How fear can affect our intimacy

A panic attack is an unpleasant experience due to sudden, unexpected symptoms: you feel like you are on the brink of death or madness: palpitations, tightness in the middle of the chest, shortness of breath, dizziness, trembling, a feeling of disconnection with oneself and reality are some of the most frequent symptoms.

The person may report that there are causes that trigger them, however, many times, they act as triggers for an anxiety that had been brewing for a long time without feeling as such (base anxiety).

One of the causes that spark panic are sexual-affective causes, especially relationship conflicts, disappointments, violence, and separations.

Panic attacks are then accompanied by anticipatory fear, alarm about suffering a new crisis and, even if the person does not repeat them, fear sets in, causing tension and a constant state of alert.

Underlying this situation is a state of tension that makes it more vulnerable, more susceptible to stimuli that the brain interprets as threatening.

Of course, this activity is involuntary, there is no control over the reactions, they are experienced as irrational and uncontrollable.

It is the Autonomous Nervous System that takes control of anxiety and its physical manifestations, especially the sympathetic system.

Under the influence of this system, physical changes occur that prepare the individual to attack or flee from a threatening situation.

Women and panic
The prevalence of panic problems is three times higher in women of reproductive age, therefore, we can deduce that the effects on desire, arousal and orgasm will be more frequent in the female gender.

It has been shown that in women physiological arousal does not coincide with subjective arousal, this means that, although lubrication appears, the state of anxiety does not allow them to still feel desire.

There are biological and fundamentally sociocultural factors that can explain the greater frequency of panic in women, among them are: the role of women, the double burden of work inside and outside the home, social pressure on body image , the difficulties of starting a new relationship, loneliness and in many cases, being the emotional pole of the bond.

Sexuality and panic
Conflictive coexistence and fears of separation increase the state of alert, a feeling that something catastrophic is going to happen, of being on the verge of a permanent crisis.

This anticipation of the conflict prevents communication from flowing: it is not said, it is not raised, it is allowed to pass so as not to cause the collapse.

The same thing happens in the sexual encounter with the appearance of dysfunctions, mainly in arousal.

The person who has suffered panic attacks and suffers from anticipatory anxiety is more prepared to reject sexual contact than to face it.

The woman may feel that she is lubricated, but she does not yet feel the desire to do so, her attention is more concerned with catching warning signs rather than being focused on enjoyment.

If the woman with anticipatory fear suffers from a lack of excitement and desire, the man succumbs to the loss of his erection.

Separation and panic
One of the most frequent causes is the activation of panic symptoms due to separation, whether with mutual agreement or due to an abrupt unilateral decision.

The emergence of anguish and ruminative thoughts does not allow any hopeful alternative to appear.

The little energy is absorbed by work, maintaining the organization of the house and raising children.

Today, much more than before, people who are going through a relationship crisis with panic discomfort tend to isolate themselves more than to share their problems with family or friends.

They fear being a burden on others: “they have their problems” or “they won’t understand what panic is, only those who suffer from it know.”

Still, the belief of “you are strong, you will overcome it” or “you are the one who causes these symptoms” are very present.