Causes Of Panic Attack

by Mark Ivar Myhre on September 1, 2011

This post is a follow-up to another one I wrote on Causes Of Panic Attacks. Specifically, its an answer to a comment on that page that got a little long, so I decided to just put it up here…

I remember the first time I read that little paperback book called ‘Creative Visualization’.  I couldn’t do any of the exercises at the time, because my emotional problems were too strong.   I started with just imagining my bedroom, and worked my way up from there.

But if I could have imagined an image of my anxiety and panic as a person,  sitting in my living room chair, I would have been so ahead of the game. That would have shaved years off my suffering.  Because I would have instantly realized it was one of the main causes of my panic attacks.

And rather than trying to tell it to go away (which is giving my power away to it) instead I would have brought it closer.  I would have gotten to know it.  I would have worked to understand why I created it.

I would have reached out and touched it. And I would learn to feel the raw feeling of fear and anxiety and panic, rather than always feeling those darn stories that just make things worse.

I used to suffer horribly from anxiety and fear and panic.  Luckily, I was able to completely end the anxiety and panic; and the fear is now my ally.  I very seldom even feel it.  For some reason, I was lucky enough to not believe the experts who told me it was a disease and the only way to survive was to take anxiolytics for the rest of my life.  I just never believed I had a deficiency of Xanax in my system.  It didn’t sound right to me.

What I discovered was that first I would tell myself stories, and then I would actually believe those stories.  I never questioned my assumptions. But once I did start questioning the stories, I found out they weren’t true for the most part.  I guess I was just too stubborn to accept panic and anxiety for the rest of my life.  I refused to believe some unknown germs were the causes of panic attacks.

I used to be a victim of my anxiety and panic. And it was awful.  It was no fun being a victim.  Victimhood is a pain factory.  It always puts you in pain to be a victim.   I would assume certain things were true just so I could stay a victim.

And it was really the questioning of my assumptions that lead me out of victimhood.

It’s funny, because once I got something in my head, then no amount of evidence or convincing could get me to change my mind.  I was stubborn as a one-eyed mule.  And I would get very angry if anyone else suggested that maybe I was just being a victim and I could change things.  Sometimes, almost violently angry.

But at some point, it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I am the one creating my own reality.  I am the one creating my own fears.  That’s when I realized the true causes of panic attacks.

There’s nothing more pathetic than arguing for your own limitations, and yet we all do it.  And I was leading the pack!  I can’t believe how angry I used to get when some one would dare suggest I could change my lot in life.

What are the true causes of panic attacks?

We already know what the medical profession says about panic attacks.  And we assume they’re right.  But what if they’re not?

What if we just need to return to our natural way of feeling? What if we just need to re-learn that our feelings are a source of strength and power and our very aliveness?  And when we let them into our hearts, they will pass through us?  And the pain we feel is simply from not letting the feelings pass right through us?  Then what would happen?

I realize that everybody tries to get us to believe emotions are bad and wrong and we shouldn’t have them.  Especially fear and panic and anxiety.  But what if that’s an erroneous assumption?

What would happen if you brought that image of panic closer, and gave it love and compassion and helped it heal?  And what in the world do you have to lose by trying?

What do I do about my panic attacks?  Actively engage!

Lastly, if you’re wondering about the stories I keep mentioning, a good example is the phenomenon called anticipatory anxiety.  That’s where you work yourself up into a lather over what might happen in the future.  And the major assumption is that panic and anxiety and fear are bad and wrong and I shouldn’t feel them.

That assumption assures you’ll have a painful experience.

I would start by just moving closer to the personified image of my panic.  Reach out and touch it.  Let it touch you.  Feel what it feels.  Understand its not really out to destroy you.  (That’s part of the story!)

At some point, you could even let it inside you, to really feel it.  Or you move into it.  Just so the two of you consciously become as one.  That’s what I did.

