Our expert says:
PSYCHIATRIST: Julia, the symptoms you describe do sound like Panic Disorder. You describe the distressing development of symptoms in ordinary non-stressful situations like hanging up your washing or going to the shops which is how panic attacks often present.You also describe both the emotional symptoms of fear and tearfulness and also the physical symptoms of panic including a sensation of heat in your chest, breathing rapidly and shaking.
Often family or friends will not be able to see your symptoms so they may not be able to understand how you feel.
I like to explain to patients that if you had these symptoms in a threatening situation like a hi-jacking, it would be totally normal and appropriate to feel the way you describe, but you are having the panic symptoms in the wrong place and at the wrong time and that is what is so distressing. That is exactly what happens in our bodies with panic attacks...the alarm goes off at the wrong time.
If you read the responses to many of the questions you will see that there is good,effective treatment available from psychologists, GPs and psychiatrists. I think you should start by seeking help from you local clinic or GP who will direct you to more specialised centres if necessary. You should also be assessed to see if you may have an underlying depression or any other medical disorders as well.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal
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