A racing or pounding heartbeat
dizziness and lightheadedness
feeling that “I can’t catch my breath”
chest pains or a “heaviness” in the chest
flushes or chills
tingling in the hands, feet, legs, arms
jumpiness, trembling, twitching muscles
sweaty palms, flushed face
fear of losing control
fear of a stroke that will lead to disability
fear of dying
fear of going crazy
Panic Disorder is diagnosed when an individual suffers at least two unexpected Panic Attacks, followed by at least 1 month of concern over having another attack. The frequency and severity of the attacks varies from person to person, an individual might suffer from repeated attacks for weeks, while another will have short bursts of very severe attacks.
Agoraphobia is characterized by a fear of having a panic attack in a place from which escape is difficult. Many sufferers refuse to leave their homes, often for years at a time. Others develop a fixed route, or territory, from which they cannot deviate.
A panic attack typically lasts a few minutes and is one of the most distressing conditions a person can experience.
The aftermath of a panic attack could be very painful. Feelings of depression and helplessness are usually experienced. The greatest fear is that the panic attack will come back again and again, making life too miserable to bear.
Panic is not necessarily brought on by a recognizable circumstance, and it may remain a mystery to the person involved. These attacks come “out of the blue”. At other times, excessive stress or other negative life conditions can trigger an attack.
Panic and other anxiety disorders are treatable conditions that respond well to relatively short-term therapy. The National Institutes of Mental Health is currently conducting a nationwide campaign to educate the general public and health care practitioners that panic and the other anxiety disorders are some of the most successfully treated psychological problems.
Understanding Panic Disorder according to Yoga.
According to yoga mind (citta) is defined as conglomeration of thoughts and it modifies itself into different forms (vrittis) be it perception, intellectual function, emotional response, memory, sleep or dream. Education is a process of channelising the flow of thoughts on to one topic. Sages consider anxiety or panic as a positive quality of the mind to form intensely on one topic. The capacity to dwell on a single topic with full capacity increases so much that he may lose the capacity to think of any thing else and hence go on to agoraphobia.
Hence in the sages way of understanding, Panic Disorder is not a damaged mind but it is a highly powerful mind which is stuck in speeded up loop of thoughts picking up lot of energy that percolates into the entire body to speed up all functions. Since you energy level is so high you lose your equipoise and get lost in the whirlpool. If you understand the experience in this language, you realize your true potential that you have the energy and the positive capacity within you to undo the panic disorder too. You need to systematically lean the art of slowing down and calming down to mind. This is impossible during panic moments. Hence you need to work with your mind regularly daily in the morning after you wake up from sleep when the mind is relatively at its best. The steps to work up are –
- Recognize the speed and force of the mind when you rehearse the experience.
- Learn to recognize the rate of flow of thoughts in the mind during other moments. Realize that the mind is at its slowest rate whenever you are calm and contented.
- Use regular practice of breathing to slow down the mind further. Check the rate of mind flow just before and after a practice of yogic fast breathing such as Kapalabhati.
- Follow the principles of IAYT(Integrated Approach of Yoga Therapy) to relax the body, slow down the breath and calm down the mind one hour daily.
- Keep the yoga pill ready for use whenever you start feeling panicky. The capsule consist of “Kapalabhati – 60 rounds/min followed by abdominal breathing – 21 rounds and Loud ‘A’ chanting “. Repeat this cycle several times until the attack comes under your control.
Laghu means little, small, easy as well as lovely, handsome, beautiful. Vajra means a thunderbolt, the weapon of Indra, the king of gods.
- Kneel on the floor with the knees and feet together. Rest the palms on the sides of the waist.
- Exhale, arch the spine back and at the same time tighten the muscles of the thighs.
- Push the hips forward and keep bending the spine back until the crown of the head rests on the feet. It requires great practice to achieve the necessary spinal elasticity. The weight of the body is borne only on the knees.
- When the above position is achieved, remove the hands from the waist, stretch the arms straight from the shoulders and grip each knee with the respective hand.
- Due to the spine being stretched and the pressure against the abdomen, breathing will be fast the laboured. Try to hold the pose from 10 to 15 seconds while breathing normally.
- Exhale, keep the knees firm, raise the head and trunk until you are kneeling again. Then sit on the floor and rest.