Panic attacks can feel overwhelming and uncontrollable.
Experiencing a panic attack is often described as experiencing an incredibly strong bout of anxiety that seems to come from nowhere and with little warning. They can lead to you becoming scared about the physical symptoms, possibly worrying that you may be having a heart attack, that you are going to pass out, that you are losing control, or even that you might die. However these concerns often make the panic attack worse.
To try to manage these panic attacks, and prevent further attacks, you may avoid the situations in which you previously experienced these symptoms. This can lead to changes in your life to the point where you may avoid going about your normal daily routine.
A panic attack can cause people to feel a sense of fear and a state of detachment from their surroundings.
Physical symptoms of a panic attack can include:
• a sensation that your heart is beating irregularly
• shortness of breath
• a choking sensation
• chest pain
• feeling nauseated
It is no wonder that we might start to avoid the things that make us anxious so that we do not have to experience these uncomfortable symptoms. However it doesn’t have to continue. There is support and effective treatment out there that can help you manage your anxiety and improve your quality of life.
If you are feeling very distressed, despairing or suicidal and need immediate help please contact your GP and request an emergency appointment, contact the Samaritans on 116 123, or go to your nearest Accident and Emergency Department.
If your GP surgery is not open, you can contact the NHS Out of Hours Medical Service on 111. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not a life-threatening situation. If you feel at harm to yourself or from other – go straight to your nearest Accident and Emergency.
If you are concerned that someone else is very distressed and might be considering suicide please encourage them to contact their GP and make an emergency appointment. Alternatively you might wish to encourage them to speak to the Samaritans on 116 123.
If you are concerned that someone is about to act on thoughts of hurting themselves you might wish help them attend the nearest Accident and Emergency Department. Alternatively, you may choose to contact the Police on 999.
Similarly, if you become concerned that someone is at risk of hurting somebody else
If you feel you need to talk to someone in confidence, the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on:
Tel: 116 123
(TEXT MESSAGE ONLY number available on 07725 909090)
There are also local Samaritans branches across Hampshire and Dorset.