Panic and Agoraphobia
Panic attacks are extremely frightening. They seem to come out of the blue, strike at random, make people feel powerless, out of control and as if they are about to die or go mad.
A panic attack is an exaggeration of the body’s normal response to fear, stress or excitement. When faced with a situation seen as potentially threatening, the body automatically gears itself up for danger, by producing quantities of adrenalin for ‘fight or flight.’ This would have prepared our cave-dwelling ancestors to fight or run away from danger, but it’s much less appropriate to the stresses we encounter today.
Panic attacks are diagnosed if four or more of the following symptoms occur during the periods of anxiety:
- Chest pain or other chest discomfort
- Chills or hot flushes
- Choking sensations
- Derealisation (feeling unreal) or depersonalisation (feeling detached from oneself)
- Dizzy, lightheaded, faint, or unsteady feelings
- Fear of dying
- Fears of loss of control or becoming insane
- Heart racing, pounding, or skipping beats
- Nausea or other abdominal discomfort
- Numbness or tingling, sweating
- Shortness of breath or smothering sensation
During an attack, you may fear that you are about to die or go mad. The most important thing to remember is that, however dreadful you may feel during an attack, this is not going to happen. The bodily effects of panic attacks, such as breathlessness, are very scary but in reality are just part of the panic and will not harm you.
I have been effectively helping people to overcome panic and agoraphobia for many years
If you would like more information or to make an appointment you can contact me in confidence.