Before we start discussing the panic attack, I’d like to reveal some explanation about optical illusion. Besides its name, it is not just an illusion, but it is an optical illusion. Most people call it a visual illusion as well as eye illusion or even a mind illusion.
But what’s fascinating in optical illusions? To me, the fact that I can witness at all time that my brain mislead me without I could do anything about it. And this is what I believe my mind did to me for 15 years while I was suffering from panic disorder. Whenever I had a panic attack, my brain undoubtedly misled me. I have been suffering from thousand of panic attacks with an intense fear of death all the time. And I never died because of the panic. Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining or anything, but I realized a little while ago that there’s so much similarity in common between panic attacks and optical illusions. For example, let me tell you I’m so fascinated by this, so let me show you this picture here.
Please slide the picture to test it.
Panic attack and optical illusion where the mind misleads us
Or, in other words: Can we say that our brain misleads us all the time? What about the vision? The vision that we see? And now I’d like to have a serious question for you. The problem is whether our sense of eyesight the way we can see through our eyes, whether it is the reality itself or not? So whether what we can see it is reality? Or it is somewhat a mixture of “what is there” plus we do mislead ourselves by letting our brain to add labeling to everything that we can see? I mean, if you’re looking there, for example, and what you can see, whether it is a form of an object or it is a mind concept labeled as a desk, for example.
So, what’s going on here?
Can we perhaps say that our mind labels everything?
Can we call that labeling process a kind of glasses that let us see what our brain wants us to see? Rather than reality, allow shine through without any glasses to our eyesight senses?
And what happens when suddenly we got scared and then panicky after that? Is that also a labeling process to our senses?
So I got these questions after I found these optical illusions very interesting. I also found a way to link optical illusions as excellent illustrations on what’s going on regarding how exactly the first panic attack starts.
Stay with me and let me show you what I mean by putting links between optical illusions and panic attacks!
The Optical illusion
Thanks to Google to find this brilliant website of a German professor named Michael Bach. His website shows his illusion collections. And one of his excellent collection is a list of optical illusion collection including 138 items that we can try.
So I went to visit his website because I’m fascinated by his optical illusion collection. And whenever I was playing around with them, I felt so exciting. Do you know why it seemed so inspiring to me? Because I sensed the similarity between these beautiful optical illusion items and the fact that all panic attacks are based on the same fact, that we can simply call just an ILLUSION.
So I’m wondering, isn’t it just like when the brain tells you what is it you supposed to see instead of the reality itself?
My panic attacks in 15 years
You know, the truth is my brain has so misled me. I spent 15 years in panic disorder. The panic is now over because I have overcome it already, so I’ve been panic-free for three years now. And perhaps I can thank my hell-ish happenings that I do possess them as a gift from the panic-hell a lot of experiences.
What is in common with them?
What is it that is common with panics attack and optical illusion or visual illusion? Is it possible that a panic attack and all its hell are just an illusion?
Of course, the fear and its hell and all the avoidance with all of its lifechanging experiences are real. It cannot be more authentic. However, what I’m saying is that at least the very first panic attack was based on a pure illusion. Or mistake that we believed to be true it was.
Is there any connection between optical illusions and panic attacks? And here is what I think: I do believe there is a connection between optical illusions and panic attacks.
The very first panic illusion
Maybe you know someone who, in the past, had a strange experience—a heart-palpitation in a shopping mall, for example, or a heart-palpitation while driving, etc. And this person has an intense fear in the shopping mall from the time onwards. Or as the other example, the fear of driving. So by summarising, there was a scary moment that leads to fear of the situation. But the truth is the frightening moment was only a false alarm. But still, that false alarm led to trigger an intense fear by that particular situation all the time. And this is called precisely, the agoraphobia or panic disorder with agoraphobia.
Now the optical illusions are something similar.
I want to show you this chessboard color illusion. I love it. And it gives me a pure and perfect optical illusion all the time I’m looking at. It’s beautiful.
Please slide the picture below to test it.
Take a look at this chessboard. Now, do you see on the chessboard the square labeled ‘A’ and the other square labeled ‘B’? Now ask yourself: Which square is brighter, the one with ‘A’ or the other one ‘B’? If you’re like me, you would say ‘B’ is undoubtedly brighter. If you have seen on the slide images, you’re probably amazed how strange to be the dark, and the white squares are exactly the same colors.
That’s it in common with a panic attack and optical illusion
Most of the time, with most of your panic situations, it is just an illusion, just like the chessboard shadow illusion.
Now, I’m not saying that the fear is at all the panic is not real. Of course, the concern or fear of all your panic is undoubtedly real. I’m saying that all your panic fear are all real except the first one. What I’m saying is that your very first panic based on a false perception. Your very first panic and anxiety was an incorrect understanding of that particular situation. And that specific event triggered anxiety.
A few point with a panic attack and optical illusion
With that said, now I’d like to tell you what question crossed my mind today regarding this.
- The first question is: given an optical illusion and a panic disorder with agoraphobia and what things are the same here? And the answer to me is the fact there is a mistake here. Or perhaps a better word to say it is a misperception.
- What exactly your role in this misperception or panic mistake? You are the victim of circumstances, I’d say.
- Is it easy to be a victim of illusions in life, whether it is an optical illusion or let’s say a panic mistake? Oh, yes. Absolutely.
- Is it easy to fall to a trap of another optical illusion? Or is it easy to fall to a trap of another time for a panic mistake? Yes. Unfortunately. It is straightforward. Every panic illusion can effortlessly lead you into the trap and let you see what they designed to see and not the reality. And I think this is great at some point because this is precisely how our panic illusion works.
There’s perhaps one more question left (of course there are questions endlessly regarding this relatively new subject), but the problem here is: what’s next? What can we do about the panic illusion?
Well, there’s one thing indeed that you can do. And this is to find multiple help to get rid of your fear and get back control of your life. What I mean by referring to ‘multiple help’?
Yes. You go first to see your physician. That’s the first thing. Now at the same time, you could prepare to get back control of your life. I’m a panic coach, so I can help you get back control of your life again.
So if you’d like to ask my help, just click here and find whatever coaching option works best for you.
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