Panic Attacks

Worried young woman biting nails while having anxiety. Free Photo

I have recently been on a course about panic attacks, continuing professional development is an important part of being a good therapist. Here are some of the key points I learnt and some links for you.

The symptoms of panic attacks are:

  • Palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Shortness of breath or shallow breathing
  • Chocking
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Nausea or tummy ache
  • Feeling dizzy or faint
  • De-realisation
  • Fear you’re dying
  • Fear you’re losing control
  • Numbness
  • Hot or cold

Often panic attacks can be down to cognitive failure to understand the body’s responses to a stimulus and thus catastrophise it. For example out of breath while walking uphill, misinterpretation of the experience means body might think it is having a heart attack and cause panic symptoms. If these get repeated when you next feel out of breath your body might have a panic attack. People then stop doing the cause of the panic e.g. don’t go out walking which avoids the panic, bit creates a negative coping mechanism instead of altering the thought process that led to the panic originally. 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy often helps as it changes thought processes, but equal so can Person Centres, and Mindful therapy.

At least 1 in 10 people have experienced a panic attack and up to 1 in 60 have a panic disorder. If you need to talk about panic please seek help, it is not unusual and help is available.

If you need more than Self Help and would like some face to face counselling in the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or Staffordshire area please do contact Wright Minds at laura@wrightminds.co.uk or on 07598810304