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Anxiety and Panic Attacks 2017-02-09T19:14:50+00:00

Anxiety & Panic Attacks

A panic attack is an episode of intense fear and stress which usually comes over suddenly. Panic attacks can be very scary to experience. Each panic attack may only last a few minutes, however they can leave a person feeling physically and emotionally drained for some time. Panic attacks can also be embarrassing for someone to experience, especially if they occur in a public place. Panic disorder occurs when multiple panic attacks are experienced.

Symptoms of a panic attack include:

  • Feeling dizzy or faint
  • Difficulty breathing, short and shallow breaths
  • Feelings of impending doom
  • Hot or cold sweats
  • Uncontrollable trembling
  • Feeling dizzy or faint
  • Difficulty breathing, short and shallow breaths
  • Feelings of impending doom
  • Hot or cold sweats
  • Uncontrollable trembling

Social Anxiety

This is a form of anxiety that specifically occurs in social situations. Whilst we will all from time to time experience a degree of nervousness, or worry about how others perceive us, social anxiety is experienced as an overwhelming sense of worry or fear regarding interacting with others and social situations. In a lot of cases, the fear can be so overwhelming that a person may avoid putting themselves into situations which might trigger these feelings. This avoidance only serves to reinforce the anxiety and is not helpful in the long term.

Specific Phobias

Specific phobias are the fear of a specific thing or situation. Whilst it is normal to be a little fearful of some things, a phobia is an overwhelming and consuming fear which can overwhelm an individual, significantly impacting on their ability to lead a functioning life.

Common specific phobias include:

  • Spiders or other animals
  • Heights
  • Flying
  • Medical (doctors, dentists, needles, etc)
  • Darkness

Obsessions and Compulsions

Obsessions are reoccurring distressing thoughts, which can dominate a person’s life. Compulsions are often simple actions or thoughts that are perceived to negate the obsessions. People who suffer from obsessions and compulsions often feel a great need to perform these tasks or behaviours which they have connected with reducing the anxiety felt from obsessive thoughts. In some cases, individuals are not able to perform normal daily functions without repeatedly engaging in compulsive behaviours aimed at dispelling their obsessions.

Depression is often found in conjunction with obsessions and compulsions as they can significantly interfere with an individuals ability to engage in activities which they would like to and live a meaningful life.

Steps you can take

If you think you might be suffering from any form of anxiety and would like support to improve your life you can contact us at Strategic Psychology via phone, email, or drop in to our office to arrange to meet with one of our trained psychologists for a confidential initial assessment.

No referral is needed to make an appointment. However, you can arrange for an appointment with your GP to discuss your mental health and the support which can be available through Medicare to access treatment services. If you are eligible for a Mental Health Care Plan, your GP can provide this to you to bring along to your session which will allow you to access a rebate through Medicare.

Silhouette of person pushing against a large boulder - anxiety