Recently I had the privilege of working with a client who had a traumatic experience which lead to anxiety attacks, which were experienced every time that he faced some form of confrontation.
Trauma can often lead to panic/anxiety attacks because the brain goes into survival mode. Survival mode happens when we are faced with situations where we feel threatened and unable to cope. Our brain will send out hormones to our blood stream such as cortisol and adrenalin telling our bodies to prepare to either fight the threat, or to run from the threat(Flight), or to freeze and play dead. All these are our survival instincts, and depending on who we are, we will adopt one of these strategies to survive.
However, each time we encounter an event or feeling that then makes us feel threatened our brain will immediately relate to the traumatic experience and instruct our bodies to go into survival mode.
When we are in survival mode, our digestive system will shut down, hence why we often will feel sick. We may feel tingling in our fingers or hands, and feel shaky all over, our heart may beat faster and harder and our breathing becomes shallow. All this is preparation for our bodies to do what they must to survive as our blood is directed to the main muscles needed to either fight, to take flight or to freeze.
My client was having severe anxiety attacks and they were making him feel confused and out of control. Within 3 sessions my client had managed to turn his life around, by understanding and adopting the strategies provided to help him.
This was his feedback:
With my mental health I had a lot I had ignored for many years, and coming here to these sessions, solved so much for me within weeks. It has given me a much healthier mindset and outlook on myself, which I am very grateful for.