Panic Attack Treatment with EMDR

Beginning suddenly and exacerbating rapidly, usually lasting with the presence of a strong sense of danger; Panic attacks are episodes of intense fear or distress accompanied by thoughts of drowning, having a heart attack, or going crazy.

During an attack, people may show the following symptoms:

  • increase in heart rate

  • sweating-shivering

  • Tingling sensation in hands or feet

  • dry mouth

  • difficulty breathing

  • Chest pain or pressure

  • Nausea

  • Choking-constriction sensation

  • dizziness

  • feeling of fainting

  • feeling of losing control

  • The fear of death

While EMDR is applied in the treatment of panic attack, all the traumatic experiences that the client has experienced throughout his life are determined, and the priority is to work with the first panic attack experience. The client, whose first panic attack experience and the most severe attack experience to date, was worked with EMDR, now starts to feel more in control against the attacks and copes better. The client, who is worked with the first and most severe panic attack memory, now starts to feel neutral towards those memories and does not feel discomfort when he remembers them.

Working with memories with the EMDR method is carried out as follows: For example, for the first panic attack experience, the client is asked to choose the most disturbing scene about that memory when he remembers it. In that scene, the negative belief about himself and the positive belief he wants to reach about himself are determined together with the client. In addition to these, the extent to which the client finds the memory to be disturbing at the moment is scored, and the emotions and body sensations related to the memory are determined. Then, by focusing on certain components of that memory with certain instructions, desensitization is initiated with eye movements, which is the main tool of the EMDR technique. This continues until the client feels neutral in many ways about the memory. As a result of processing with EMDR, clients abandon their false thoughts about panic attacks. Instead of “I’m losing my mind, I’m having a heart attack, I’m drowning, I’m going to die”; They adopt positive thoughts that the feeling of panic is just an adrenaline response and it won’t last forever.

Although the clients now feel stronger in coping with the attacks, the person’s other memories that pave the way for his current problem, that he thought he was negatively affected or emotionally challenged in the past, as well as the daily life triggers that trigger the current problem, and at the end of these, the treatment without working with the situations that may trigger possible attacks in the future. is not finished. It cannot be expected that the attacks will disappear completely without studying these issues. Therefore, all stages of treatment must be completed.

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