Panic Attacks Therapy & Counselling
Panic attacks can be frightening and are an exaggerated form of Anxiety.
They can seem to come out of the blue, strike at random, make people feel powerless, out of control, and as if they are about to become unconscious, die or even go mad.
Many people experience panic attacks, but many also learn to cope and, eventually, to overcome them successfully.
Panic attacks are a kind of exaggerated version 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 ancestors to fight or run away from danger, but it’s much less appropriate to the stresses or dangers that we encounter today.
However, our body can still respond in this way to both real and imagined dangers.
Symptoms of Panic Attacks
The flood of Adrenalin may lead to the following physiological effects:
- Very rapid breathing or feeling unable to breathe
- Elevated heartbeat
- Pains in your chest
- Feeling faint or dizzy
- Ringing sounds in your ears
- Tingling or numbness in your hands and feet
- Hot or cold flushes
- Feeling nauseous
- Wanting to go to the toilet
- Feelings of absolute terror
- Feelings of unreality
Panic attacks generally come on very quickly with symptoms usually peaking within 10 minutes.
Most panic attacks last for between five and 20 minutes although they can often feel like they are longer.
The effect of panic attacks on the body
The Adrenalin that is released during panic episodes has the following effects on your body:-
- Muscles tense up
- Breathing becomes faster to take in more oxygen, which muscles need to help them transform sugar into energy for action
- The heart pumps harder to get blood to where it’s needed
- Blood is diverted to the muscles, away from areas that don’t need it, so you become pale
- Digestion slows down and salivary glands dry up, causing a dry mouth
- Your senses become more alert; the slightest sound or touch provokes a reaction
- Sweating increases.
These reactions occur in just fractions of a second and can happen in moments of pleasurable excitement, as well as in fear-provoking and threatening situations.
When Adrenalin floods your body, it can cause a number of different physical and emotional sensations that may affect you during panic attacks.
What Sorts of Things Can Produce Panic Attacks?
There are a number of physical causes that could be causing or contributing to your panic attacks:
- Unstable blood sugar levels (hypoglycaemia) can be the result of poor eating habits, dieting and fasting or some diabetic conditions.
- Over-breathing (hyper-ventilation) happens when you are under stress, though you may not be aware of it. Your breathing becomes more rapid, in order to meet the body’s demand for more oxygen for the muscles. As a result, you breathe out more carbon-dioxide than normal, which can bring on panic symptoms.
- Digestive problems, particularly food allergies, may be to blame.
- Excessive Caffeine, cigarettes, alcohol, and certain street drugs (such as LSD, marijuana and cocaine) can bring on a panic reaction.
- Withdrawing from any drug that has a sedative effect, such as nicotine, alcohol and tranquillisers, can do the same.
- Some prescription medication, including some amphetamines, steroids, anti-asthma drugs, and even nasal decongestants have been reported to increase anxiety and panic.
- Being in chronic pain can be another cause of panic attacks, as can simple jet lag.
Therapy & Counselling for Panic Attacks
We offer a number of different types of therapy and counselling for panic attacks and panic-related problems.
Choosing the most suitable therapy depends on a number of different considerations including factors such as:
- How long you have had the problem.
- Your personal preferences.
- How your problem is affecting you today.
You can read more about the different types of therapy for anxiety on the following links:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Anxiety
- The CORE programme for Anxiety
- Counselling for Anxiety
- Hypnotherapy for Anxiety
Although all therapies use slightly different approaches, the one thing they all have in common is the relationship that is formed between the client and therapist.
Research suggests that this therapy relationship may be the most important factor in achieving a good therapy outcome.
Want to Find Out More?
If you’d like to find out more about overcoming or recovering from your panic attacks or other mental health difficulties then why not arrange a free initial consultation with us.
During this consultation we will discuss your particular problems and the potential solutions in a safe and confidential environment without you having to commit to any counselling programmes or sessions going forward.
It is our view that not only do you need to decide whether the Lee Psychology approach suits who you are and what you have been through, but also whether or not you feel you will be able to work effectively with us as individuals.