therapy for anxiety and panic attacks

Which Therapy for Anxiety and Panic Attacks?
"I feel my heart beating heart..., I don't know what's happening to me..., my head is fuzzy, foggy, I feel like I’m going to faint.., I feel as a bite in my stomach..., I can't see a future..., I'm scared of fear...". These are some of the uncomfortable feelings that people with anxious distress can experience. But what is anxiety? Is anxiety synonymous with fear? And when is it healthy or unhealthy? Anxiety is a response that involves all the organism caused by a stimulation that can be internal or external. It is an emotion characterized by fear in absence of danger and is accompanied by an increase in alertness and vigilance. It is an instinctive defense reaction, an alarm of the instinct for self-preservation which manifests itself with some physical modifications, such as an increase in blood pressure, tension, sweating, sensations of threat, of worry. There are often recurring and/or obsessive thoughts that trap the person in a vicious circle with no exit. The person feels 'tight', 'closed', 'blocked' (here the origin of the word anxiety from the Latin 'to tighten') with no escape, and in the long run it can happen that the person having fear of fear, avoids situations , places, people, with the risk of isolating himself more and more increasing his suffering. This can take place not only from single or specific episodes, but also from a set of events of different nature. Even moderate stimuli (a look, a slight mishap, a word) can provide a negative contribution. Anxious suffering affects all aspects of our being: bodily, emotional and cognitive.

In the cognitive sphere, there may be a reduced concentration, easy distractibility, reduced
memory and alertness with restlessness, irritability, nervousness, easy to finch, and as mentioned
above, a state of alert.
In the emotional sphere, sleep disturbances are very frequent and manifest themselves in the form of insomnia or sleep interrupted by frequent awakenings. Furthermore, from an emotional
point of view, anxiety manifests itself with restlessness, with deflected mood, or on the contrary,continuously seeking stimuli to escape the underlying restlessness.In the somatic body sphere, there may be disturbances affecting the neurovegetative system, including shortness of breath, palpitation, sweating, particularly in the palm of the hand, sensation of having a “lump in the throat”, or the feeling of having a light or heavy head”, or hot flushes ; meteorism, dyspepsia, nausea and diarrhea are frequent.
Others symptoms can be related to muscle tension particularly in the head, neck and back, whichare often responsible for widespread pain and headaches located in the occipital and frontal areas. Anxiety disorders can be different and according to the DSM-V, anxiety can be divided into the following nosographic categories:
Panic disorder
Panic attack
Social phobia
Specific phobia
Selective mutism
Separation anxiety
disorder generalized
anxiety disorder;
Anxiety disorder due to another medical condition;
Substance/Medication Induced Anxiety Disorder;
Unspecified anxiety disorder.


Dottoressa Isabella Bonapace 
Psicologa Psicoterapeuta della Gestalt

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