Everyone experiences panic and anxiety at certain times in their life, particularly in response to stressful situations such as exams. However, some people experience panic, stress and anxiety regularly, at any time and may be classed as a panic disorder.
Is what I am experiencing panic?
A panic attack occurs when your body experiences intense physical and mental symptoms. These include:
- Overwhelming sense of fear
- Difficulty breathing
- Feeling as though your heart is beating irregularly (palpitations)
When is panic a problem?
The amount and severity of panic attacks can vary from person to person but can range from monthly to several attacks each week with prolonged feelings of worry in between. Some people can learn to manage their panic themselves or with some breathing techniques, however for others, it can be hugely debilitating and extra support can be useful. If you feel as though you need some support in overcoming problems with panic, or it is having an impact on your quality of life, there are lots of things we can do to help you.
Depending on the cause and severity of the panic attacks, both talking therapies and medication can be beneficial. The treatment with the most research is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and is highly effective.