Panic disorder is where you have recurring and regular panic attacks, often for no apparent reason and you may find it hard to make sense of why they happen.
Most people experience feelings of anxiety and panic at certain times during their lifetime. It’s a natural response to stressful or dangerous situations. However, for someone with panic disorder, feelings of anxiety, stress and panic occur regularly and at any time.
Sufferers of panic disorder often feel fine one minute, and yet the next may feel totally out of control and in the grips of a panic attack. Panic attacks produce very real physical symptoms from a rapid increase in heartbeat to a churning stomach sensation. These physical symptoms are naturally unpleasant and the accompanying psychological thoughts of terror can make a panic attack a very scary experience. For this reason, sufferers start to dread the next attack, and quickly enter into a cycle of living ‘in fear of fear’.
It is the rapid build-up of overwhelming physical sensations, such as:
- a pounding heartbeat
- feeling faint
- nausea (feeling sick)
- chest pains
- feeling unable to breathe
- shaky limbs, or feeling like your legs are turning to jelly
- feeling like you’re not connected to your body
During a panic attack you might feel very afraid that:
- you’re losing control
- you’re going to faint
- you’re having a heart attack
- you’re going to die
How common is Panic?
- at least one person in 10 experiences occasional panic attacks
- some people may have one or two attacks each month, while others may have several attacks a week
- in the UK, about one person in 100 has panic disorder and it is around twice as common in women as it is in men
How can we help?
You will first need an assessment with one of our therapists. You will have an opportunity to talk about your difficulties and what your goals are. During your assessment you will be able to discuss treatment options with your therapist, where you may both decide on a therapy that is best suited to your needs. CBT is a recommended and effective treatment
You can have support; face to face; over the telephone or as part of a group
To speak to someone in confidence for advice or to arrange an appointment please contact our team on Freephone 0800 230 0688
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