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Therapy help for panic attacks Panic Attacks

What exactly is Panic?

Broadly speaking a panic attack is an extreme fear response which occurs when a person is convinced they are in extreme danger, although no real danger exists.

Physiologically panic is a sudden surge of adrenaline into the bloodstream. Once set in motion, the surge of molecules, known as the flight or fight response, rises to a crescendo and slowly dissipates. This primitive survival reflex is vital for dealing with danger, equipping us to fight like a gladiator or run like an Olympic sprinter. Heaving lungs, pounding heart, tense muscles, and hairs standing on the back of the neck warn us that our life is on the line.

Panic AttacksPsychologically panic is a disorder of perception. Internal sensations of the flight or fight response are being misread as life-threatening and dangerous. This misinterpretation triggers panic in supposedly safe environments such as the supermarket, cinema, one’s home or one’s bed. With no obvious external threat, all the impulses to run, scream or attack are curtailed or censored and confusion reigns. The sole task now is surviving the sensations themselves. Advancing into the depths of the supermarket can become synonymous with shark-infested waters, the distance from the door as critical as the distance from the shore. The degree of advance warning and the availability of an escape route define the level of danger.

The symptoms of a full-blown panic attack are similar for everyone, but vary in combination and intensity. It is rare for anyone to experience all of the symptoms listed below. Some only get two or three of them, others more. The commonest are:

  • Intense fear or apprehension
  • Palpitations
  • Trembling
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating

After a time one main symptom may begin to predominate, and the others may seem to be less to the fore, or panic attacks may cease as long as the person avoids certain situations, such as lifts and shops. All that seems to be left is an anxiety about going into certain situations. Extract from WHEN PANIC ATTACKS, author Dr Aine Tubridy.

It is possible that the avoidance then feeds the anxiety as the person needs to be watchful at ALL times in order to avoid certain places. This is energy sapping and can totally take over the person’s life.

The Therapy: The presenting issue will be dealt with in a relaxed initial consultation which will allow for all aspects of the therapeutic process to be discussed and all questions answered openly, fully and confidentially.


Lo-Call in Ireland: 1890-273-273 or email  to book an assessment consultation.

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