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Panic Talking Therapies


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Some of the common symptoms of panic

Have you been feeling?

  • anxious
  • terror
  • stressed
  • tense
  • panicky
  • on edge

Have you had thoughts like?

  • ‘I am going to have a heart attack’
  • ‘I will lose control’
  • ‘I have to get out of here’
  • ‘I will faint or collapse’
  • ‘I am going crazy’
  • ‘I am going to humiliate myself’
  • ‘I need to find the exit’
  • ‘People will laugh at me’
  • ‘I can’t cope outside on my own’

Have you noticed?

  • your heart pounding in your chest
  • a stomach-churning sensation
  • you are sweating excessively
  • your breathing pace changes
  • you are feeling faint
  • you try to avoid situations that might cause you to panic, e.g. shopping centres, waiting rooms or public transport
  • you try to leave situations/buildings quickly as soon as you start to panic or in anticipation of a panic attack
  • you engage in behaviours that make you feel safe, e.g. always having someone with you, always carrying a bottle of water, or sitting down if you feel you are starting to panic
  • you are reassurance-seeking where you have had to call an ambulance or a doctor due to your panic symptoms

Possible causes of panic

  • anxious personality type – you may have certain thinking styles, which are part of your personality, that can lead to you feeling anxious
  • learnt behaviour – you can learn to worry and be anxious; your childhood or life experiences may be the reason for this
  • stressful life events – these can be unwelcome or traumatic, such as being bullied at work, getting divorced, or being attacked/abused
  • pressure – you may be under pressure at home or work, feel trapped or unable to problem solve certain issues
  • worrying about health and illness – you may become over-concerned and worry about becoming ill; this may make you anxious or panic and you may misinterpret the physical symptoms of anxiety and panic and think you are seriously ill

How common is panic?

  • at least one person in 10 experiences occasional panic attacks
  • some people may have one or two attacks each month, while others may have several attacks a week
  • in the UK, about one person in 100 has panic disorder and it is around twice as common in women as it is in men

Want to read more about panic?

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