A panic attack is one of the worst tricks the mind can play on you.
I remember experiencing one when I was travelling alone in India many years ago.
The wave of anxiety gripped me and left me terrified.
Fortunately as a psychotherapist, I knew what it was and was able to do the right things to help myself, but I can still remember the fear I experienced to this day.
Fortunately for me, I only had one panic attack.
For some people they come regularly, and the fear of the anticipation of the next attack can wear you down.
It is not uncommon for a person experiencing a panic attack, or a person close to them, to call an ambulance, and you can find yourself in A and E, wired in to heart monitors, which can be frightening itself.
Panic disorder, despite its profound intensity, is surprisingly easy to treat by a psychotherapist for most people.
Provided there are no complicating factors, you can expect treatment to be brief.
As a cognitive behavioural psychotherapist (CBT) I will first carefully assess your symptoms.
Together, we will then create a shared understanding of your symptoms.
Understanding what is going on in the mind and the body is key for most clients, as is finding more helpful ways of coping.
Most clients find the panic attacks then simply fade away.