let me explain
Panic results from extreme ANXIETY.
Anxiety is a condition of the emotion of fear and anxiety is NEVER appropriate.
When someone says 'I had to do a speech and I felt anxious', they actually mean that they felt FEARFUL.
You see, fear is a natural, necessary emotion, anxiety is a disorder.
Anxiety only exists in people with what are called 'anxiety disorders'.
But, anxiety IS a disorder so they are really 'fear disorders'.
Fear and anxiety are harmless; nothing they give rise to, whether physical or emotional, can harm you... they just FEEL like they will.
The truth is that panic feels dreadful but is actually a necessary human response that has a vital role.
The problem is that most doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists do not understand the physiology or neurology of anxiety and panic disorders. They only understand what they have learned in text books; text books developed on the back of flawed science.
Here I will dispel the myths around anxiety and panic suffering and recovery.
Firstly, they are NOT symptoms.
Symptoms only exist in illness, panic is not an illness. Panic is a necessary element of the neurology that keeps us SAFE.
Over millennia, human evolution has created a finely tuned biological machine. OK, it has some flaws, it doesn't always respond as we wish it to and it has frailties that mean we have to be careful, but all in all, the human body is actually pretty effective... most of the time.
Panic activates when adrenalin, the hormone activated during fear, excitement or anger, is not being 'used up' by those responses. This makes panic a very necessary response.
Whilst I would agree that it FEELS horrendous, it does do the job of using up adrenalin incredibly effectively in the absence of fighting or running from real danger.
Because anxiety disorders generate too much adrenalin, panic attacks happen all too regularly, but this doesn't make them dangerous; just annoying and scary.
To understand why panic feels so horrendous, you have to understand the neurology and physiology it involves.
When panic activates in order to use up excess adrenalin, it utilises what it can... namely the organs and body tissues that it can influence.
The mind activates panic to influence all bodily systems, the endocrine system, the digestive system, the circulatory system and the respiratory system, as well as our musculature and other structures.
It forces those systems to generate movement and activity that uses the adrenalin in a way that depletes its levels in the blood quickly.
The panic activates in seconds as breathing and heart quicken, muscles tense and the digestive tract is affected.
The sudden onset of this response is quite overwhelming, activating the associated 'what if' thoughts that make sufferers believe they are dying, having a heart attack or something just as catastrophic.
Panic disorder sufferers often develop phobias and obsessive compulsive thoughts and rituals as a result.
Panic sufferers often become withdrawn, gaining advice from medical practitioners who offer little by way of explanation and less by way of solutions.
The upward spiral of anxiety and panic often causes sufferers to develop agoraphobia and other anxiety related phobias such as fear of dying, health anxiety, fear of vomiting and OCD; their general mood levels often drop, leaving them feeling lost and isolated, desperate for solutions.
How do I know? Because I was like this for 25 years.
I know how it feels to have 8-10 panic attacks per day; to feel too scared to live but too scared to die. I lived in limbo; I half lived at best.
What psychology and medicine ignore is that panic attack symptoms are features of inappropriate fear, NOT illness.
By removing the core 'disorder', the anxiety, and returning you to normal fear responses, you erase panic attacks completely.
This is how I recovered from my panic and it's how every recovered sufferer recovered.
Not through medication or therapy... through simple human biology... your natural 'panic off switch'. The only reason you haven't flicked it to OFF yet, is because no one has told you where it is and how to do it.
If kids of seven can do this... you can too.
I asked a psychologist recently... "how many panic attacks sufferers have you cured or met?"
His answer... "You can't cure panic attacks"... to which I replied... "Well I haven't had one for 21 years and I have had car crashes, life trauma and tribulations... but haven't, since that day, even felt 'anxious'... fear yes... anxiety NO.
All my cured clients feel the same way!"
He then asked me how we cure panic attacks... did he really think I was going to tell him after he has spent 17 years treating sufferers with CBT and has never seen a single recovery in his clients! No way.
My wife, my team and myself run the world's only accredited, dedicated anxiety recovery and recovery practitioner training organisation... since 1997 we have helped over 320,000 people to recover from their panic attacks symptoms.