One of the most compelling reasons to take a class on panic and anxiety disorders is the survival mode model that often accompanies the disorder. If you’re not familiar with this model, I’ll explain. This article will cover how it can be used as a basis for anxiety disorders.
The survival mode describes a non-disorder, set of behaviors that are characteristic of many types of anxiety disorders. Some examples of these behaviors include denial, obsessive thoughts, isolation and pessimism. They are adaptive. They help people survive. This article describes how they can affect our ability to get and stay calm when we’re confronted with challenges in our lives.
A panic attack happens when an individual’s anxiety gets out of control. It’s a sudden intense feeling of fear that lasts for less than ten minutes. People who experience panic attacks tend to be in a world of fear. They’re paralyzed by their own fear of the attack coming on.
By applying the survival model, we can turn off instant relief from anxiety. We can learn how to manage fear. We can learn to face our fears head on and use the strategies of self-defense. It also provides a way to uncover the beliefs and patterns that are causing our anxiety to build up.
The quick way to think about this is that you have a survival mechanism. It might be a small rock or piece of wood or any other thing that doesn’t get in your way but that gives you that security. In times of stress and crisis, we want to have that little rock or piece of wood to fall back on.
But if you’re faced with a life-threatening event, and your survival mechanism fails you, the psychological program designed to keep us safe by keeping us in our little cave can be activated. If we don’t find a way to access that program, we become fearful and scared. We can feel like there’s no way out of the situation and that the possibility of dying is very real.
In a panic attack, the individual experiences a wave of fear that’s overpowering. Because it’s overwhelming, it’s difficult to describe how intense the feelings are. But it’s also possible to feel that you’re going to die and it’s that feeling that gives us the relief that we seek from our attacks.
We can use the survival mode to tap into that relief as seen in this online survival resource. As we develop new strategies to deal with anxiety, we can harness its power to redirect our lives.