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Pushing through Panic Attacks

8 July 2023

Panic Awareness Day - 10 July

Panic Disorders are conditions that affect millions of individuals worldwide, causing sudden and intense feelings of fear, accompanied by physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, and dizziness. However, there is still limited public awareness and understanding surrounding Panic Disorder, leading to confusion and stigma

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) is proud to celebrate the upcoming Panic Awareness Day on the 10th of July. We will be sharing information and creating awareness through our social media platforms and hosting online events with knowledgeable experts who will educate, inform, and engage with us on this key topic.

Panic attack symptoms can be confusing when it happens to you for the first time. It can happen while a person is doing an everyday activity like being in a taxi, sitting at work driving or shopping. Suddenly, the person feels very frightened and terrified and it can feel like you are having a heart attack. This usually lasts for only a few minutes but may feel longer.

Here are some of the symptoms you can come across when having a Panic Attack:

  • Feeling scared or scared
  • Racing heart
  • Feeling lightheaded, dizzy
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hot flushes
  • Fear of dying

SADAG Founder, Zane Wilson for many years suffered at the hands of Panic Disorder said: “Panic Disorder can be a terrifying illness that can cause great distress, and isolation and limits your life. Don’t suffer in silence and alone. I would start trembling. I’d struggle to breathe, as though a tight band was wrapped around my ribs. I became totally consumed by my symptoms. The more regular they became, the more frightened I would feel. I started thinking that there must be something sinister causing them, that I had some unusual health problems

I had Panic for over 10 years with Psychologists assisting me. I had people taking me to work, and going with me to business meetings. I kept it a secret from most people. In the end, I got the right treatment and support from Prof Berk and was able to recover fully and take back control of my life.

I started SADAG in 1994 to help patients living with Anxiety and Panic. I got the help I needed, and so can you! You are able to simply time your attacks, they are a lot less than you think. Put your mind on to other helpful things, like counting backwards, and understand what to do whilst you are having your attacks. Talk to a friend on the phone about them and how they make you feel, this can help you. 30 years ago I got the help I needed and so can you. I recovered amazingly within weeks. You can take your life back.”

To help create awareness, share tips on what to do when having a Panic Attack, and how to get help and support – SADAG will be hosting various LIVE online expert Q&A sessions this week via social media to help more people who are affected by Panic Disorder.

Twitter Spaces LIVE on tomorrow, 10th July, at 7 pm – 8 pm with Rachel Molongoana (Counselling Psychologist) and Vanishaa Gordhan (SADAG Spokesperson @TheSADAG

TikTok LIVE on Tuesday, 11th July, at 1 pm with Alexa Scher (Clinical Psychologist) and Fatima Seedat (SADAG Development Manager) //www.tiktok.com/@sadag_official">@sadag_official

Ask the Expert Facebook LIVE on Friday the 14th of July at 1 pm – 1:30 pm with Clinical Psychologist and SADAG Chairperson Colinda Linde and Support Group Leader Thomas Ramabulana sharing coping strategies for Panic Disorder @TheSADAG

Twitter Spaces 10 July   tiktok mhm 2023   14 july 2023

You can also follow all of SADAG’s social media pages with daily updates and resources, breathing technique videos, coping strategies tips, brochures and information to help you learn more about Panic Disorder and feel more equipped to handle Panic Attacks.

Most of us feel some amount of stress and anxiety in our lives which is normal. But when the anxiety becomes overwhelming, persistent, or interferes with your daily activities, this may indicate a problem and it is advisable to talk to a doctor or psychologist about it. SADAG offers free telephonic counselling, nationwide referrals to resources and details for over 160 Support Groups across the country – contact SADAG (7 days a week) on 0800 70 80 90 (8 am – 8 pm) or 0800 456 789 (24 hours), or WhatsApp 087 163 2030 to chat to a counsellor from 8 am-8 pm. For more information & resources on all mental health issues, please visit the website www.sadag.org

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