What is a panic attack?
Panic attacks can be a scary and unsettling experience for anyone. As a form of ‘fear response’, a panic attack is an over-amplified reaction to your body’s normal response to any dangerous, stressful, or exciting situation. While panic attacks can feel intense when you have one, they’re usually experienced as a one-off event in extreme circumstances.
However, people can be affected by panic attacks differently. If they appear as a one-off attack for a specific reason, then most people will be able to overcome the symptoms easily and without others noticing.
For others, it can be a more frequent event that needs further treatment to explore the causes.
Left untreated, panic attacks can turn into panic disorder. This is a feeling of fear or heightened anxiety about having more panic attacks that can have further mental health implications.
What are the symptoms of a panic attack?
Everyone can experience different symptoms when having a panic attack – some more than others. But the physical symptoms can happen quickly when you’re feeling most anxious.
These symptoms can include:
- Increased heartbeat
- Feeling dizzy or light-headed
- Intense headaches
- Sweating and feeling hot or cold
- Uncontrolled trembling or shaking
- Feeling sick
It’s also common during a panic attack to feel scared that you’re losing control, passing out, or even having a heart attack. This can have a knock-on effect of a fear of going out in public in case another panic attack happens.
If you’re suffering from panic attacks, you might be more prone to them due to a previous traumatic experience or have them alongside another condition such as OCD, anxiety, or PTSD. While these instances make it easier to understand why you’re getting panic attacks, in other cases, it might not be as easy to uncover the causes.
Panic attack counselling
Using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and our skills in listening with empathy, we can look at any negative, restrictive, or unusual thought patterns contributing to or causing your panic attacks and reevaluate them for a more positive outcome.
We’ll also create effective ongoing strategies to help you manage your panic attacks whenever and wherever they happen, including recognising and understanding specific triggers that can escalate into a panic attack.
If you’re experiencing panic attacks or panic disorder, contact Devon Therapy Services today to take the first steps in controlling and managing your feelings.
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