Panic Attacks

Panic attack describes a group of symptoms that can experienced by someone when under extreme anxiety. A panic attack can be highly frightening and distressing and can come on suddenly without an apparent reason. During a panic attack, you can experience intense physiological and psychological reactions.

Common symptoms of a panic attack include:

  • Heart palpitations/ racing heart
  • Sweating
  • Shortness of breath or smothering
  • Choking sensation
  • Chest pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed, or faint
  • Chills
  • Hot flushes
  • Shaky limbs
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Bowel movement
  • Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
  • Fear of losing control or ‘going crazy’
  • Fear of imminent death

When to seek help

Panic attacks can become debilitating and impact significantly on your day-to-day life. If you have been experiencing most of the above symptoms for at least a month you might be suffering from panic disorder. Therapy /counselling can help you deal effectively with panic attacks and alleviate distress.

Dr Maria Pournara, Chartered Psychologist, has extensive experience offering therapy / counselling for panic attacks.