Classical conditioning and panic attacks

You may have heard of Ivan Pavlov and his dogs and how he created a conditioned response in the dogs. Basically, what he did was the following:

He brought food to a dog and of course, the dog began to salivate when the food arrived. After a while, he started to ring a bell as the food arrived and of course the dog would salivate. What he then discovered is that if he just rang the bell, the dog would salivate even though there was no food presented – the sound of the bell triggered the same response.

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Primary and secondary fear

Primary and secondary fear

What first scares the amygdala is often termed as the initial or primary fear. They are unthinking, instinctive responses that we have. The response or secondary fear is the way we feel about the primary fear. This is usually the problem with “anxiety”.

However, the primary fear is not always an inherited reaction to a stimulus. The primary fear can be a learned fear and we can also retrain an instinctive primary fear through new understanding. The following paragraph is a good example of this.

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Cognition and panic attacks

Primitive thinking (the cognition of the amygdala)

The thinking of the amygdala is primitive thinking. We are not the only species involved in thinking. We tend to associate cognition with imagination, language and imagery but the more primitive thinking happens outside our conscious awareness.

There are a number of ways your experiences can trigger the amygdala to create the fight or flight response. You often hear people saying that they get anxiety or panic attacks for no reason, this is not the case.

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The TRUTH about anxiety

Anxiety is a very misunderstood problem among sufferers, doctors, and therapists. If you don't understand HOW something works, how can you fix it? For anxiety sufferers, the first CRUCIAL step in becoming free from the problem is to understand WHY anxiety is created in the first place.

There is an abundance of information available online about anxiety but the problem is that unhelpful advice often being offered. Much of the time the advice offered can make the problem worse for those receiving the advice. The truth of the matter is that there is ABSOLUTELY no need for anxiety suffers to continue to live with anxiety.

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