Is stress real? How about panic attacks?

I’m sure a lot of us feel puzzled about stress and anxiety. They are not visible and can’t be measured.


The most well-meaning GP might place you on the NHS CBT waiting list or offer antidepressants to help you cope day to day. A very efficient homoeopath may listen to an account of your lifestyle and name the areas causing these symptoms, plus offer remedies.

But, are we any wiser for this? We may leave these establishments still puzzled about what stress is. What’s happening to us? And, if anxiety cannot be seen (plus there is no remedy), does it even exist?

What's the cause of your stress and anxiety?

What is making you so scared that your heartbeat trebles and you struggle to catch your breath? Maybe your hair is falling out at an unflattering rate? Do family and friends worry about your new ‘cowardly’ behaviour which causes you to hide away rather than expose this unexplainable shaking identified as stress/anxiety?

The crazy aspect of stress is we may not believe we are suffering. We are surely fine, that is, until the breathless shaking kicks off. Then the anxiety about anxiety brings it on.

What’s the answer to this endless loop? 'Why me?' you may wonder.

My personal experience

I can talk for England (and Ireland) on the subject of stress, anxiety, GAD, and panic attacks. Following a disastrous marriage with the worst financial results on record, I experienced the pleasures of panic attacks, which I could either live with or learn to eliminate. Then, life with epilepsy gave me another choice - stay indoors or master its triggers (often stress-related).

The relationship and other difficulties I experienced resulted in night terrors, hence, I had another option - analyse their cause and effect or live without sleep. I quickly decided to focus on addressing the underlying causes of these ailments.

I’m happy to say I now know a lot more about how stress and anxiety can affect us on many levels: emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally. It all overlaps.

In addition to my own triumph over the consequences of life’s ups and downs, I have helped others explore how their worries and their lifestyle impacts on one’s welfare and happiness. My greatest satisfaction in life is trying my hardest to help others overcome this featureless monster called ‘stress’ or ‘anxiety’.

I enlist the service of top professionals in this field to ensure my clients get my best. After a few weeks of counselling, I will always invite you to review our progress.

Your choice is this: you can continue living with your issues, (after all, you can cope, you have to). Or, you can explore your options. Investigate what’s triggering your mild irritations before stress manifests itself in surprising new ways.

The truth is, we may not be aware of its impact. All of us suffer from anxiety to some extent but learning to manage it helps prevent the nasty symptoms. If you need tips on managing stress and anxiety, I’m here to help.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Muswell Hill N10 & Central London SE1
Written by Mary Mcilroy, BACP Accredited (Anxiety specialist). Bupa listed 30060387
Muswell Hill N10 & Central London SE1

I am a registered counsellor with the BACP covering: London Bridge/The City of London and Muswell Hill/London N10. Although I help people mainly with issues of anxiety and depression, I cover many other areas. Throughout your sessions with me, you will be listened to with empathy while you feel and see change happen as anxiety melts away.

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