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Issues » Panic Attacks

Panic attacks

Panic reactions often necessary for survival. When a threat is presented to you your natural instincts kicks into action.  You get a sudden adrenalin rush which gives you the strength to get out of the impending harm. When  you are safe adrenalin rush subsides and your heart rate and breathing will return to normal.

When you are having a panic attack, you are having similar symptons.  In a panic attack the fear at times is unfounded, and your body has gone into panic reactive mode.  

People with panic attacks  experience some of the following symptoms:

  • hot and cold sweats
  • dizziness 
  • palpitations
  • breathlessness
  • fear of passing out
  • fear of losing control
  • chest pain - fear of heart attack
  • nausea
  • trembling or shaking
  • headaches
  • speecheless


Often it can be a thought that triggers a panic attack.  The trigger can be internal or external,  things like a memory, taste, smell, place, music, event or sound can be a trigger. 

There are ways to challenge your thinking around panic attacks from there onset. 

There are a number of strategies and  tools we can explore together to help you to find relief from feelings of intense Anxiety and Panic:

Using CBT,  a therapist can help you to understand your thinking patterns, and how that impacts your feelings, and your behaviour. CBT challenges the thinking. It can support you to reduce your symptoms of Panic while revisiting the situations that you fear. It is an evidence based therapy that generally works in the present or the ‘here and now‘. CBT is supported by numerous studies to be effective in most cases in the treatment of anxiety including panic attacks.

Psychotherapy works with the underlying causes that may be contributing to your panic and anxiety. You may need to explore your past relationships, early personal difficulties and childhood development. Feelings such as anger, shame or low self esteem may have been hidden for some time and can contribute to your anxiety and fear. A good image for Psychotherapy is an Iceberg which floats on the surface of the water. We actually only see one third of the iceberg on the surface but two thirds of it is hidden under the water. In Psychotherapy we gently and respectfully explore the part under the surface. 


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