04.08.2023 - Mental Health


Julia woke up feeling uneasy; the thought of going to the concert tonight and to sit in a crowd made her heart already race before her feet even touched the floor. She tried to dismiss the sense of dread creeping over her, but it intensified with each passing moment. Thoughts swirled in her mind, spinning out of control like a tornado. She knew what was coming—an impending panic attack.

Her breathing became shallow, and her chest tightened. It felt as though an invisible weight was pressing down on her, making it harder to draw in the air.

In a desperate attempt to escape, Julia stumbled out of her room and into the open air. But even the outside world seemed threatening, the bustling streets and noise overwhelming her senses. Everything felt like a threat, and her mind raced with catastrophic scenarios.

Slowly, ever so slowly, the intensity of the panic attack began to wane. Like the dissipating storm clouds, her breathing became less laboured. Her racing heart gradually settled into a more steady rhythm.

Exhausted and emotionally drained, Julia felt a glimmer of relief. Julia cancelled the concert. This was the beginning of a vicious circle that resulted in a decline in Julia's quality of life quality and led to many cancelled events out of fear of experiencing a new panic attack.

In the aftermath, Julia knew she had to reach out for help. Through therapy, she learned to identify triggers, challenge negative thought patterns, and develop coping strategies to manage her panic attacks.

With time, patience, and self-compassion, Julia began to regain control of her life. Though panic attacks still visited her from time to time, she refused to let them define her. She discovered resilience within herself, learning that she possessed the strength to face her fears head-on.

Julia's journey was not without its ups and downs, but she refused to let panic dictate her life. She embraced self-care, mindfulness, and a commitment to her mental well-being. Each step forward was a triumph, a testament to her courage and determination to live a life free from the suffocating grip of panic attacks.

Panic attacks and anxiety disorders

Panic attacks can develop into a manifest panic disorder, which is one of several anxiety disorders that are sub-summarised under the umbrella terminology anxiety disorders.

Anxiety disorders refer to a group of mental health conditions characterised by excessive and persistent feelings of fear, worry, and apprehension. These feelings are typically accompanied by physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, shortness of breath, trembling, sweating, and restlessness. Anxiety disorders can significantly impact a person's daily life, relationships, and overall well-being if left untreated.

Types of anxiety disorders
  1. Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD): People with GAD experience excessive and uncontrollable worry about various aspects of life, such as work, health, relationships, or everyday situations. The worry is often irrational and difficult to manage.
  2. Panic Disorder: Individuals with panic disorder experience recurring panic attacks, which are sudden episodes of intense fear or discomfort. Panic attacks are usually accompanied by physical symptoms like chest pain, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, and a sense of impending doom.
  3. Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia): This disorder involves an intense fear of social situations and a constant worry about being judged or embarrassed. People with a social anxiety disorder may avoid social interactions or endure them with extreme distress.
  4. Specific Phobias: Specific phobias involve intense fear and avoidance of particular objects, situations, or activities. Common examples include fear of heights (acrophobia), spiders (arachnophobia), or flying (aviophobia).
  5. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): OCD is characterised by recurring intrusive thoughts (obsessions) that lead to repetitive behaviours or mental acts (compulsions). These rituals are performed to alleviate anxiety but can significantly disrupt daily life.
  6. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Symptoms may include intrusive memories, nightmares, flashbacks, hypervigilance, and avoidance of triggers associated with the trauma.


Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the U.S. and in many other countries, too. Only in the U.S., it is affecting 40 million adults (19.1% of the population), aged 18 and older every year.

  • Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.
  • People with an anxiety disorder are 3-5x more likely to go to the doctor and 6x more likely to be hospitalised for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety disorders.
  • Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality and life events.
  • Nearly 30% of adults are at some point affected by AD.
  • Anxiety disorders most often begin in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood.

Panic attacks treatment

Treatment for anxiety disorders often involves a combination of therapies. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), which focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviours, is commonly used. Medications like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may also be prescribed in some cases. Lifestyle changes like stress management techniques, regular exercise, and a healthy lifestyle can also help manage anxiety symptoms.

If you or someone you know suffers from intense anxiety disorders or panic attacks, The Kusnacht Practice mental health specialists are known worldwide for their exceptional care. Our experienced team will take the time to understand the root cause and emotional symptoms of your anxiety attacks, offering unparalleled comfort and treatment. This will help you become more resilient to stress, depression, and anxiety in your everyday life. For personalised and top-notch mental health advice, care, and treatment, reach out to The Kusnacht Practice team today. To obtain more information about anxiety disorder treatment at The Kusnacht Practice, please contact our specialists.