Am I Having a Panic Attack?

Am I Having a Panic Attack?

by Dr Emma Gray - 14th January, 2014

Dear Dr Gray,
I am having these really unpleasant episodes where I feel suddenly incredibly anxious, breathless, dizzy and my heart races. They seem to occur without warning and I am starting to avoid going out alone because I am worried about fainting or collapsing in public. I am also having problems sleeping and have lost my appetite
Susan (Clapham)

Dr Gray Replies……..

Dear Susan,
It sounds as if you are having panic attacks and that your fear of them occurring is creating additional anxiety which is interfering with your sleep and appetite. Panic attacks and the anxiety that accompanies them are a very common and relatively easy to resolve if you take action now. I would recommend that you have a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for panic attacks and anxiety to help you to tackle your symptoms and then some additional therapy to help you to understand the origins of the problem so that it doesn’t reoccur. A clinical or counselling psychologist will be able to offer you a programme of therapy that encompasses both of these things.


Dr Emma Gray

Dr Emma Gray

I am often the first person with whom my patients share significant and intimate thoughts and memories; I never take that privileged position for granted nor the opportunity to help someone to feel better about themselves and discover a more fulfilling life. One of my colleague once described me as natural psychologist; I guess she was alluding to the fact that I feel at ease being a therapist, I can empathise with people’s distress and discomfort but don’t feel overwhelmed by it, I can understand their problem and know how to help, it has always just felt like what I should be doing.


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