When Fear Rules !

He Knew the Triggers for Anxiety and Panic

by on Nov.07, 2011, under Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Agoraphobia and OCD

So this client comes back after almost twenty years, saying he has not had panic attacks for all that time. Previous to that, his life had become RuledByFear in that the panic attacks were frequent and intense and were  effecting all aspects of his life, both his work and personal life.

He had learned and understood the causes for his previous panic attacks and had made some significant changes in his life which reduced the conflicts and issues that were previously triggers.

Now, after all that time, he returned with another form of anxiety symptom. His blood pressure had risen dangerously high. It was not constant, but frequent enough to put the scare into him. He did the normal visits to the doctor and was told there was no physical causation they could find.

So, he came to discuss what he thought might be the triggers for this renewal of anxiety symptoms, and behold, he was right on the money. He had pretty much figured it out, which meant he had learned well in the past. But he wanted some reassurance, which is quite normal.

He realized he had been under a great deal of stress lately, even more than just stress, he was feeling CONFLICT again, and that sense of being out of control over something in his life. Sure enough, he had been trying to help a friend of his son who was in bad need of medical care but had no money, and on top of that, was visiting from another country which is known to not have adequate medical care.

He felt he knew a lot of people, and besides, this young person was in crisis and truly needed immediate attention, including surgeries. Sadly, he  had exhausted most all of his contacts and options and he heard nothing but rejection, even from doctors. He took the rejection somewhat personally as  it caused him to feel that what he believed, that we are basically good people who will come to the aide of those less fortunate, especially when their ills are not the result of anything they have done.

Yes, he did finally find a resource that would help, but by that time, his faith in his fellow man had been shaken. He truly  had his eyes opened to the reality that he had little control in this case  and it caused him great personal conflict. I cannot adequately express all that he went through in just a few words, but understand, reality can sometimes shake you down to your toes.

At least he came to realize that it was all this  conflict that was causing his anxiety symptoms, so he did save himself from  allowing those symptoms to escalate into panic attacks or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

We can at times be so enveloped in a situation that is causing us great conflict that we do not see what is happening to us. Then of course, we can become so wrapped up in our symptoms and obsessing that there is something seriously amiss medically, that we lose sight that we are reacting to feeling ‘out of control’ over some real issue in our lives.

Gene Benedetto, Psychologist

Coach

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