The Epidemic of Panic
Everyone seems to be anxious these days. Everything in our society is moving faster, and you are just expected to keep up. Getting the kids off to school every morning, being on time to work, making sure your bills are paid, and taking in the tragedies on the evening news all combine to create tension. You reach the proverbial straw, that one situation or impression that pushes you beyond your ability to hold it all together, and that’s when it hits. The panic attack comes on in a fury.
Panic attacks seem to be reaching epidemic proportions in today’s society. More and more people are becoming overwhelmed with their surroundings, and a fight or flight mentality appears out of nowhere. They are afraid, but often are not sure of what. They only know that they can’t catch their breath, their hands are shaking, and their hearts feel like they are beating double-time. The feeling may only last 10 minutes or so. However, not knowing its cause or when it will stop can make those 10 minutes terrifying.
Anxiety is the #1 Mental Illness in the U.S.
Anxiety disorders are the most common class of psychiatric disorders in the United States. Panic attacks are tied to the anxious feelings that build up inside you. Harboring all the negativity of the world as if it were your own is enough to make anyone panic, and more of us are finding it harder to deflect those feelings.
A hair falls out of place. You miss a doctor’s appointment and can’t reschedule for months. Maybe you fall behind at work and face the prospect of missing a crucial deadline. A perceived threat to your very being suddenly becomes too real.
This is the nature of panic attacks; understanding them can lead to prevention or at least fewer occurrences. When a panic attack begins to take over, it is often because you are sensing that you are about to encounter some sort of threat.
Is That Feeling Worth Panicking About?
It is at this point when you immediately need to analyze whether you are facing an actual threat or a situation that you mistakenly perceive to be a threat. If the threat is real, there is reason to be alarmed. However, most often panic attacks are the result of a bad day at work that stays with you or an upcoming event for you may be dreading for no good reason. The anxiety that is already built up inside you may then be taking over your psyche and convincing you something bad is going to happen that you have no control over.
How You Develop Anxiety
We begin life learning that we feel better about ourselves when we are able to please others, such as our parents or teachers. As we travel through life, the people we encounter often become harder to please, and we start to get negative feedback sometimes when we attempt to please people. Some of us internalize those negative thoughts to the point where they become the source of our anxiety, which then can lead to panic attacks.
Many people these days just don’t have time to pause long enough to think about these things and, unfortunately, their anxieties explode into panic attacks. Until there is an easier way for people to be able to deflect the negative thoughts that are causing all the trouble, the epidemic of panic in society today is likely to stick around. Self-awareness is an essential part of healing.