Help and Treatment for Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder
What is ‘panic disorder’?
Panic disorder is an anxiety condition characterised by a sudden increase in panic attacks. A panic attack is an unexpected episode of intense fear that manifests itself through physical symptoms:
- Heart palpations
- Hot flushes
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling of choking
- Chest pain
- Feeling faint
- Dry mouth
- Fear of dying
It is estimated that one out of every hundred people in the UK suffers from panic disorder. Panic attacks, which frequently develop in the individuals’ twenties, are twice as common in women as in men. Although anxiety is a perfectly natural response for human beings, for individuals suffering from panic disorder, these constant and intense feelings of anxiety can go on to significantly reduce their quality of life and reduce their engagement in healthy everyday activities.
I am having panic attacks. How can counselling and psychotherapy help me?
The two main types of treatment for panic disorder are psychotherapy or counselling and medication, and the aim is to reduce the number of panic attacks and help the individual manage their symptoms. At Fresh Mind Therapy, we use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques which have been shown to be highly effective for panic attacks. Anti-depressant medication is sometimes used along with therapy and if needs be, we will refer you to a psychiatrist for a prescription alongside your therapy sessions. Therapy will help you to:
- Challenge negative beliefs and reduce catastrophic thinking (e.g. attributing chest pain to an imminent heart attack or near-death experience)
- Develop healthy perspectives on the present situation
- Reduce unhelpful behaviours maintaining the panic disorder e.g. avoiding going to the cinema to prevent another panic attack
- Help reduce the focus on body sensation e.g. muscular pain, heart palpation
- Identify panic triggers and deactivate them
If panic is causing you further anxiety, we can help. Get in touch with us now and speak to one of our therapists