Panic Disorder

Panic is an anxiety disorder which is characterised by the recurring and regular panic attacks which often occur for no apparent reason. It is estimated that one out of every hundred people suffers from a panic disorder which usually develops in the 20s age group and is twice as more common in women than men.


What is a panic disorder?


It is natural for people to experience feelings of anxiety, panic and uneasiness in our lives and this is often be a normal response to stressful or dangerous situations. However, people who have a panic disorder can experience feelings of extreme stress, anxiety and panic regularly at any time and for no obvious reason. This makes a panic disorder unpredictable and debilitating, often leading to further anxiety and fear.


Other conditions such as post traumatic stress disorder, general anxiety disorder and phobia are also associated with panic disorder and may lead to intense anxiety.


A panic attack can be an extremely frightening experience and can prevent a person from dong day to day tasks.


The signs you maybe experiencing a panic attack are:


  • Feeling dizzy or faint
  • Feeling suffocated
  • Shaking
  • A fear of choking
  • Chest pain
  • Sweating
  • Speeding up of heart rate
  • nausea
  • Sudden high rate of anxiety for no obvious reason


How can counselling help?


One of the common ways to treat a panic disorder is to use cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), though other talking therapies might also be helpful. We can explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviours around certain situations which might trigger your panic attacks and help you identify when a panic attack is occurring.


It is important to us, that throughout the therapeutic process you feel safe so it might be that we explore ways in which you can manage your panic should it happen, helping you work through it when outside of therapy.


Additional support may also be needed and your GP may need to be made aware of what you are experiencing. If this is the case, we will support you in accessing this support should you feel you need it.


Working through a panic disorder is not an easy process. However, we are committed to supporting you in finding the best way for you to move forward in your recovery, helping you find ways dealing with and managing your panic and the emotions you are faced with.