Is it curable?
What parts are curable?
So, what percent curable is it?
Please stop the insanity!
There are lots of solutions
The reaction of the target for this piece


As in the piece called Obsessive Thought, the process called SocialAnxietyHyperventilation is curable, despite the current physical reality.  However, the current "physical reality" (the symptoms) can also be reduced or eliminated.


Let's take the pieces and see what is curable at what point. (This process is an example of one of the problem solving techniques recommended on this site for mastery.  The idea is to look at each part of the process and see what can be done - and, best,  to intervene as early as possible.   Called the Playscript Procedure, in the Problem Solving section.  It is also vital that you understand and use the Principle Of Cause And Effect, so that you don't get stuck with always solving the symptom instead of the cause

Before the situation

There are habits of "putting the pedal to the metal", revving one's engine in response to lots of little interpreted dangers.  The habit of repeating negative statements causes such behavior to be automatic - such a cycle of negative about negative, interpreted danger followed by further interpreted danger causes of further alarm, so the person works him/herself up into a frenzy, relatively easy.  (See comments below about what is needed to be done.)

If the person does not practice relaxation so that the body is totally relaxed, then the tension trigger and the tiredness poor response mechanism is ready to go off.

The person is basically a potential pent up explosion going around bound to run into the triggering situation.

Preparation before the situation

I'm inserting this here, although it appears to not be engaged in. 

The common anxiety cure is based on:

1.  Learning that the threats are not real
2.  Learning that one is responsible and not subject to others or circumstances for producing what one wants.  Being "at the effect of" something outside oneself is a key viewpoint that is highly determinative.
3.  Gradual exposure to the "threat" in a favorable, safe way, so that one can learn that the threat is not real.  This includes visualizing the situation happening in the normal way and, at some point, revisualizing the situation happening but turning out OK.  Also, it is recommeneded that you actually write these two scenarios out in super-detail.  (This process does work, if the person works it, but most people stop far too soon, not understanding that it takes alot of practice to turn the "big ship" around, plus reinforcement (more tug boats) through positive, responsible  conversations with oneself and with others.)

Having a written procedure on what to do before, during, and after the situation will reduce anxiety, plus allow a higher level of success (or less downside, anyway) in the actual situation.


In many cases, there is some anticipation and the conversation (warning) that this may occur again.  In other words, since it has the same ongoing trigger, it is reasonable to predict that the reaction will occur. 

Event occurs                   Not curable, but avoidable

But it can be avoided in most cases, so it is avoidable, in which case it is not started up in the first place.  Similar to stopping oneself from touching a hot stove and not doing it any more.

Interpretation of event    Curable and influenceable

The beliefs that cause the interpretation are controllable and changeable, not in the moment, but in the long term.  However, there is also a possible intervention of stopping the thought and/or offsetting it with a coping statement.  So it is not only directly curable but also influenceable in the moment.  The individual can choose the ability to be very much in charge here.

Threat thoughts occur    Curable and influenceable

Same comments as immediately above.

Body prepares to meet danger   Not curable, but influenceable

The body tenses, breathing changes, and preparation for danger occurs sending out chemicals to compel correction.  This is the wiring of the body's systems.

We can, however, influence the process through noting the tension and other body signs (aka "be aware") and repeating calming, coping statements that influence it and can bring some people back to zero.  We can also rewire the brain over time so that the alarm system doesn't go off as quickly and so that there is less hyperreacttion (then the chemical dose will be lighter and more easy to tolerate).  Intervention, in an aware person who has rehearsed the actions, can occur at any point in the process and have an influence that is pretty darned strong.

The management of the body's chemicals can reduce and/or virtually eliminate the physiological reaction, from changing what one eats all the way over to using medicines that stop the physical symptoms from occurring.  See Managing The Chemicals In Your Body.  If we properly stop the physiological reactions, this can break the whole chain, eliminating the parts below.

More threat thoughts occur   Curable and influenceable

As the Buddha points out, suffering is optional.  At this part in the process we are going through the "ain't it awful that it's so awful so let's pile on more to make it even worse" - and we continue that until there is sufficient action to stop or cure the immediate reaction.  A child (and an adult operating from that viewpoint) thinks that there is some benefit to this foolish strategy, that it helps to tamp down the discomfort by upping the suffering incentive.  It's like trying to put out a fire quicker with more liquid, but that liquid is gasoline.

