Sometimes called an “anxiety attack,” a panic attack is characterised by a sudden rush of intense anxiety or fear. While panic attacks are usually of short duration, they can be very disabling.
It’s natural to feel fear when faced with danger, but a panic attack is a reaction that is out of proportion to the situation being faced. In some cases, a panic attack can occur even when there is no trigger event to warrant fear or anxiety.
Some of the symptoms of a panic attack include:
- Pounding heart
- Chest pains
- Trembling or shaking
When you’re having a panic attack, you can feel like you’re out of control; going crazy; or even dying.
Panic attacks are more common than you may realise. According to studies, 25 percent of the population suffers from at least one panic attack. Recurring panic attacks are more serious and are clinically called a panic disorder.
If You Have a Panic Attack
If you have a panic attack, psychologists recommend:
- Not fighting your feelings
- Using breathing control (counting in breaths and out breaths)
- Questioning your fears
Do not self-medicate after or during a panic attack. Instead, seek professional help. As intense and overwhelming as a panic attack is, it is a treatable condition and a psychologist can help you overcome it.
If you or someone you know suffers from panic attacks, contact our Petrozzi Wellness Centre psychology team.
About the PWC Leichhardt Psychology Team
Petrozzi Wellness Centre in Leichhardt, New South Wales is a team of qualified wellness practitioners. The team includes three qualified psychologists who can help if you or someone you know suffers from panic attacks or other psychological disorders:
- Suzi Petrozzi is a clinical and coaching psychologist with over ten years of experience working with adults, adolescents and their families. She has always been passionate about helping people discover their unique potential, believe in themselves and ultimately live a life they never imagined possible.
- Liesbeth Geerligs holds a first class Honours degree in Psychology from the University of Sydney and a Master of Clinical Psychology from Macquarie University. She believes in a collaborative approach to therapy and has a passion for helping her clients to live a full and valued life.
- Amrita Chawra is a registered psychologist who has completed a Master of Science in Coaching Psychology from the University of Sydney. She is a culturally sensitive practitioner who is passionate about understanding emotions, connectedness, empowerment and the psychology of human strengths and well-being.
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