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Anxiety & Panic Attacks

What is Anxiety?

There are 6 different categories of ‘Anxiety’ and each can overlap...

GAD - generalised anxiety disorder, presents as feeling anxious most of the time, worrying about various things, normally for a period of 6 months or more. These worries can be about everyday things, everyday events, such as fearing for another’s safety, unease that events will turn out negative etc. These worries happen most days, and can sadly start each morning upon wakening, until you fall asleep at night. This can be highly exhausting, and depletes energy at a fast rate, causing fatigue.

Social Anxiety Phobia - a fear of people or social areas, for example, a fear of, leaving your house, meeting friends, accepting invites to social gatherings. A common fear surrounding social anxiety is what other people think, the fear of judgement from others. This area also includes fear of moving on in love relationships/approaching new suitors, or even making new friends.

Panic Disorder - is when we experience panic attacks, difficulty breathing, profuse sweating, dizziness, and often tension headaches, which can leave us feeling highly fatigued and unable to carry on with our day. Most often, we do not even know what has brought on this panic.

OCD - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, comes in the form of repeated and unwanted thoughts, whilst performing rituals to prevent a negative outcome. For example, washing hands repetitively to prevent disease/germs, arranging items to be a specific way, doing things in a specific order, to prevent anything bad occurring.

PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, can happen after a shocking event has taken place. Symptoms may not show straight away, but months, or even years after the initial event. This can lead to anger and/or depression. Sometimes, we are unaware that the symptoms that present to us come from this traumatic past event, however, in our sessions this can be identified, and reprogrammed.

Specific Phobias - This is a fear of a specific thing, for example, fear of... needles, dentists, hospitals, flying, dogs, eating certain foods, choking, driving, spiders, wasps, snakes etc. Phobias create avoidance, preventing you from doing specific things that can often negatively impact your health, or stop you from doing the things you really want to do.

Symptoms of Anxiety - Nervousness, Restlessness, Tense, Feeling Unsafe, Panic Attacks, Dread/On Edge, Rapid Heart Rate, Rapid Breathing, Sweating, Trembling, Shaking/Muscle Twitching, Energy Loss, Insomnia, Stomach Issues, Light Headed/Dizzy, Headaches, Muscle Pain, Grinding Teeth, Nausea, Inability to Focus/Brain Fog, Changes in Sex Drive, Overthinking, Change In Eating Habits, Irrational Fears, Overwhelm, Social Avoidance, Self-Harm, Constant Worry/Stress, Emotional Dysregulation/Mood Swings, Impatience.

When To Seek Help - Experiencing occasional anxious symptoms due to outside influences is a normal part of life, and often can come and go; however, if it lasts for a long period of time, occurs due to a previous traumatic event, is difficult to control, creates avoidance, or interference in your daily activities, alters your mood, or you experience panic attacks, then therapeutic help is advised immediately.



What is a Panic Attack?

Panic attacks can occur anytime, for no apparent reason - they are uncontrollable and inescapable.

Panic Attacks can be so scary, often resulting in clients avoiding situations where they feel may trigger an attack. Often, one can isolate themselves, staying in the safety of their own home - thus limiting their quality of life.

There are 3 different types of panic attacks; unexpected panic attacks (uncued), situational (cued), and situationally predisposed.


A panic attack happens when the body is under immense stress, pressure or fear, and occurs when a trigger in the brain causes the nervous system to respond.


Before a panic attack occurs, the Amygdala (a small part of the brain which is the major processing centre for our emotions), starts to send high alert defence signals to the body, that there is some kind of perceived threat, or danger. This often starts with our own conscious thoughts; however, the Amygdala can automatically trigger on its own, sometimes just by memory (a sound, smell, feeling), especially if it links something similar in the present time, to a past traumatic event (our minds don't know if something is in the past or present, unless we have processed it correctly). 


I often say to clients that the body and mind is actually working beautifully; however, it is just over-enthusiastic in keeping you safe, and perceiving danger when there is in fact none, and it is this, that triggers the fight, flight, freeze, or fawn response.

When Panic Attack symptoms do arise, it can be extremely frightening, and can last anywhere from 5-30 minutes, approximately.

Often, clients have said that they feel they are ‘going to die’ when presented with such symptoms, or it feels like they are experiencing a heart attack. 

Phobias too, can bring on panic attacks, such as having a fear of dogs, wasps, needles, the dark, hospital/doctor appointments, flying, etc.

Panic Attacks are not only scary, but leaves one feeling utterly emotionally exhausted - after all, our body has fired up all cylinders to keep us safe.

PANIC ATTACK SYMPTOMS : Feeling faint, Nausea, Trembling, Hot flushes, Chills, Sweating, Rapid Heart Rate, Pins/Needles/Numbness, Shortness of Breath, Choking/Suffocating, Shaky Limbs, Dizziness

Dry mouth, A Need to Run. 

When To Seek Help : When the body is automatically going into fight, or flight mode, even though there is no near perceived danger, then it is advised to seek help immediately to rewire the nervous system. 

Person suffering from Panic Attacks & Anxiety
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