The “fight or flight” reaction we all get when faced with a threat or some danger is a normal human response. A panic attack is a discrete period of intense apprehension, fear or terror usually associated with a feeling of impending doom. Panic attacks have symptoms of heart palpitations, shortness of breath, choking sensations, sweating and a fear of going crazy or losing control and wanting to escape.
People who have had a panic attack are so fearful of having another one they go to great lengths to avoid situations where one might occur. This avoidance behaviour usually makes panic attacks worse.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterised by excessive worry and uncertainty about the future.
Panic attacks are sudden, overwhelming periods of intense fear and anxiety associated with a fear of going crazy or impending doom.
Social phobias are fears triggered by exposure to social or performance situations.
Agoraphobia is anxiety about places or situations from which escape might be difficult or help may not be available. Phobias are anxiety fears triggered by exposure to certain objects or situations leading to avoidance behavior. These could include animals, injections, storms, elevators, heights and flying.
Obsessive-compulsive behaviour (OCD) is characterised by thoughts or rituals we can’t stop.
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterised by re-experiencing a traumatic event accompanied by symptoms of increased arousal and by avoidance of anything associated with the trauma.
Our clinical psychologists have specialised in providing therapy for all forms of anxiety. Therapy consists of psycho-education so that you understand what is happening to you, cognitive behaviour therapy to teach you how to manage your thoughts and feelings using exposure-response prevention techniques and finally learning new reactions using hypnotherapy and mindfulness strategies.
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