disorders & Panic attacks
What Are Panic Disorders?
Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder where you regularly have sudden attacks of panic or fear.
Everyone experiences feelings of anxiety and panic at certain times. It's a natural response to stressful or dangerous situations.
But for someone with panic disorder, feelings of anxiety, stress and panic occur regularly and at any time, often for no apparent reason.
Anxiety is a feeling of unease. It can range from mild to severe and can include feelings of worry and fear. The most severe form of anxiety is panic.
You may start to avoid certain situations because you fear that they will trigger another attack. This can create a cycle of living "in fear of fear". It can add to your sense of panic and may cause you to have more attacks.
A panic attack is when your body experiences a rush of intense mental and physical symptoms. It can come on very quickly and for no apparent reason.
A panic attack can be very frightening and distressing.
a racing heartbeat
a choking sensation
numbness or pins and needles
a need to go to the toilet
ringing in your ears
a feeling of dread or a fear of dying
a churning stomach
a tingling sensation in your fingers
feeling like you're not connected to your body
Most panic attacks last for between 5 and 20 minutes. Some panic attacks have been reported to last up to an hour.
The number of attacks you have will depend on how severe your condition is. Some people have attacks once or twice a month, while others have them several times a week.
Although panic attacks are frightening, they're not dangerous. An attack won't cause you any physical harm, and it's unlikely that you'll be admitted to hospital if you have one.
Be aware that most of these symptoms can also be symptoms of other conditions or problems, so you may not always be experiencing a panic attack – for example, you may have a racing heartbeat if you have very low blood pressure.
Treatments for panic disorder
Treatment aims to reduce the number of panic attacks you have and ease your symptoms.
Psychological therapy and medication are the 2 main treatments for panic disorder.
Depending on your symptoms, you may need one of these treatments or a combination of the two.
CBT has been very successful in treating Panic Attacks. You might discuss with your therapist how you react and what you think about when you're experiencing a panic attack. Your therapist can teach you ways of changing your behaviour – for example, breathing techniques to help you keep calm during an attack.
See your GP regularly while you're having CBT so they can assess your progress and see how you're doing.
If you and your doctor think it might be helpful, you may be prescribed medication to help you manage your anxiety and thereby your panic attacks.
Antidepressants can take 2 to 4 weeks before their effect builds up, and up to 8 weeks to work fully. Keep taking your medications, even if you feel they're not working, and only stop taking them if your GP advises you to do so.
However bad your Panic Attacks seem, North Oak can help you. I can work with an individual or more than one person to support you in your journey to taking back control of your life..
Just remember North Oak offers trained, experienced and confidential Counselling, Psychotherapy, CBT and Hypnotherapy. I am here for you in your time of need and to help you make the right choices. Should you need any more information or would like to book an appointment please click the link or send a message using the form below. I am also more than happy to receive your texts, emails or telephone calls... whichever is easier for you.