Panic Attacks & Anxiety

James White of the API Clinic is SBG Cork’s resident psychotherapist. He works with clients dealing with a range of issues – one of which is anxiety. Here is some useful information on the subject. For more articles, visit

What is a Panic attack

Panic attack icon design isolated on white. Mental health disorder symbol concept
Panic attack icon design isolated on white. Mental health disorder symbol concept

The easiest way to explain panic attacks is that it is like Fear, so as well all have experienced fear at one time or another the feelings, emotions, thoughts that are attached to fear are similar when one has a panic attack however, people who suffer with panic attacks have this feeling consistently, and the thoughts as well that go with those feelings just keep going round and round in their head.

Some of the Symptoms of panic attacks are

Sweating, Uncontrollable breathing, shortness of breath or choking, Trembling or shaking

Chest pain, or pressure or discomfort, Dizziness, feeling faint, Tingling or numbness in parts of the body, Hot flushes or chills, Feeling strange, feeling self conscious, Feeling of a loss of control

If you have heard of fight or flight, well a panic attack is similar to the flight part, however usually there is not an immediate threat, but flight mode kicks in anyway.

So those who suffer can also go through their life in avoidance mode and due to their challenge avoid all situations that have previously or may put them into this panic / fear mode.

Even though panic attacks can come on quiet quickly People who suffer with panic attacks have that ongoing awareness and this can totally make their life a constant battle to just live life from day to day from moment to moment.

They live in fear of having another attack at any time as well. Panic attacks can also bring on depression  or dependence on drugs or alcohol in some cases  and also have an adverse effect on one’s own personal confidence, self esteem, and self expression

Just like we seen with the email sent to your show


Anxiety mental health symbol isolated on white. Mental disorder icon design
Anxiety mental health symbol isolated on white. Mental disorder icon design

Generalised Anxiety, Health Anxiety, Social Anxiety

Panic attacks can be associated with Anxiety but anxiety is a bit different but you can suffer with both along with other challenges, depression, addictions etc all coping mechanisms.  High Anxiety can develop into a panic attack

Anxiety is usually based around worry,Worry about the future, Worry about money, Worry about what others think and might be saying about you, worry about that pain you have is it ???,

Anxiety Comes with the constant What if questions, what if I fail my exam, what if I can’t do my job what if I am dying and so on. An anxious person generally has a negative outlook a lot of the time.


Restlessness or irritability, Sleeping issues, under or over sleeping, Physical tension, Feeling tired or exhausted all the time


Up bringing… pressure from our guardians to be ……, Social expectations, you should be like ….

Being under constant stress , Media all the negativity broadcast especially now with social media

Constant bombardment of how we should mould our life as our peers say. Peer pressure etc

The difference between the panic and anxiety is sort of like this

Panic brings on sever psychical symptoms immediately along with mental challenges, wheras anxiety is based around negative self critical thoughts and not arrive as a sever psychical symptom as quick. Panic is nearly instantaneously and there in the backround just waiting for its signal to pounce.

How do I help

My work direction, my research and my studies are all to do with the power of the mind, its challenges and how we can work with it to change things for our own wellbeing and benefit, this has been my goal for over the past 5 years, and having overcome some of my own personal challenges using the techniques that I have become qualified in and proficient with have personally and professionally seen how fantastic the outcomes will be for those whom choose to try out for themselves.

Having a daughter whom is on the autism spectrum and whom is diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome which has a high anxiety and panic attack as part of the symptom I deal with this on a daily basis at home personally and also through the many clients I have helped over the past 3 years to overcome and move forward in their life more successfully.

Anxiety, panic and depression would be the main specialist areas that I work with along with weight and self confidence and a host of other issues.

Using various different techniques that I have studied and qualified in at the ICHP School of Clinical Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy I use a combination of CBT, Mindfulness, Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy to assist the client to overcome their challenge to their own benefit.

I usually recommend an initial 4 Wk programme to start for each client suffering with Panic / anxiety challenges and then if required we can move on to a more indebt analysis programme. Most clients see a change within the first 2 sessions but obviously there are those whom require much more.

To reach your potential you must be willing to put in the work to achieve your goals just like the most recent Irish success story Conor McGregor, he uses  mental techniques and the minds ability as well as his psychical muscles and movement and has reached the pinnacle in his sports career and so can everyone one of us do the same and reach our own personal goals but we all need direction and guidance by professionals whom have gone through their own journeys and have the expertise and experience to help you get to yours.

The biggest challenge still here in Ireland is that to go for therapy or help seems to be like you are a failure when it is actually quite the opposite you in fact are quiet strong to reach out for help and recognise that you can do with some focused guidance assisting you to reach your true potential.

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