What is a panic attack and what to do about them?
A friend of mine, Matt, is an accountant at a large firm. He was going through a particularly stressful and busy time at work and hadn’t been sleeping well. Prior to a business meeting one morning he suddenly felt his stress and anxiety levels rising, he could no longer think straight, his palms felt sweaty and clammy, he began to feel nauseous and could hear and feel his heart pounding. He felt as if he had to escape and rushed out into the tea room trying to catch his breath and wondering if he was having a heart attack. “I felt as if I was about to die”. Matt had just experienced a panic attack. “What is worse is that I am now worrying about whether this will happen again”.
Panic attacks are more common than you might realise.
Up to one-third of people may experience an attack at some point in their lives. It is important to realise that you are not alone and that help is available. Potential treatment options include cognitive behavioural therapy (treatment that changes people’s thinking in order to change feelings) and medication.