Anxiety is a condition affecting up to 25%
of people around the world.
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Testimonial

Panic Attacks

 
A Panic Attack is an episode of intense fear generally triggered by negative thoughts and accompanied by one or more physical symptoms such as:
 
Fear of dying Chest Pain
Choking Sweating
Nausea Dizziness
Heart Palpitations Urge to escape
Fear of losing control
Shortness of Breath
Intense feelings of dread
Trembling or shaking
 

Causes...

Panic attacks often occur during times of prolonged emotional or physical stress.  If the attacks keep occurring out of the blue with no direct or situational trigger it is suggested the person has developed a Panic Disorder.  Once the person has had one panic attack they often make an association to the place they were when the panic attack occurred, then fearing that place in the future.  They may experience further panic attacks in the place they had their initial panic attack.  If so, this suggests that panic attacks are now related to fear based thoughts.  This is when Agoraphobia can develop (a fear of situations or places from which escape might be difficult or embarrassing in the event of a panic attack)

For people who live with Social Anxiety, panic attacks are often experienced in situations in which they believe they are being negatively evaluated such as at a party, meeting new people, dating or public speaking.  As the symptoms of a panic attack are so uncomfortable and frightening people who experience panic attacks tend to avoid the situations that have triggered the attack

 
What to do if you are having a panic attack...

There are a few useful techniques that can be used to minimise the distress of a panic attack.  These are...
 
"Do..."
 
Think realistically - the panic attack will pass.  In reality it is your body producing extra energy for you to escape from or fight the 'life threatening' situation you are in.  Ask yourself - "Is this really a life threatening situation?"  Am I in danger of dying?  Probably not, so you don't need the energy the response is giving you.
Listen to what is going on in your head and if possible replace it with realistic statements
Breath deep down into your stomach.  Shallow breathing will only increase your anxiety, as will holding your breath.
Think about your capabilities, not times when you thought you failed.
Remember that a panic attack will only last a short amount of time and they will not harm you.  In actual fact, a panic attack is protecting you by providing a large amount of energy, nothing more.
 
"Don't..."
 
Run home at the first sign of panic - this will only entrench your fear and create a memory that says you can't cope with the feelings.
Don't think about the first time you had a panic attack.  That was only a moment in time.  You have lived many more moments of time without having a panic attack.  Reflect on what you do the majority of your life to create a calm state.  Remember a situation does not create your fear, it comes from how YOU perceive the situation.  When you are feeling panicky, it is only your thoughts.
Don't do things in a hurry, take your time - you are entitled to do this.  Think calm, be calm, breath calmly.
Don't discount your achievements in life, and start replacing criticism with praise.
Don't give up.  Keep going as the more you practice overcoming your fears, the more they and the symptoms of fear (anxiety and panic) will eventually be controlled and no longer an issue in your life.
 
Remember - Recovery is possible