Anxiety and Panic Attacks
The feelings that you get when you are anxious are similar to those of feeling afraid or frightened. This means that you may get physical symptoms such as sweating, quickened heart beat, or ‘butterflies’ in your stomach. Alongside this, many people have negative thoughts and ideas which seem difficult to control, or perhaps worry about everything and anything.
You may not know why you are feeling anxious, but if you can talk about it to someone, you may find that you are frightened or worried about something.
Everybody feels anxious sometimes (e.g. about exams or flying), and this is perfectly normal. It is when someone feels anxious most of the time that it can become a problem for them.
If you are feeling anxious, it is important to try and get some help and talk about it, as it can be really difficult to live with, and may lead to you having panic attacks.
What is a Panic Attack?
A panic attack is when you suddenly feel extremely anxious and afraid accompanied by physical symptoms which may include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pains
- Jelly legs
If you start feeling panicky, it is important to try and breathe normally by taking slow, deep breaths and reassure yourself that panic is just a strong feeling and cannot do any physical harm.
If you can, try and talk to someone for some reassurance. If you are alone, try to think of a safe place or person to bring your mind back into the present. You could look around you and perhaps notice what the weather is like, notice what you can hear and smell, anything to take your mind off the panic and the thoughts that could have caused it.