What’s really interesting in all this, is that you also have a courageous, confident and hopeful part of you as well as the panicked, victim part.  They sort of balance each other out.  But as long as you have a ‘panic disease’ then you probably won’t be able to see it.

Not because it isn’t there, but because your eyes haven’t adjusted yet, to let in the possibility of it. But the eventual goal involves taking your power from the panic part, give it to the confident part, and then you and the confident part become as one.


cyndie goodwin September 2, 2011 at 6:14 am

thank you so much for the response,mark. i’m really wrapping my mind around the concept of bringing it in and showing it love,compassion and helping it heal-good challenge-always up for that,the entity sits watching me respond after i read it to him,i’m very calm and i can sense that it doesn’t know what to do—i love this. i must however figure out how to deal with the sneaky ,out of the blue hits,i guess i’ll maybe just validate it’s entry and say “welcome,enjoy your ride” you’ve have my attention and have intrigued me. thank you,cyndie

Mark Ivar Myhre September 2, 2011 at 8:43 am

The very last time I had a panic attack (which was only 6 or 7 years ago) I decided that I would just enjoy the ride, as you mentioned. And once I did, I knew I would never have another panic attack again. So far, I’ve been right!

Those land mines (hits out of the blue) you mention are, in my opinion, 100% unresolved fear stemming mostly from the fear stories. I used to have a lot of those, too! Not always full-blown panic, but still, bad enough. Now I never have them, but it took a little time and work. Processing (writing out my fears) so I could see my fear stories… and a new attitude about my emotions in general and fear in particular,… and being willing to feel whatever comes up and not stuff it down… that’s how I healed it.

cyndie goodwin September 2, 2011 at 1:02 pm

you are so on it . i left my fear entity in his chair today and told him to stay{i have noticed it has become he] and when i returned we would talk. of course he tried to sneak in while i was with a friend but i visualized a bubble around me and it worked. this is all so crazy but i’m doing it,like you said what have i got to lose. so i came home and tried to tell him that i would love him and then immediately took it back and said no not so much. this will be a daunting technique but eventually i’m just going to say welcome aboard enjoy your ride’ it should be scared if it were me,it is me and i’m scared. thanks for your insight and motivation i hate the victim people and now i am one of them…………………….cyndie

Mark Ivar Myhre September 2, 2011 at 9:14 pm

sounds awesome to me.

and what I see is so important here is to let in the love – love yourself and be kind to yourself and honor yourself for all you’re doing to heal this.

cyndie goodwin September 4, 2011 at 10:29 am

thank you mark,this is a hard fight but i refuse to bow out gracefully,my inner goddess is very visible and if i could send you a picture of myself you would see her power……………… best,cyndie

Dianne September 13, 2011 at 7:38 am

I like this article. Even though its difficult to do, its worth embracing those feelings instead of running from them. I’ve been having alot of panic feelings lately too………..most every day and have not known why. I need to pay attention to them better and soothe myself with self talk. thanks for writing on this topic and sharing your experiences.

bewildered December 9, 2011 at 11:27 am

Geez! I’m posting all over this blog!
Years ago I learned to just let the anxiety in and be ok with it. Can’t really say I befriended the anxiety though, just accepted it. The panic attacks stopped, until recently. My 20 yr old son was diagnosed with HIV a couple of months ago. I realize this isn’t the death sentence it used to be, but I worry about him constantly, mostly because he doesn’t take care of himself. Typical college student, works, doesn’t eat right or get enough sleep. A simple cold or virus could easily develop into pneumonia or worse and kill him. This is how most HIV/AIDS patients die. This is a very real fear! I’m having panic attacks in my sleep and I don’t know how to handle it.

Dianne December 10, 2011 at 8:04 am

I have been suffering from PTSD for yrs now and did not get the right kind of treatment or help with it till late last yr. I had posted in september about anxiety attacks and I was having issues with this when I went to bed for around 4 months. It came to me that I was molested in my bed when I was a child and when I realized this and started deep breathing one night…..they stopped completely and I have not had them since. so darn thankful! Love to recover!

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