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Panic attacks are common and can exist as a symptom on their own or be part of another condition, such as panic disorder. A panic attack can happen without warning, and can often occur for little or no apparent reason. Although these episodes may appear random, research indicates that they are bought on by our own ‘fight or flight’ response, which triggers hormones (particularly adrenaline) to flood our body in preparation to defend itself from a perceived threat.
The effects of panic attacks continue long after an attack - fearing when the next attack will occur causes persistent worrying and intense anxiety between attacks. Panic attacks can seriously impact the way a person lives their life by limiting what they do or where they go as they attempt to avoid situations that trigger the attack. Experiencing a panic attack is intensely frightening, upsetting and uncomfortable.
Research suggests at least 1 in 10 people experience occasional panic attacks, which are usually triggered by a stressful event, or situation. However, people suffering with panic disorder can have attacks on a regular and recurring basis.
Symptoms of a panic attack can be so severe that those suffering often believe they are having a heart attack or suffering from another life threatening illness. Common symptoms include:
Panic attacks occur when a high level of anxiety causes adrenalin to produce severe symptoms. There are a number of factors that may contribute to a panic attack, such as:
Hypnotherapy can help to alleviate anxiety by direct suggestion and by behavioural training. It can be used to:
This content is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for professional advice.