Panic Attack Support Cairns

Panic Attack Support Cairns

A panic attack is a brief episode of intense anxiety, which causes the physical sensations of fear. These can include a racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, and trembling and muscle tension. Panic attacks occur frequently and unexpectedly and are often not related to any external threat. A panic attack can last from a few minutes to half an hour, however, the physical and emotional effects of the attack may last for a few hours.

Who gets panic attacks?

Panic attacks are common. Up to 35% of the population experience a panic attack at some time in their lives. A panic attack can also be called an anxiety attack. Without treatment, frequent and prolonged panic attacks can be severely disabling. The person may choose to avoid a wide range of situations (such as leaving their home or being alone) for fear of experiencing an attack.

Self-help suggestions

Suggestions on how to cope with a panic attack include:

  • Breathe into a paper bag. Inhaling your exhaled carbon dioxide can quickly balance your blood gases and ease the symptoms.
  • If you don’t have a paper bag, hold your breath for the count of 10, then take slow and deep breaths using your abdomen rather than your chest.
  • Avoid ‘self-talk’ that focuses your attention on your symptoms – don’t tell yourself ‘Stop panicking!’ or ‘Relax!’.
  • Remind yourself that the symptoms of a panic attack are uncomfortable but not life threatening. Reassure yourself that you’ve felt these feelings before and nothing bad happened to you.
  • Focus your attention on something outside your own body and symptoms. For example, distract yourself by counting backwards in threes from 100, recall the words from a favourite song or concentrate on the sights and sounds around you.

Fleeing from the situation will only reinforce the perception that your panic attacks are unbearable. If you sit and allow the symptoms to pass, you gain confidence in your ability to cope.

Panic attack support services in Cairns and North Queensland

If the physical anxiety symptoms are caused by physical illnesses, such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism, proper treatment for these illnesses should stop the panic-like symptoms from recurring. If the panic attacks are due to anxiety, support, advice and treatment can be provided by Cairns psychologist Crispian Jones. Options can include:

For professional advice about treatment options for your panic attacks call Seachange Psychology today on 07 4041 4147.

Cairns Psychologist Rebates

Health fund rebates may apply and you don’t need a doctor’s referral to make an appointment. If you do see your doctor and he writes you a Mental Health Care Plan to see a psychologist, you are entitled to 12 sessions in a calendar year and you will receive a rebate from Medicare of approximately $84.80 as at 2015.