Panic attacks are a terrifying experience where one experiences an intense surge of fear or anxiety that typically peaks within minutes but can feel unbearable. In these instances, the body behaves as though it is in actual peril, producing symptoms like a rapid heart rate, quick, shallow breathing, tingling sensations, trembling, dizziness, dissociation and more. In this state, people often fear losing control or even dying. Although panic attacks are not physically dangerous, this experience is highly uncomfortable. It can often lead to the ongoing fear of more panic attacks happening, avoiding situations that might provoke them.
If you are experiencing panic attacks, you might feel discouraged to carry out your routine activities, such as work, grocery shopping or driving, because you fear you might lose control in the moment of a possible panic attack. A fear or avoidance of places where panic attacks have occurred in the past is also common. Panic attacks often begin in the late teens or early adulthood, and women are more likely to experience them in their life.
How can counselling help?
Living with the fear of having a panic attack can be a very debilitating experience and interfere with your everyday life. Psychotherapy is an effective first choice resource for panic attacks. Many types of modalities are used to work with this type of anxiety. Acceptance and Committment Therapy (ACT) and Cognitive Behavioural therapy (CBT) are examples of Bhevaioural therapies that teach you different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to the feelings that come with a panic attack. The attacks can begin to disappear once you learn to respond differently to the physical sensations of anxiety and fear that occur during panic attacks.
We understand the limitations and fears associated with panic attacks and how isolating it can be for you. Life can get overwhelming, but you do not have to suffer alone.
López, F. J. C., & Salas, S. V. (2009). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in the treatment of panic disorder: Some considerations from the research on basic processes. International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy, 9(3), 299-315.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Panic disorder: When fear overwhelms. National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved 1AD, from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/panic-disorder-when-fear-overwhelms
With clinicians of many languages and backgrounds in convenient locations, we provide effective counselling services tailored to your unique situation.