You are here: Home » Blog » cognitive behavior therapy » The Cause of “Out of the Blue” Panic Attacks

The Cause of “Out of the Blue” Panic Attacks

by Dr. Blumberg on January 2, 2011

*If you are like most of my patients, that first panic attack struck “Out of the Blue” for no apparent reason.  This sudden unexplained surge of physical feelings like weakness, shallow breathing, heart racing and rubbery legs can be very terrifying.  The experience of panic attack symptoms “Out of the Blue” immediately makes you think something terrible is happening…either a severe physical reaction or loss of mental control. When your heart suddenly pounds and your chest constricts, you immediately wonder “Is this a sign of a heart attack?” When you tremble inside and feel spacey, disoriented and there/not there, you immediately wonder, “Am I going to snap, lose my mind, have a nervous breakdown and fall apart and lose control?”  Here are the most commons terrifying thoughts that flood the mind of a panic attack victim.

The 5 Most Common Terrifying Thoughts That Flood the Mind of a Victim of “Out of the Blue” Panic Attacks

  • Die
  • Nervous Breakdown
  • Heart Attack
  • Faint in Public
  • Lose Control

When experiencing intense “Out of the Blue” panic attacks the first step is to take control with an effective Cognitive Behavioral Treatment Program (CBT) specifically designed for Panic Disorder. See below the six steps to take control of “Out of the Blue” panic attacks.

Six Take Control Training Steps to eliminate “Out of the Blue” Panic Attacks

  • See the physical symptoms as separate from the False terrifying thoughts
  • Destroy Enemy Thinking
  • Scientifically observe the bodily sensations without reactivity
  • Normalize the bodily sensations of adrenaline
  • Use a paradoxical challenge for the pure symptoms
  • Welcome the return of panic attack symptoms

Once you have used a powerful scientifically grounded CBT program to eliminate panic attacks, the next step is staying panic free with a relapse prevention protocol.  Only then will you be ready to see the core emotional triggers that set off “Out of the Blue” panic attack symptoms.

Why is it so Important to Identify the True Hidden Cause of “Out of the Blue” Panic Attacks?

Once you see “before your very eyes” the connection between fleeting emotionally-based thoughts and feelings and the onset of panic attack symptoms, you will stop asking the Why Question.  You will stop misinterpreting you bodily sensations as a sign of imminent disaster and doom. Once you connect the panic attack symptoms to your core trigger, you can prevent recurring panic attacks. Identifying the core trigger for panic attack symptoms, allows you to normalize the symptoms and they are no longer scary.

Five Steps to Help Identify the Hidden Cause of “Out of the Blue” Panic Attacks

  • Right after the panic attack subsides, write down the events, situations and thoughts and feelings that occurred right before the panic attack strike
  • Do not expect to see connections right away or after your first panic attack tracking exercise
  • Continue tracking you attacks in this fashion with the panicLINK Log for one week
  • The core trigger is often minimized and maybe part of an ongoing stressor in your life or may be reactivated by a specific occasion or situation
  • After one week, review your panicLINK log without any expectation or pressure to identify the core trigger

Beyond CBT

Panic disorder is a complex multi-factorial condition that requires a comprehensive program to live a panic free life.   The initial phase of training is centered on mastery of scientifically validated treatment principles that were endorsed by the National Institute of Health in 1991. Next, you must develop specific skills in relapse prevention to maintain the panic free life you deserve.  Finally, identification of the four causes of panic disorder is necessary to stop recurring panic attacks. The process of uncovering the hidden cause of panic disorder can be challenging.  However, the rewards are great. This discovery will move you into a stage of increased self-understanding and independence.

*This educational information should be used in consultation with your doctor to confirm a diagnosis and to review available treatments for panic disorder.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: