Panic attack / Panic disorder

Panic attacks are severe anxiety attacks or attacks of fear. They can be quite intense and are often unpredictable. If you have had a panic attack you would feel a psychological part of this or thoughts of anxiety as well as a physical component when your body has anxiety symptoms.

The physical symptoms of panic attacks include the following:
Feeling short of breath or choking
Trembling or shaking
Feeling sick or nauseous
Feeling your heart race or palpitations
Feeling a constriction in your chest
Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
Feeling your stomach churn or a sensation of butterflies in the stomach

The psychological symptoms of panic attacks include the following:
An intense feeling of dread
A feeling of ‘losing your mind’
Feeling you are going to die or intense fear that you are losing your life

If you have recurring panic attacks then this is diagnosed as a panic disorder. Sometimes you could have panic attacks in other anxiety disorders such as social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder or agoraphobia.

Panic attacks can cause a lot of stress, especially when you are fearful of having another attack. The best method of overcoming these attacks is with better understanding of the causes and accessing treatment. Often gaining the understanding that this will not cause you to lose your life is the beginning of your journey to recovery.

Dr Abeya has had extensive training and experience in the different treatment methods we use to deal with panic attacks and anxiety disorders. She will take time to discuss your fears and will commence treatment with a session of education about the condition. You can then openly discuss treatment options and choose the best suited for you.

Treatment often consists of therapy and medication. Cognitive behavioural therapy is a well tested method of treatment and assists with changing negative and disabling thought patterns. Medication is generally with antidepressants which have good profiles of reducing anxiety.

Almost 1 in 10 people suffer with anxiety conditions in Sydney at some point in their lives but most do not seek treatment. The result is that you may have to battle with nerves and not achieve your full potential in life. Even if you have experienced anxiety for along time and have not done anything about it, it is extremely beneficial to access a professional opinion and see how you can improve life as you know it.