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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Will one panic attack definitely lead to another in the future?

    Related Topic
    I suffered from my first panic attack two weeks ago. Does this mean that I will have more of them in the future or could it be an isolated incident?
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  • Dr Louise Shepherd

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    I am a clinical psychologist with 15 years experience working with all sorts of goals and issues. I love working with people, helping them to … View Profile

    It may well be an isolated incident. The most likely reason you would have another panic attack would be if you are fearful of having one. Does that make sense? 

    We usually have panic attacks initially at a time of emotional stress and  / or physical illness……usually both. It is kind of like our mind and body telling us we need to take care of ourselves. 

    If we can see the panic as this and not freak out too much then it is unlikely to become an ongoing issue. Obviously having a panic attack is unpleasant - but if we understand that it is the body's “flight or fight” response being triggered and this is a natural response to some perceived danger or threat then panics need not be something to be afraid of. 

    Reading up about panic attacks and perhaps if you are very concerned getting along to see a health professional who specialises in anxiety may help - it may be helpful to understand what is going on in your life that may have lead to this stress response occuring…..e.g. difficult relationship you want to get out of but don't know how, tough decision to make about a job, feeling stressed at work etc may all be good things to chat to someone about and get some ideas of how to deal with these situations.

    hope that helps :-)

  • Renee Mill

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Empowering people is my passion and life work. I have been working as a Clinical Psychologist in private practice for over thirty years. I have … View Profile

    I agree with Louise that one panic attack does not predict ongoing attacks. I also agree that worrying about another attack occurring may precipitate a second.

    My recommendation is that you use this panic attack as a wake up call. Look at your lifestyle - do you need improve your health by eating well and exercising regularly and having enough sleep?

    What is going on at home and at work? Are there any issues that need to be dealt with that you have been avoiding? 

    Introduce relaxation, mindfulness or meditation into your life as a daily practice. This will help prevent future attacks. 

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