I also NEEEEEVER get Lidocaine if I have a cavity filled, etc. It has epinephrine (adrenaline) in it to make the numbness last longer. This makes sense as to why so many people panic at the dentist. So many people don't know about this!!
I have this problem, as I'm sure many others do, that if I have a panic attack in a certain place, I don't want to go back. Then I worry about having an attack once I do go back to that same place. Even if I've been fine a million times going to that same place, yet have ONE panic attack, I focus on that ONE panic attack. Isn't that strange?
I didn't know that myself about
the Lidocaine. Thanks for the info. And no, I don't think it's strange to focus on the one scary or negative time as opposed to the 100's of positive ones before that. A lot of us tend to have what's called a "negativity bias" which is exactly that - the fact that we focus on the negatives and dismiss the positives. If something went well there's nothing to worry about
, but if something goes bad you're mind gets into this endless trap of analyzing it, worrying about
it happening again, how to prevent it, etc. I once heard that in relationships we need to hear 4 compliments to balance out every one criticism. Same concept.
I know that you can't just will a panic attack or anticipatory anxiety away. But there is something to be said about
positive thinking. When you start thinking about
the one time you had an attack somewhere, try to remind yourself of the other 100 times you didn't. Think about
how this next time is an opportunity for growth, not a certainty of impending doom.
You also said that no matter how hard you try you can't control what your body does. That comment suggests to me that you're still afraid of what might happen (heart attack, passing out...). I know it's scary. I've had those same fears myself time and time again. One of my problems with all these breathing techniques and positive thinking exercises is that I think of them as being "tricks". When I think of them as tricks I'm saying to myself "I hope this trick works, because I want the panic to stop and I'm scared". But when you're trying to control the panic you're fighting it. When you fight the panic you're sending your body more stress hormones as your brain is saying "keep fighting". In reality though you're fighting your own body; there's no real external threat.
I had a two hour panic attack once and I think the reason it lasted so long was that I was embarrassed, I was in public, and no matter what gimmick or trick I tried, nothing worked. It wasn't until I was in an ambulance talking with the EMT (who distracted me with conversation) that I stopped thinking/worrying about
what was happening and stopped feeling ashamed about
people staring, that the attack began to stop. The fear of an attack is a powerful thing and as hard as it is we need to genuinely know and believe that we'll be OK. Think of all the attacks you've had in the past and how bad they've been. Then remember that they all ended and you survived every single one. If another strikes, you'll survive that one too - but you have to truly believe that.