” I felt like I was going to die…It was so weird. I had this tightness in my chest and my heart started racing and I was having trouble breathing and I started to cry because i didn’t know what was happening to me!”
“The worst part is that I don’t even know why I had it – i was just walking through the mall and then just like that I started to panic”
Panic attacks are intense fear that develop for no apparent reason.
Symptoms of a panic attack include:
– difficulty breathing racing heart beat
– a feeling of utter terror or helplessness
– feeling like you are dying
– shaking or trembling
– feeling like you’re choking, tight chest or pains
– feel like you are going crazy
There is no telling when or where a panic attack can occur. I have a number of patients that wake up with panic attacks a number of times a week. They often start for “no reason”, and feel like they are difficult if not impossible to stop once they have started.
The fear seems irrational and often completely inappropriate for the situation or event. It can feel like it lasts forever, but really only lasts minutes and people with panic disorder can often get them many times in a day.
“A panic attack is not dangerous, but it can be terrifying, largely because it feels “crazy” and “out of control.” Panic disorder is frightening because of the panic attacks associated with it, and also because it often leads to other complications such as phobias, depression, substance abuse, medical complications, even suicide. Its effects can range from mild word or social impairment to a total inability to face the outside world.”
~ (APA 2012)
The real fear for people who have panic attacks is the fear that they will have another one! This will often lead to avoidance behaviors, drugs or alcohol and even phobias.
Is there help for people who have Panic attacks? Yes!
People often have many underlying reasons why they are experiencing panic in their lives. No two people are the same and each person has to be approached from their own perspective and life.
That being said, I have had many clients that have come to me with panic attacks, and with the help of Neurofeedback and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (and sometimes Traumatic Incident reduction [TIR]) they have overcome their attacks and led normal lives again – Sometimes in as little as 2 or 3 counselling sessions.
Panic Attack free!