Panic attacks are very common and for some the panic is around for a while and then goes away, for others panic may be around much longer. Panic attacks are accompanied by intense fear or anxiety (you may think you are going to die, go mad or make a fool of yourself). Panic can come on fairly suddenly and unexpectedly without an apparent trigger. These intense feelings last a brief time although during an attack it may feel a very long time and you may be left feeling uncomfortable for some time after an attack.
Symptoms of panic may include:
- A rapid heart rate, or your heart skipping beats (Palpatations);
- Breathing very fast (hyperventilation);
- Feeling short of breath;
- Chest pain, headaches other pains;
- Tight throat/choking;
- Feeling sick;
- Tingling fingers/toes/lips.
How counselling helps
Counselling helps through exploring your panic experience, how you manage your panic now and relating that to your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Sometimes it feels that our currents thoughts and behaviours are helpful, such as avoiding social situations in case of panic. Counselling may help you to see that sometimes what we feel may be helpful is not always, and maybe we can try new things out such as new and different strategies for when you are out among others.