A panic attack is an acute eruption of anxiety. The DSM describes symptoms of a panic attack as heart palpitations, a pounding heart, chest pain, extreme sweating, trembling, and possibly a feeling of choking or shortness of breadth. It is not uncommon for an individual experiencing a panic attack for the first time to believe they are having a heart attack. Initially they often seek medical intervention. A panic attack is a very nasty personal experience to have. Some people live in perpetual fear of a panic attack. Panic attacks have a powerfully disabling effect upon one’s sense of general well being.
However panic attacks can be effectively treated. Since they are an acute form of anxiety (see the anxiety page), the same approach can be used as with other forms of anxiety. That is to say, finding one’s “authentic voice,” can greatly minimize both the intensity and frequency of a panic attack. In this treatment approach the patient must first learn why they are having panic attacks. Once they come to grips with reasons for their panic, they then begin to focus on the reason for the attacks.
With Dr. Mannis’ assistance, the patient is helped to find their authentic voice. This is accomplished in a nonjudgmental atmosphere of acceptance and understanding. There are four pillars of authenticity and once mastered the authentic voice becomes expressed. At first it is discovered as “a wee voice.” With work, application and determination, the patient can learn to grow their voice into a kind of “gentle lion’s roar.” As their authentic voice becomes more entrenched in their personality, the incidences of panic are greatly reduced. If a panic attack does occur, the patient is often able to neutralize the panic’s toxicity with their own genuine, authentic truth.