Panic Attacks, 'You are not alone'
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Jane I Taylor MBACP MCS (Acc) PRCC
22nd April, 2010
It is widely accepted that 60% of people in Britain suffer from Panic Attacks at some point during their lives. The condition doesn't discriminate between age, gender or social background. More children are being recognised as having the condition, mainly due to the general public being better informed about the condition, recognising the symptoms.
Most sufferers are unaware they have the condition. It usually creeps up on them until it manifests itself into a full blown unexpected attack. This can have a devastating effect upon the individual and their loved ones. The first attack can last from a few frightening minutes to a few hours, with continues short attacks. It is 'the fear of the fear' of having another attack which cripples peoples ability to cope with the condition.
There are many symptoms, the sufferer may have some, a combination or all of them:-
- Palpitations, heart racing, pain in the chest (may feel as if they are having a heart attack)
- Sweating palms, skin feeling clammy
- Overwelling fear, but not able to explain why
- Tearful, but not undrestanding why
- Overwellming sense of doom,
- Negative imagination about illness, (for example they fear a head ache is a brain tumor)
- Sensitivity to light, not able to cope with noise
- A fear of shops and crowds of people
- Going out alone or being left alone becomes a night mare
- Not able to cope with simple tasks
- Butterflys in the stomach, may feel sick
The condition can be treated and the sufferer can go back to leading a 'normal' life. Some peolpe choose medication to help, (not for children) short term this can help to support some people but needs to run along side a course of counselling. Talking therapy (counselling/psychotherapy) have the most success for clients long term. CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is recognised as a useful tool for helping clients to become well and move forward with their lives.
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