I have received so many emails lately regarding this subject. Everyone wants to know the answer to “Why is this happening to me?” There are many reasons and no one answer that applies universally. Everyone is different. I can try and help you understand what is happening to your body, however, during a panic attack. I will try and answer as best I can, with a little help from Dr. Reneau Z. Peurifoy, author of Anxiety, Phobias, and Panic
The Fight or Flight Response
Your sympathetic nervous system is what controls the fight or flight response. This is also something considered in a benzo rehab. When it is triggered, it shuts down all “nonessential activity” and prepares the body to either flee or fight the perceived threat.
What happens to your body when the fight or flight response kicks in?
- Accelerated heartbeat
- Deeper and more rapid breathing
- Increased muscle tension
- Cold sweat
- Blood vessels constrict
- Hairs on the body stand up
- Pupils dilate
- Digesive system shuts down
- Decreased flow of saliva (dry mouth)
- Voiding of the bowels and bladder
- Adrenaline (eninephrine) is released into the bloodstream.
Many people, like myself, have an overactive sympathetic nervous system – meaning, quite simply that the slightest thing will set off the fight or flight response in our bodies.
This is usually caused by several different factors:
Genetic factors that result in a highly reactive body.
Physical exhaustion due to stressful events.
A medical condition.
A drug reaction (yes, caffeine is a drug!),
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