A panic attack is a severe attack of anxiety and fear which occurs suddenly and often without warning and for no apparent logical reason.

Panic attacks can be frightening but in most cases are physically harmless.

They can occur if you are exposed to an event or events that trigger a panic attack or they may start “out of the blue” for no apparent reason.

They usually come on quickly then and go away with or without medical help.

The irony about panic attacks is that in most cases if you could just let them happen when they come on they would go away very quickly, but the fact is that the panic of having the panic attack is like pouring petrol onto a fire and by trying to stop them you can make them worse.

Some people who experience panic attacks may fear that they are dying or that they are suffocating or they may have chest pain and believe that they are having symptoms of a heart attack.

With panic attacks some people fear that they are “going crazy” and can try to get away from the event or place that they feel is causing the panic attack to happen and over time this may (in some cases) cause them to avoid going into certain situations for fear of the panic attack happening.

There are various physical symptoms that happen with panic attacks and you could have some or all of the following:-

  • Palpitations or a thumping heart.
  • Sweating and trembling.
  • Hot flushes or chills.
  • Feeling short of breath, sometimes with choking sensations.
  • Chest pains.
  • Feeling sick.
  • Feeling dizzy, or faint.
  • Fear of dying or going crazy.
  • Numbness, or pins and needles.
  • Feelings of unreality, or being detached from yourself.

The physical symptoms that occur a panic attack do not mean there is a physical problem with the heart, chest, etc. The symptoms mainly occur because of an overdrive of nervous impulses from the brain to various parts of the body during a panic attack.

During a panic attack you tend to over-breathe (hyperventilate). If you over-breathe you blow out too much carbon dioxide which changes the acidity in the blood. This can then cause more symptoms such as confusion and cramps, and make palpitations, dizziness, and pins and needles worse. This can make the attack seem even more frightening, and make you over-breathe even more, and so on.


Thousands of people see Hypnotherapists like me all over the world every single day. One of the most common reasons why people go for Hypnotherapy is that they have tried other techniques without success and in some cases the only other option available was to take pills.

Hypnosis, NLP and EFT can change your life for the better because it provides the emotional change and balancing of feelings (that drives your behaviour) to support you and to feel positive feelings appropriately and to feel negative feelings only when it is useful (in a truly life threatening situation).