What is a Panic or Anxiety Attack?

Panic is characterized by a sudden sensation of fear or disorientation that is overwhelming and often terrifying. An intense encounter of anxiety or panic typically feels like an “attack” that takes control, and that can alter one’s psychology and physiology in variety of intensely uncomfortable ways.

The experience can range from being in a state of moderate alarm to an extreme hysteria. Panic attacks are often described as irrational intense surges of crushing fear that usually combine with sweating, heart palpitations, shaking and/ or chest pains, dizziness, or feelings of detachment from reality – among a range of physiological symptoms.

A panic attack may be a one-time manifestation that can strike out of the blue, even when an individual is calm and relaxed. A single episode can then lead to repeat panic attacks that can be frequent and unpredictable in ways that hinder the affected individual from performing previously benign tasks. Common trigger situations include: public speaking, crowds, and air travel.

The presence of recurrent and persistent panic attacks that interfered with normal functioning is indicative of a panic disorder.

Psychological treatment for intense anxiety or panic can be very effective. A psychologist specializing in anxiety and panic attacks can help to identify and clarify the factors that sensitise an individual to attacks, and offer a variety of practical tools for desensitising and managing the symptoms.

Contact us to know more about our intake process and what to expect from counselling. Speak to our friendly reception team on 9500 0751 Monday to Friday between 8:30am and 8:00pm.


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