Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder
Panic attacks are a common and serious psychological condition. They can occur as a symptom on their own, or they can occur with another condition such as a phobia or PTSD.
The symptoms of a panic attack could include:
- Shortness of breath and smothering sensations
- Choking sensations
- Palpitations and accelerated heart rate
- Chest discomfort or pain
- Dizziness, unsteady feelings or faintness
- Nausea or abdominal distress
- Numbness or tingling sensations
- Flushes or chills
- Trembling or shaking
- A fear that you might be dying, having a heart attack or stroke
- A fear that you are going crazy or that they you are about to do something uncontrolled
Panic attacks are often accompanied by:
- A sense of imminent danger
- A sense of impending doom
- An urge to escape
What causes panic attacks?
Panic attacks can be caused by physical factors such as the use of alcohol, recreational drugs or prescription medicine. I personally experienced panic attacks as a side effect of taking anti-malarial drugs.
Psychological factors such as prolonged stress, bereavement, relationship or work issues can also lead to one-off panic attacks or develop into panic disorder.
Panic disorder is defined as the presence of recurrent unexpected panic attacks, followed by at least one month of concern about having another. There will also often be worry about the implications or consequences of the panic attacks.
N.B. If you have experienced any of the above symptoms, it is important to visit your GP to rule out any physical reason why they may have occurred before visiting any complementary health practitioner.
Hyperventilation refers to breathing in a rapid, shallow manner, through the mouth. This is a central component of a panic attack. Hyperventilation leads to an excess intake of oxygen and a fall in the levels of carbon dioxide in the blood. This reduction in carbon dioxide levels, combined with an excessive intake of oxygen will result in the various symptoms of a panic attack.
“I came to see Daniel for 2 sessions to see if I could figure out why I had suddenly had an onset of panic attacks when travelling having never suffered before. Daniel was thoughtful and caring at all times and I felt very safe in the sessions. They helped me explore and work on a few things that came up and I'm really glad I chose hypnotherapy and Daniel to help me. I would highly recommend him.”
Hypnotherapy for Panic Attacks
Hypnosis can be a helpful tool when managing and overcoming panic attacks. It can help reduce the stress response you may have in specific situations, initially by helping you learn to relax but also by focusing on specific issues in your life such as past trauma, a phobia or current work or personal stress issues.
There may also be the issue of limiting self beliefs or a lack of confidence which leads to hyperventilation and symptoms of panic. Hypnotherapy can help resolve these issues by encouraging the subconscious mind to discover new positive responses and feelings in situations which previously you might have found challenging.
Employing techniques and approaches which suit you and your specific situation, my work with you could include self hypnosis to reduce stress, learning relaxation breathing techniques to counteract hyperventilation, resolving psychological root causes and changing negative behavioural or thinking patterns.
If you’d like to discover how hypnotherapy could help you overcome that sense of panic and dread, give me a call now to discuss your situation.