Summary of Step 1 – Understanding Panic

  • Anxiety is a normal and necessary part of life.
  • Human beings evolved with a protective response to danger. If we sense danger adrenaline surges through our body preparing us for ‘FIGHT OR FLIGHT’. The resulting bodily sensations we call ‘anxiety’
  • Most people have experienced these feelings of anxiety in times of stress or fear.
  • Sometimes however these feelings can come to us for no clear reason which can be very alarming because we assume there must be something seriously wrong with us. We MISINTERPRET and then CATASTROPHISE the symptoms
  • This causes us to PANIC which in turn activates the Fight or Flight response which increases the symptoms – we then become caught in a CYCLE of fear
  • Regardless of what caused the initial fearful thoughts or sensations the MAIN problem becomes the fear of the sensations of panic itself.
  • Fear of further panic attacks keeps our body on high alert which means the Fight Or Flight Response is again easily triggered leading to more panic attacks
  • The biggest thing that maintains the problem is AVOIDANCE and using SAFETY BEHAVIOURS


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