Accessibility Options
Text Size
High contrast
Contact Numbers
Home (+971) 4 245 3800
General (+971) 4 245 3800

What are panic attacks?

Panic attacks are characterised by individuals experiencing sudden and unexpected episodes of intense anxiety, whilst also experiencing a series of unpleasant physical symptoms. These physical symptoms can be so debilitating that some first-time sufferers believe that they are experiencing a heart attack or a nervous breakdown. If they are left untreated, panic attacks become more frequent and the fear of having a panic attack increases, thus resulting in the development of a ‘vicious circle’.

At Priory Wellbeing Centre Dubai we recognise that panic attacks can be very distressing and can result in individuals becoming socially withdrawn. However, with psychiatric treatment, panic attacks can be treated and prevented, allowing you to regain control and resume the healthy and fulfilling life that you deserve.

Treatment for panic attacks

Our specialist psychiatrists and psychologists at Priory Wellbeing Centre Dubai possess a wealth of experience in delivering tried and tested treatment for panic attacks. We understand that each individual experiences panic attacks differently which is why we are committed to developing truly bespoke treatment plans as a means of tackling the underlying causes and triggers of your unique condition, engendering the best possible outcomes for you as an individual.

Established treatment for panic attacks includes:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) - CBT aims to address and challenge the unhealthy thought patterns that are contributing to your panic attacks, before teaching to you process these thoughts in new and healthier ways
  • Medication – some medications can be used to complement the CBT to act as an additional buffer against panic attacks

What are the signs and symptoms of panic attacks?

Panic attacks are associated with a range of physical and emotional symptoms.

Physical symptoms of panic attacks:

  • Feeling faint and dizzy
  • Chest pains
  • Hyperventilating
  • Muscle spasms and palpitations
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Fluctuating body temperature
  • Changes in appetite
  • Sleep disturbances

Emotional symptoms of panic attacks:

What causes panic attacks?

Panic attacks can be caused by a wide range of psychological, pharmacological and environmental factors.

Psychological causes of panic attacks:

Pharmacological causes of panic attacks:

  • Medication side effects
  • Withdrawal from alcohol, drugs or prescription medication
  • Consuming certain chemical substances
  • Consuming too much caffeine

Environmental causes of panic attacks:

  • Genetics – having a close relative who suffers from panic attacks
  • Bereavement
  • Chronic physical illness
  • Significant life changes

What can I do to reduce panic attacks?

If you suffer from panic attacks, seeking exert psychiatric help is the most important step that you can take in order to receive long-lasting psychological therapy. However, there are a number of simple steps that you can take yourself, in order to reduce the intensity of your symptoms in between treatment sessions. These include:

  • Reduce your intake of caffeine and alcohol
  • Avoid smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • Try to get enough sleep
  • Spend time with family and friends
  • Practise relaxation techniques such as yoga

For further information call today on: (+971) 4 245 3800 or submit an enquiry form in confidence. We will provide you with details on all our treatments and offer help on how to manage your mental health at a time that suits you.


Tanya Dharamshi, Counsellor

This page was clinically reviewed by Tanya Dharamshi (BSW, MSc Psych, Counsellor, DHCC, UAE) in March 2019, and is scheduled to be reviewed again in March 2021. Tanya brings 18+ years of counselling experience in trauma, crisis intervention, child abuse, substance addiction, attachment disorder, depression, anxiety, stress, bereavement, couples therapy, mood disorders, chronic illness and adjustment disorder. View Tanya's full profile here.