Body continues and escalates   Not curable, but influenceable and/or avoidable

The choice to disengage from the triggering situation is a viable choice.  However, one often feels impelled to stick in there and "pretend" all is ok, as one does not want to be shamed by leaving.  One merely needs to figure out a face saver, rather than stay in the path of the lawnmower that is chewing one up.  The choice not to disengage is a choice to suffer, one that is totally irrational, as the worst of the damage could be stopped here and now - and recovery and treatment could start occurring immediately.

There is still choice at this point to do deep slow breathing and to bring in the arsenal of pre-prepared coping thoughts and affirmations.  All programs for hyperventilation sufferers contain protocols for learning how to breath right and to practice it so that it becomes a more automatic (or at least more doable) action.

Hyperventilation occurs,    "Not curable", but avoidable: exit could stop the exacerbation, stop it as early as possible

Oxygen absorption is impaired and the ability to think and function diminishes dramatically.  But it does not diminish enough that one cannot still act by exiting the situation.  The exit should occur as soon as possible.

It is not the truth to say that hyperventilation just happens right out of the blue, for there are many bodily reactions that occur before that - and most of those are discernible if one looks for them - though the mechanics could involve such a rapid sequence that one does not see it - it looks instantaneous - but that would be impossible, as mechanically there must be a number of items happening in sequence. 

Staying in there, as pointed out above, just exacerbates the situation and continues the damage process - it makes no sense to suffer those consequences, but if one continues one is choosing those consequences in order to avoid some irrational, nonsensical alternative consequence - and the beliefs behind how awful it is to be shamed or not look good are all in the changeable category.   When there is a contest between two powerful opposite forces, the solution is to take away the power from the undesirable side especially if it is the one that is controllable (where the two opposing forces are both "bad"). 

Because the body's systems have such force at this point, some people come to the conclusion that hyperventilation is inevitable.  But that is fallacious reasoning of the highest order.  It's like saying every cocktail party I go to guarantees me a hangover the next day, while the real cause is the choice of the drinking (or to continues adding one more drink at a time and then be "the victim" of the alcohol), while the hangover is the inevitable result of the excess alcohol.  The hyperventilation is the result of the choice one makes to be exposed to the situation and/or stay in the situation.  So, avoiding hyperventilation is a choice, at several points in the process.

Thoughts about how terrible this is occur   Curable, or at least mostly

When one is in a diminished state, panic-filler thoughts occur, as the brain is trying its best, in a huge flailing effort, to do all it can to solve the problem, sending out all matching or similar recordings to try to cure the problem.  If one is highly rehearsed and has great coping statements, then this can at least be ameliorated.

Something like this would have to be an automatic conversation that is easily accessible and well-rehearsed (one might have to read it from a pre-set up card that one carries):   I accept this as a part of my life.  Yes, it is very emotionally and physically painful and frightening, but it will be over.  I will most likely suffer physically and be down for a day or so.  I will, however, survive.  I accept this as just a part of my life.  (Or something even beyond this, that you devise that is a complete and rational answer that you can set up ahead of time.)

Physical recovery occurs, thoughts continue    Curable, or at least mostly
As one is wiped out and must sleep alot to recover from the shock to the body, one thinks badly of oneself, predicts a disastrous future (distorted thinking: exaggeration, black and white thinking, projection, etc.), and lots of other bad evaluations which make it even harder to recover.  Once should be doing complete relaxation, deep breathing, eating lots of protein with low glycemic carbs (maintaining blood sugar) - doing it from a card that has been pre-prepared, and is readily available, about what to do afterwards.


As in the piece on Obsessive Thought, if any point in the chain can be cured to stop the process, the process is curable and there will be no "terrible" consequence.  (A child will continue to assert that this is not true, as the child operates from a largely powerless position.  If one inserts oneself in that child position, the thinking and viewpoint will be instigated.) 

