• June 8, 2023

How To Cope With A Panic Attack And Anxiety | Modern Woman

L‘last to talk about it was Lorenzo Fragola, but there are over 2 million Italians who suffer from panic attacks, especially women. That’s why, the causes, the therapy, explained by a neurologist who wrote a novel on the subject

The singer Lorenzo Fragola used a video on Tik Tok to tell about his latest panic attack. “I made this video right after a panic attack at 4 am. It is a terrible experience, but I wanted to show it to tell all those who suffer that they need to talk about it and get help. It is a nuisance and there is no shame », wrote the artist accompanying the video, also adding the hashtag #andratuttobene.

Stars suffering from panic attacks

Before him, they had already revealed they suffer from panic attacks other stars. “I couldn’t even listen to my heartbeat anymore. I was angry, sad and wherever I went, anxiety paralyzed me»Said Lady Gaga. The top Gisele Bündchen was in a tunnel when “the world around it got smaller and smaller and I couldn’t breathe.” While the singer Noemi was at dinner and suddenly “I didn’t see anything else”.

He also speaks of a woman affected by this disorder Panic attack. One step away from freedom (Mondadori). The author is Rosario Sorrentino, neurologist and science writer.

Why a novel about panic attacks instead of a scientific essay?

«Medicine shouldn’t just treat the ailment, but take care of the person in the round. To do this, a valuable help comes from the experiences of famous people and also from novels that deal with the subject in a more empathic way than an essay, because they allow the reader to identify with the pain, fatigue and strength of the protagonists. This is a very important aspect: those who suffer from panic attacks feel a sense of shame, one of the most difficult obstacles to face and overcome ».

Millennials with anxiety disorder are 12%, the highest percentage ever

“We live in a hyper-technological society that on the one hand leads us to think that we have control over everything, and on the other hand, through social media, it dictates very high expectations. This mechanism fuels both performance anxiety and bewilderment in the face of panic attacks, considered unacceptable, because they put us face to face with our limitations and our fragility. This is why it is so difficult, and so important, to recognize that you suffer from it ».

What do panic attacks consist of from a neurological point of view?

“It is a” lie “of the mind. Unlike fear, a panic attack arises from a non-existent risk. It is a hypersensitivity of the amygdala, the brain’s alarm system: it turns on for no reason causing palpitations, dyspnea, dizziness, tremors. It is these “inexplicable” symptoms that cause panic. In addition, once activated, the amygdala bypasses the cerebral cortex and therefore the capacity for analysis. This is why those who have an attack cannot be rational ».

The protagonist of the book, Laura, renames her evil “the beast”

“It is cruel, violent and always lurking: you never know when and how it will present itself. Those who suffer from it sometimes think they are going to have a heart attack, that they are suffocating, other times that they are going crazy. And the acute episode is just the beginning. After you enter the vicious circle of “fear of fear”: on the one hand the obsession with wanting to foresee places or situations that can trigger the crisis, on the other hand maneuvers that push to give up everything that can represent a threat, from air travel to crowded places. But “avoiding” is useless, quite the contrary. There is a loss of freedom and identity ».

70% of the victims are women. Because?

«From a biological point of view, anxiety and panic are influenced by estrogen and this makes women more ‘sensitive’. But what weighs above all are social factors, such as the responsibility towards the multiple roles they are called to support: being a good mother, a good wife, a capable professional, a support for the family. In general there is a hereditary and predisposing component, but a traumatic event, such as a bereavement, a separation, a move, is almost always at the basis of the first episode “.

How do you get out of it?

«The first step is i medications. Often they are indispensable to block the attack, because the person becomes calmer and becomes aware of what happens to him in those moments. To break the vicious circle and escape fear, the cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy. It consists in hunting for fear itself: to show that there is nothing to fear and to regain freedom ».

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