Surprisingly, one of the ways in which a person becomes used to different foods can also be used to combat straightforward fears and reduces stress that may trigger a panic attack. Often times a person can be trained to like foods that they had not previously liked by being exposed to them a little at a time. Case in point, if a person who was not raised in a culture that appreciated octopus and then tried it for the first time as an adult, they may find that food to be disagreeable in taste and texture. However, if they consume it in small doses, they may find that they grow to like it after multiple tastings of it over a few months.
A similar technique may be used to ease fear or alleviate simple phobias. For instance, if someone were terrified of sudden noises they could be desensitized to those sounds by replaying a recording of them at softer levels and then repeating extra recordings of noises at increasing volumes. The anxiety attack sufferer should have power over the recording so that if their fear level begins to mount to uncontainable levels, they have the power to stop the noise. By using this method they become comfortable with that which they are afraid in a controlled, measurable way. While this technique may not succeed for sufferers of extreme anxiety attacks, it will possibly diminish symptoms or reduce the number of situations that can lead to a panic attack.
This technique of minimal and controlled exposure over repeated sessions is not restricted to audible solutions. It may also be used for individuals with visual triggers such as those who are alarmed by animals, blood, or weather phenomenon. In these situations video can be utilized in combination with the audio to give the panic attack sufferer a simulation of that which they fear, but by giving them the ability to intervene in the situation and end the tape or video when their anxiety level rises too high, it gives the panic attack sufferer a feeling of power in a situation where they routinely feel vulnerable.
This method, combined with relaxation techniques, is an expedient way of bringing relief to the panic attack sufferer and can help the sufferer regain a feeling of control in their life. This increasing feeling of control can begin a cycle in which the panic attack sufferer faces other situations and conditions that lead to anxiety attacks and also can give them the confidence to start exploring new treatments and techniques that they can learn that can help them as well.
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