The overreactive thinker will generalize (a type of distorted thinking) to the idea that the whole process is incurable and hopeless, but that is emotional reasoning (a type of distorted thinking).  Overreactive thinking becomes a modus operandi for people, and where there isn't much to react about they exaggerate to achieve the same stimulative danger level.  However, breaking all this into pieces belies the unsystematic conclusion of the overreactive thinker. 

The physical wiring and reaction sequence is not a changeable, curable item as we cannot (yet) rewire our physical systems.  However, training has been proven effective in lowering the level of the danger signals in intensity and amount, thereby decreasing the harmful physical effect.  But while we cannot cure that, we have the power to avoid the problem altogether, so we are, therefore, actually still in charge and at choice. 

The argument that avoiding the situation will make one unable to have any connection is a very, very spurious one, full of emotional reasoning (a form of distorted thinking to avoid).  There often will be a sense of desperation in the sufferer asserting the pain and inevitability of this consequence. 

The consequence of avoiding the situation itself is asserted to be loneliness, which may be a "partial truth" (though not actually a rational overall inevitability).  It most likely is somewhat wired in us that we don't feel as good without human contact and there may be a sadness or left-out automatic thought in there.  While the first part could be true, one could still not bemoan that and could still fill up one's life sufficiently to have a good life.  (Email me if you don't agree and tell me why or ask me how to be self-sufficient.)

People can be happy even if there is no contact with people.  If they focus their attention on all that is good and accept the reality of a life without people, one will not suffer (review the basis for suffering) though there could be some pain - and actual pain is relatively small compared to all that is out there that is the opposite of pain, all the good things and the multitudinous opportunities to have good experiences. 

One needs to address all the pieces, the assumptions, the beliefs, the realities of loneliness and defuse all that one can by using one's higher brain and replacing one's beliefs. 

Also,  the argument probably isn't true in that utter loneliness and devastation are highly improbable.  One might just have friends/acquaintances who are no threat (and adjust one's beliefs to appreciate that human conduct and to no longer keep the irrational belief that one must have higher level friends and that one needs the approval of such people - a highly uncontrollable commodity to depend on at all - and only a fool would operate his/her life in dependence on something uncontrollable!  Hopefully, the person would learn the laws and principles behind how and when to rely on control.   


By this, I don't mean to say that you can rise above the whole situation and be able to be in a triggering event.

However, I do mean that you respect the law of insanity:  To stop believing you'll get a different result by doing the same thing over and over again.  (With the exception of practicing to perfect one's game.)

One must do all one can to stop the trigger by avoiding it or inserting some powerful differences.  Don't go back until you've inserted enough powerful changes that the odds are good that you'll succeed - that's the rule in high-loss situations, not in low-loss, absorbable situations.

Also, one may need to depower one's belief that there is a payoff in choosing to touch the hot stove over and over again and then complaining about it. 

One must also cut off the option of ever complaining again or repeating aloud to someone else what occurred, as this can be a payoff and it is also a definite cause of grooving the process even deeper - stopping the conversation about it helps the pathway to diminish in power.  One must commit to the rule of describing it objectively with no distorted thinking comments and negative projection but only doing a description when it is to a professional for the purpose of generating solutions and ideas. 

One can simply say to a friend if required to deal with an issue of one seeming unfriendly by saying "I was sick" or, where comfortable enough, "I suffered a hyperventilation and was wiped out", but with exactly no more conversation about it (don't even start trying to get around this by saying it is useful to explain it to the unschooled person - as the rule is to only discuss it once with a person who is rationally capable of helping!)


There are lots of solutions to make life work even if one has a body susceptible to overreaction and resulting in hyperventilation.  There are lots of solutions to stopping the physical overreactions and their corresponging further effects, such as  those mentioned in Managing The Chemicals In Your Body.


I know all of this, so it leaves me where I was before.

The fallacy in this lies in the implicit conclusion that one must follow the same path, although it gets the same bad results.  Clearly, there are steps above that will end this problem immediately. 

Here's a hypothetical construct that I formulated as an alternative, but it was meant with strong rejection and the statement that it was nonworkable since she could not "have a good life without social contact":  Barbara's My Decision/Commitment To Stop The Hyperventilation Process