Jemma Kidd. Successful career woman, mother of twins and blessed with ravishing looks. Rewind back to her 20s and her life was far from as peachy as it may have appeared to the outside world: Jemma was hiding the fact that she was suffering from an overwhelming anxiety disorder that was affecting every sphere of her life.
Panic attacks are anxiety attacks are the most common anxiety disorders, affecting at least 20% of adult Americans. In an interview with Fiona Shield for Celebrity Angels, Jemma described how the crippling disorder, often temporarily diabling, disorder affected her life on a day-to-day basis.
“The attacks are so random and debilitating that you become fearful of the fear that they bring. You start to anticipate them and find yourself doing anything to avoid them. I stopped driving on my own; I manipulated my life so that when I had to go somewhere, I had someone with me. I couldn’t go into the supermarket or anywhere crowded. If I was going to stay at someone’s house for the weekend, I would be anxious for about ten days before and would insist on knowing how close they lived to a hospital. The symptoms were so real that I believed I could have a heart attack at any time.”
A panic attack is an exageration of the body’s normal response to fear or stress. According to the Anxiety and Panic Disorder Center of Los Angeles, when we experience a threatening situation, the fight or flight response kicks in and the body prepares itself for danger by releasing adrenalin. The physical symptoms that occur include rapid heart rate, palpitations and an increase in blood pressure.
For most of us these symptoms taper off and the body is restored to it’s normal state. But when the body produces too much adrenalin, the sufferer can be left experiencing absolute terror that can linger on for hours, sometimes days.
[adsense]Jodie, 36, suffered from the disorder throughout her 20s and she credits Charles Linden — who developed the Linden Method — with sorting her out. Experiencing up to 20 panic attacks a day, Linden came up with a routine to treat his own symptoms and break the habitual nature of anxiety.
Although there is no “quick fix”, Linden suggests trying the following to help divert a panic attack:
The dive reflex When you feel a panic attack building up, take a towel, soak it with cold water then place it on the back of your neck. You can also splash your face with cold water.
Diversion Do anything to divert your mind. Put on headphones and listen to music. Do practical chores, count trees or lampposts. Immerse yourself in whatever is present and practical at the time.
Cold Apple When you feel an attack is imminent, take an apple from the fridge and eat it very slowly. This will help to slow your breathing and the coldness of the apple helps to create positive, non-anxious sensations.
To learn more about his anxiety elimination techniques, visit his website: www.charles-linden.com
Images: PR Photos and macmillan.org.uk