Panic attacks are acute episodes of anxiety that can be really intense. During pregnancy they may be caused by a wide variety of fears. Some of the most common are a fear of the pain, fear of losing control, fear of tearing and fear of having a Cesarean. Panic attack symptoms can have both a physical impact and a mental/emotional presence. They can range from:
- pacing, insomnia, restlessness
- sweating, heart pounding
- memory loss, light headed
- diarrhea and stomach pain
- extremely fearful thoughts that won’t be shifted
Panic attacks can be triggered by many situations depending on your specific fear but as pregnancy, labour and generally motherhood are quite out of control situations it is fertile ground for panic attacks. How to deal? Here are my suggestions:
- try to identify your triggers, the things that send you into a panic attack
- support yourself if you know you are going to be triggered
- allow yourself to experience and then recover from an anxiety attack
- at a deeper level try to understand what the fear is on a chronic level
Homeopathic remedies will act to remind your body of what is real in the present moment. There are two main remedies to consider.
Aconite 1M – Panic attacks that come in episodes, intense, acute and directly related to a specific situation. Two pellets as needed when the symptoms of heart pounding, sweating, restlessness or fear of dying come on. For example:
- precipitous births
- traumatic births – risk of death to mother or baby
- women with a sexual abuse history – during vaginal exams, an invasive or painful procedures, dissociation during labour etc.
Arsenicum 200C– Chronic disposition to anxiety – always there at a low level and then triggered into action by specific situations. Arsenicum people need to feel safe and secure or the underlying belief is that they will die. It is hard to reassure them that they are ever really safe. They do a lot of research, reading, try to seek out the best professionals etc. in order to achieve this state. Some Arsenicum situations/triggers include:
- fear of disease, germs, getting sick and then ultimately dying
- fear of being poisoned – ironically this is a food poisoning remedy
- in labour Arsencium women hate feeling out of control – they fear things like having a bowel movement on the table, tearing and the overwhelming sensation of pushing is generally the worst part of labour for them.
- postpartum women that need Arsenicum worry about how much milk their baby is getting, anxiety about being alone with their baby, fear something terrible will happen to their baby.
For more information on these remedies please visit my website – www.pipermartin.com