A panic attack is a sudden and very intense feeling of anxiety or fear accompanied by all kinds of unpleasant physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, racing heart, tightness across the chest, trembling, feeling that you’re choking, sweating, nausea or upset stomach and feeling light-headed. Some people confuse the symptoms with having a heart attack or think that they are going to collapse or go mad. They often report feeling unreal or detached, having a sense of losing control and a strong wish to escape.
If you have ever suffered from a panic attack you are in good company! Over a lifetime about a quarter of us will experience one or more. While they are extremely unpleasant, they are usually fairly short-lived and although it’s really important to rule out other causes of your symptoms, they are in no way life-threatening
Getting help – Panic Attack Counselling Cork
I have specialist knowledge in working with clients suffering from panic attacks. One of the first things I will show you is the panic attack emergency drill which you can practise when you are feeling calm and next time you feel an attack starting, put it into action:
1. Relax! Slow down and deepen your breathing and try to relax all the tense muscles in your body – a short burst of exercise is great for this.
2. Stop negative thinking! Say the word “STOP!” loudly and firmly inside your head. This will interrupt your catastrophic thoughts.
3. Replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. You might tell yourself something like “I’m only having a panic attack, I know how to cope and it will be over very quickly if I relax.”
4. Accept your feelings. Once you start to feel a little calmer, work out what emotions you are feeling, be kind to yourself and try keep your perspective. (Your strongest emotion is probably going to be fear which is a positive emotion designed to protect you from harm.)
Then we will work out some coping strategies that work for you. And think about doing things every day that you enjoy and that lower your levels of anxiety – such as gentle walking, listening to music or guided meditation CDs, deep breathing or yoga exercises, being outdoors, calling a friend to chat. Maybe the panic is a sign that there are changes you need to make in your life – so be gentle with yourself as you work out what these might be.
My practice is at 7 Chatsworth, Donnybrook Hill, Douglas, Cork city, where there is free parking available. The 207 bus from the city centre also stops outside.
If you are interested in making an appointment for panic attack counselling please ring 087 9934541 or send me a message. I try to see clients within 48 hours if they require it.
Book a counselling session today!