What are panic attacks?
A panic attack is a feeling of intense anxiety which comes on suddenly. It can be extremely frightening, and can last anywhere between five and thirty minutes. Some feel that they are experiencing a heart attack as the feelings are so intense. Other symptoms may include:
- Feelings of nausea
- Difficulty breathing or breathing quickly
- Irregular rapid heartbeats
- Feelings of disorientation
- Dry mouth
- Pins and needles
For some, the fear of this panic attack repeating can become overwhelming and can interfere with the ability to function normally. This is called Panic Disorder. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) state “a fundamental characteristic of panic disorder is the presence of recurring, unforeseen panic attacks followed by at least 1 month of persistent worry about having another panic attack and concern about the consequences of a panic attack, or a significant change in behaviour related to the attacks.”
How we help
At The British CBT & Counselling Service we offer a 6 – step programme to help overcome any fears and prevent further attacks from occurring.
You and your therapist will find out more about your panic attacks, what impact they have on your life, and your concerns you have about them. You will discuss what you would like to achieve through your therapy, and they will then tailor a therapy programme for you based on the information which you have provided.
You will start to learn about panic attacks, anxiety, and start to understand why we have them, and the effect they have on our mind and body. This understanding will place you in the strongest position to resolve your symptoms.
Working with your therapist, you will start to identify which thoughts trigger these attacks, and where possible develop more accurate, alternative thoughts to replace these. In time, this will promote feelings of balance and calm.
In order to prepare for step five your therapist will help you to reduce your anxiety to a more manageable level by teaching you effective strategies to use.
You will work with your therapist to identify the things which you are doing to prevent these difficulties from being resolved for example avoiding certain situations. Your therapist will then structure a programme to allow you to gradually make these changes.
You will then work with your Therapist to build up your self-esteem and confidence to speed your recovery and protect you against future relapse of symptoms.