Am I having a panic attack?

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.

If you are suffering with any of the issues discussed in this article and would like to seek professional help then you may find our page about Panic Attacks useful.

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