Case Studies : Panic Attacks

Panic Attack

29-year-old Susan Hardstone was recently married and lives in Marbella. Outwardly she appeared to be in perfect health. Then one day, completely out of the blue, her life changed for no apparent reason and with no warning. At that moment she joined millions of others who suffer with panic attacks on a regular basis.

One Friday morning in February, while she was shopping at La Cañada, she suddenly developed an "overwhelming" sensation all over her body; she was sweating and trembling, and felt that her heart was pumping too fast. Within a few seconds, she also suffered from chest pain and shortness of breath. This episode lasted for about 10 minutes, but she felt that this was the worst ten minutes of her life.

Scared by her experience, she started to stay away from shopping centres and also avoided being in a crowd of people. Because of the frequency of the attacks, Susan found she could no longer function normally: this had a major effect on her job, and she felt it was also starting to have a negative influence on her marriage. Finally she became afraid to leave the house or go to work.

Susan's experience is typical of someone with Panic Disorder; they develop anxiety attacks associated with the thought that they might die or develop a stroke or heart attack. Physical changes such as fast heart beat, shortness of breath; fainting episodes, sweating and trembling are some of the accompanying symptoms.

A typical episode usually comes "out of the blue" and is not precipitated by any triggers. It can therefore happen any time and anywhere. An attack can last for a few to several minutes and often leaves the person feeling very tired.

One episode can make a person feel scared of having another one. In fact, a lot of people feel distressed anticipating the occurrence of another attack. So most individuals prefer to stay at home and isolate themselves from friends, co-workers, and even relatives. Eventually they become incapacitated. There are two methods of treating Panic Disorder. The condition can be successfully treated with an antidepressant drug such as the serotonin-reuptake inhibitors and other prescription drugs. Your doctor would normally undertake a full examination before deciding to prescribe such a drug to you.

The second and usually preferred and very successful method is therapy based; at Elite Clinics we use a combination of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Hypnotherapy, which provides a rapid improvement and a long-term solution. As well as being a drug-free approach, 'Therapy Based' solutions are now becoming the preferred option by many professionals.

Susan first visited her doctor (which is always recommended by Elite) who confirmed that she was not suffering from any physical condition, she then decided to visit the Elite Clinic in Fuengirola, and within two weeks she felt that she was on the road back to her normal self.

Potential clients of Elite suffering from Panic Attacks are always invited to the Clinic for a non-obligatory initial consultation. This "call in for a chat" informal meeting usually lasts no more than 15 minutes. An accompanying friend or relative / partner is always welcome to attend the initial meeting too.