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Panic Disorder

Panic is described as a sudden spell or attack when you feel frightened or anxious.

The following symptoms may occur:

  • shortness of breath
  • pounding heart
  • dizzy or light headed
  • tingling in fingers or feet
  • tightness or pain in the chest
  • a choking or smothering feeling
  • feeling faint
  • sweating
  • trembling or shaking
  • hot or cold flushes
  • things around you feel unreal
  • urge to flee
  • dry mouth
  • nausea or butterflies
  • muscle tension
  • visual disturbances
  • a feeling you cannot get your thoughts together or speak
  • a fear you might die, collapse, lose control

When the panic becomes severe, most people try to get out of the situation in the hope the panic will stop.

The first panic attack almost always occurs during a period of increased  psychological stress e.g.  relationship problems, a death or illness, financial issues or physical stress e.g. personal illness, exhaustion, excessive use of drugs and alcohol, lack of sleep ,low blood sugar after dieting.

There is some evidence that people who develop ongoing problems with panic disorder have been subjected to greater than normal stress prior to their first attack.

There are a range of psychological treatment approaches available.

These approaches  includes an understanding of the physiology of panic and managing reactions such as hyperventilating with self management techniques e.g. relaxation, breathing regulation, and identifying and addressing other  issues that may be contributing e.g. trauma, loss, personal belief systems.

Should you need advice in this area, call Graeme Clarke on 348-5595 to get his professional help.

  • Unit 10, 35 Riccarton Road
    Christchurch 8011
    New Zealand

    Phone: (03) 348 5595