Almost everyone has experienced it at least once, and most of those who have would never like to experience it again. Because it's frightening. You go on with your life as normal, when suddenly, with no apparent reason, it happens: your heart begins to pound, you start to sweat profusely and you tremble. It feels as if something horrible is going to happen. People report a sense of dying, “going crazy”, fainting, losing the world completely.
As a psychoanalyst practising in North West London, I have extensive experience working with people who suffer from panic attacks.
I begin by inviting you to talk a bit more about the “pre-history”, so to speak, of the problem: When did it all start? What was happening at the time? Was this the only problem? Is this the only problem now? How do the panic attacks make you feel?
We know that the underlying causes of panic attacks are not very clear. As a result, various kinds of remedies have been suggested. Quite often panic attacks ensue without any warning whatsoever, leaving the person anxious, confused, fearful and depressed.
Some sufferers, however, do have some insight into what might be contributing to their panic attacks. It could be an unpleasant thought or memory, a worry, work-related stress, lack of self-confidence, an emotional conflict and so on and so forth.
Even if their exact underlying causes are not always very clear, reflecting upon what might be their origin, and how they fit in someone’s life, could be a first step towards taming panic attacks and freeing oneself from them.
One’s perspective begins to shift and, gradually, a door is opened. A new pathway is available.
This is an invitation to talk. To talk to someone listening, and find pathways through what you struggle with.