Episode 38 Many people don’t realize that what they are experiencing is anxiety. It’s often relabeled as excitement (healthy and useful) or panic (fear-based and unhelpful). If you have worsened anxiety that is fueled by worry and fears, it’s harder to stop unless you do the following. Understand that anxiety and panic can come from a misinterpretation (labeling) of a bodily feeling, combined with thoughts of a helpless future.
Not all anxiety results from post-traumatic stress. Pheochromocytoma, heart arrhythmias, and asthma attacks can feel the same way. The research definition of a panic attacks requires the episode to start and reach its peak within seconds, and to last only several minutes. If you feel you have panic attacks for hours or days, you have anxiety and my patients do best with a holistic approach to deal with it: physical, mental, spiritual and emotional. That’s right, you can address an emotional problem with any of the other categories.
Top down, PTSD Academy online courses categorize these four areas as the Multi-Dimensional Human Model. When you have a problem, ask yourself which category is in: physical, mental, spiritual or emotional? Then make a brainstorm, holistic list of the other categories for other possible solutions likely to help you out.
The newly minted Anxiety Reduction Course demonstrates both systematic desensitization, an evidence-based psychotherapy (mental and emotional) combined with a truly holistic approach to help anxiety. The prototype example PTSD trigger and panic attack we use in the ARC course is wearing a mask for COVID-19. Some people fear the virus, others feel like they can’t breathe with a mask on. Many people face both issues on a daily basis, yet this is reality is here to stay for some time.