Panic attacks can be frightening for people who experience them since there appears to be no reason for them. When a panic attack occurs, often feelings of fear increase and make the panic attack last longer.

Sometimes people fear that they are having a heart attack and sometimes they are taken to hospital. Panic attacks can also cause fears related to breathing, feelings of dizziness, weakness in your legs, a fear that you are going crazy or losing control.

When you are in a life threatening situation, such as a traffic accident or a personal threat to yourself, your body goes into fight or flight (or sometimes freeze) which is the same physical reaction as a panic attack. But when there is no threat to your safety people fear that there is something physically or psychologically wrong with them.

Once a person has had one panic attack they fear having another, particularly if they occur out of the blue for no reason. This can sometimes mean that people then avoid situations in which they had a panic attack. This avoidance can interfere with the person’s everyday life and cause them more problems.

There are many approaches to overcoming panic attacks and having some psychological tools to use at the time of the panic attack can not only be effective but also reassuring to the person that they are not powerless. Education about panic attacks can also offer more support to the person about why panic attacks occurs.

Seeking psychological help can eliminate many fears about panic attacks and  can help you to not progress to more ongoing anxiety reactions such as specific phobias (e.g. agoraphobia) or social phobia. Panic attacks can be treated in a number of ways including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Hypnosis, Relaxation training and learning alternative breathing techniques.

Panic Attacks

Fear and panic are normal responses to danger or threatening situations. They are your body’s reactions to events, which have served us well as we have evolved and kept us safe. The sweating hands, the racing heart are all signs that your nervous system is getting ready to fight or flee.

For some people though, these physical feelings can occur at any time, and for no reason. This occurrence can be frightening in itself, creating a vicious circle that increases the panic attack. Often people will confuse a panic attack with a heart attack, and in fact many people are admitted to hospital fearing just that.

Panic attacks can be helped with medication and counselling. With over thirty years experience Margaret McDonald can teach you techniques and strategies control and minimise panic attacks, and tools to reduce their frequency.

Panic attacks can be helped though psychological therapies mostly within a relatively short period of treatment.  With over thirty years’ experience Margaret McDonald can teach you techniques and strategies control and minimise panic attacks, and tools to reduce their frequency. Please don’t hesitate to phone our office on 3862 8833 or email reception@mmcdonald.com.au