Stephen Chan licensed hypnotherapist can help you using Hypnosis, Hypnotherapy and the Thrive Programme® at Ulster Hypnotherapy: covering Belfast, Portadown, Ulster, Lisburn, Newry, Armagh, Antrim, Lurgan and Dungannon. Northern Ireland

What are panic attacks and anxiety attacks?

A panic attack is an intense feeling of anxiety or fear. When you experience a panic attack it can feel as though you are completely ‘losing it’ or that you are on the verge of a heart attack – the key to beating anxiety is to understand what it is…

Thomas beat 20 years of panic and anxiety with me – YOU CAN TOO!

Amy makes this video to prove her social anxiety is history – SO CAN YOU!

Julia smashes her anxieties with me SO CAN YOU!

Jenny overcame her social anxiety with me – SO CAN YOU!

Simon overcame his social anxiety enough to make this video SO CAN YOU!

Graham beat his fear of public speaking & social anxiety with me – SO CAN YOU!

Dom beat 20 years of anxiety and panic with me – YOU CAN TOO!

I conquered my social anxiety with Stevie – YOU CAN TOO!

Although a panic attack may feel really disturbing at the time, the good news is that they are not life-threatening. In fact, the ‘feelings’ are a result of an increased flow of adrenaline and cortisol surging throughout the body.

Whilst an occasional high-level ‘shot’ of adrenaline and cortisol is not in itself a bad thing, because its main function is to give you the extra burst of energy needed to deal with a difficult and challenging situation. It’s actually a part of your natural ‘fight or flight’ survival mechanism. However, when these high levels are sustained, then this life-saving mechanism can become potentially damaging.

Adrenaline and cortisol have the following effects on your body:

  • Your muscles tense up.
  • Your breathing becomes faster to take in more oxygen; muscles need oxygen to help them transform sugar into energy.
  • Your heart pumps harder to get blood to where it’s needed.
  • Blood is diverted to the muscles, away from areas that don’t need it, so you become pale.
  • Your digestion slows down and salivary glands dry up, causing a dry mouth.
  • Your senses become more alert; the slightest sound or touch provokes a reaction.
  • You have increased sweating.

Adrenaline and cortisol cause these physical and emotional sensations:

  •  Your breathing becomes very rapid, or you feel unable to breathe.
  •  Your heartbeat becomes very rapid.
  •  You feel chest pains.
  •  You feel faint or dizzy.
  •  You hear a ringing in your ears.
  •  You feel a tingling or numbness in your hands and feet.
  •  You feel hot or cold flushes.
  •  You feel nauseous.
  •  You want to go to the toilet.
  •  You feel absolutely terrified.
  •  You feel a sense of unreality, known as de-personalisation and de-realisation. (During de-personalisation, people feel detached from their body and surroundings, strange and unreal. During de-realisation, they feel grounded in themselves but the world seems distant or strange and they may feel unsteady on their feet).

Now, if you don’t know the ‘real’ reason, cause, or origin of these feelings you’re experiencing, you will obviously presume that something is happening TO you, and the only way to stop these feelings is to make a quick exit from wherever you may be. This is precisely why panic attacks can feel so threatening because you really have no idea why or what is causing you to feel the way you do.

In this case, the finger of blame will be pointed at the situation or location e.g. a restaurant, church, elevator, or perhaps the cinema. Then you will obviously do anything possible to avoid the situation that you thought created the attack, which now creates a fear of enclosed spaces – claustrophobia.

Or, if you experience a panic attack whilst driving, then you could easily believe that driving created your panic. So, now you could (justifiably) begin to avoid driving because you believe that by doing this you will avoid experiencing another panic attack.

Here, however, is the really unsettling part. These feelings of panic won’t confine themselves to the ‘blamed’ situations. Eventually, they will begin to spread to other situations, and because this will seemingly happen at any time of the day, right out of the blue and for no apparent reason. This means the fear of another attack can keep a sufferer in a cycle of panic.

Just to reiterate, one of the most distressing aspects of experiencing panic attacks is that they can seem completely unpredictable and uncontrollable.

There have been many studies carried out into the cause of panic disorders and although the results are still inconclusive, one thing is definite – they are directly linked to prolonged feelings of worry and stress. The ‘worry cup’ fills up over time until it overflows and then this creates a full-blown panic attack out of a seemingly innocuous situation.

Therefore your feelings of anxiety were already bubbling within you. The panic attack was a result of when you finally reached that moment when the ‘straw that broke the camels back!’

Unlike other therapies and treatments which ‘try’ to help you to cope, or learn to live with your symptoms, I can help you to empty that ‘worry cup’, and to finally overcome your panic, anxiety, and fear once and for all!

If you would like to overcome your anxiety and panic too, contact me at Ulster Hypnotherapy to arrange a free consultation.

Call me on 07854 877 882.

You can now arrange Thrive Programme® sessions anywhere in the world via Zoom.

I offer a free confidential consultation at my Portadown, Newry and Belfast Hypnotherapy clinics, which are within easy reach of Lisburn, Armagh, Antrim, Lurgan and Dungannon.

There will be no need to speak to anyone other than myself and I promise that your problems will be discussed with the greatest of sensitivity and strictest confidence. Please note because of the volume of clients there is a strong possibility you will be connected to my personal answering service. If this is the case just leave your name and number and, when I return the call, I will not give my name and I will ask for and talk only to you. Please feel free to contact me at Ulster Hypnotherapy to book your free consultation.