Panic Attacks and Anxiety

July 14, 2009 at 11:27 am

by Clementine O’Shaughnessy, Clinical Hypnotherapist

Dear Clementine,

I am 27 years old and have been having what I think are panic attacks. I have been under stress recently with work and other problems. I feel like I am very emotional and feel angry or tearful easily. I am afraid of the dark, afraid of travelling and also get road rage and other angry episodes. I feel stressed and out of control with my life. I also tend to be too emotional and over-react to simple things. It is starting to interfere with everything and effecting my relationships , my sleep and confidence. Any info you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


I sympathise with your situation as it sounds very exhausting and emotional. It sounds like you have become overly anxious due to either child-hood or recent events.

I believe hypnotherapy can help with your problem. I will explain briefly why you feel out if control with fear and how hypnotherapy can help.

Panic attacks are a subconscious primitive response – the fight or flight mechanism – to what our mind perceives as a dangerous situation. Even though we are not living in a dangerous war zone, our mind perceives it is. This ‘crisis situation’ is due to our thought patterns surrounding events in our life. Our subconscious relies on our thoughts to determine how our life is. So if we are thinking and behaving in a negative way, our mind will protect us by being unduly anxious, angry or depressed ( all all three) as a means of survival.

The mind cannot tell the difference between imagined thoughts and reality, so if we imagine a fearful situation i.e. socially, or the dark, or with work, the mind thinks it really is happening. Negativity is always converted into anxiety.

Hypnotherapy will help in 3 ways: Bringing down anxiety during hypnosis, so you are calmer, in control of your life and sleeping better. Resolving issues in your life that are contributing to stress. And teaching you how to think in a positive way. This will help to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps you to cope, instead of adrenalin which is produced when anxious.

Using Solution Focused Brief Therapy, we will look at how you want your life to be, rather than the cause of the problems. The therapy is positive, motivating and looks for solutions.

In hypnosis we can bypass the conscious mind which is analytical and anxious to effectively change unwanted behaviour. As a consequence, results are often achieved faster than with other therapies.

Treatment would be weekly and takes between 8 -12 sessions.


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