Possible Personality Traits of Those with Panic Attacks
Published on Sunday, December 11th, 2011 at 8:36 am and is filed under Mental Health
I’m surprised to see that, lately, there seems to be a real epidemic of panic attacks. In a few words for those who don’t know, panic attacks are those states characterized by a sudden relative, extreme anxiety or fear (fear of death, fear of heart attack, fear to become insane), palpitations, sweating, hot flashes or cold chills, nausea, dizziness etc. In the books of psychiatry is said that these panic attacks have an abrupt onset and an end the same and it lasts no more than 10-30 minutes, but I met people with panic attacks much longer. Sometimes the panic attacks are accompanied by fear and excessive concern to not have a panic attack, especially in places where the subject could escape hard, underground or confined spaces such as elevator, crowded spaces like mall or areas where hardly anyone could help, such as an isolated place, outside the city, on the top of the mountain or .. home. This theme is called agoraphobia.
First, panic attack seems to have become the new XXI century hysteria. I say “hysteria” is not a prerogative way, but with reference to the time of Freud that hysteria was the most common pathology of neurotic intensity. Today, panic attacks with or without agoraphobia became the main accused those who seek psychotherapy.
I admit that I don’t know the latest neuro-physiopathological theories about this condition. I’m ignorant when it comes to serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine or nerve nuclei and pathways where these substances act.
I note some aspects that seem common to a few people with panic attacks that I had the opportunity to sit and talk:
1) a particular social trend toward high-achieving or obtaining a high professional status are people who demand more from them, who wanted to do something great in life, leading business firms, etc.
2) there are people who are accustomed being under control, who don’t like to be taken by surprise, who want to do everything with their hands, to check everything, to organize and supervise other’s work, these are people who can avoid as much seek help from others, to show weakness, to admit even to themselves that some situations overshadow them.
3) they have some difficulty expressing their feelings inside, they hardly talk about what they feel or their relatives without considering important or necessary to discuss emotions and feelings, aspirations, needs, fears or anxieties, believing that they will show their weakness; their interest is outside them and never gives much attention inside, thoughts and especially their emotions.
4) these people have a philosophy of life such as “life clench your teeth, fight and get what you want”, these people have seen to many American films where the hero keeps everything inside, he doesn’t give up and manages eventually.
5) they are people who believe in immortality, who don’t let the fear of failure or death to be in their life.
[ Oh my God! This is me... ]
In these circumstances, the conclusion is that these people get to suffer because they don’t take care of their needs and sufferings, which we repress and keep them as unconscious and unexpressed. Ironically, panic attacks mean for these people to be under control, the total loss of control – many say that what distresses the most is the fact that they can’t control what happens to them.
Everyone has their moments of vulnerability, weakness, we all have needs and desires that we are very proud, especially if we strive to be like adults “harsh” and self-sufficient; pain and suffering aren’t only for weak people (only the strong one can afford to feel something without fear that it will abolish pain, it will annihilate or destroy) no one is perfect, always capable, always ready to fight or work, always willing to make sacrifices to help others and to carry on what other couldn’t, we have our limits, we have our areas of incompetence and it is natural to be.
[Thank God, I am normal!]
A life within a relatively lax normality assumes acceptance of all such conditions and limitations, even if one who knows and accepts it’s too glorified the cultures we live in today, more Americanized (or rather “hollywoody”, because American people aren’t harsh as Stallone or Bruce Willis). In this context we should remember that words of professor Romila, who said that “a normal person is a common place man”. Unfortunately, more and more people were horrified to be trivial.