If you’ve ever experienced a panic attack, you know how terrifying and debilitating it can be.
Although it’s not life-threatening, it can feel like you’re having a heart attack or losing control of your mind and body.
Instead of letting panic attacks rule your life, consider reaching out to us.
We can help.
Many people have just one or two panic attacks in their lifetime before the problem goes away, but if you’re experiencing recurring, unexpected panic attacks over long periods of time, you may have a condition called Panic Disorder.
Panic Disorder is different from the normal anxiety you may face after a stressful event—it’s a serious condition that can strike without warning, and is usually a sign that there are other underlying feelings that need to be addressed and healed to find long-lasting relief.
If left untreated, panic attacks can start to interfere with your life and cause problems with school, work, relationships, and your social life.
PANIC ATTACK SYMPTOMS
- Intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes, during which some of the following occur: palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
- Sweating, trembling, or shaking
- Shortness of breath or sensations of smothering or choking
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Nausea or abdominal distress
- Feeling dizzy, lightheaded, unsteady, or faint
- Chills or heat sensations
- Numbness or tingling sensations
- Derealization or feeling as if you’re not in reality
- Depersonalization or being detached from oneself
- Fear of losing control or going crazy
- Fear of dying
CAUSES OF PANIC DISORDER
Sometimes Panic Disorder can be caused by genetics or the environment, but it can also arise from the way we process information.
For example, some people can interpret experiences as threats, which is why feelings of being detached from reality, fear of dying, or rapid heartbeat can come into play.
There can also be risk factors which increase your chances of suffering from Panic Disorder, such as a family history of panic attacks, or dealing with a major traumatic event.
The traumatic event could be anything from the loss of a loved one, divorce, or any other major life-altering accident.
Additionally, consuming a large amount of caffeine can also cause multiple panic attacks, as well as the use of certain drugs or a history of abuse in your childhood.
Translation: if you’re prone to panic attacks, it’s time to scale back on that Starbucks habit.
HOW WE WORK WITH PANIC DISORDER
When we’re experiencing something as intense and scary as Panic Disorder, it’s easy to forget that there are deeper factors that need to be addressed.
Panic attacks are a symptom of other issues that require exploration and attention.
To help you overcome Panic Disorder we will take a two-fold approach, attacking both the panic symptoms themselves as well as the underlying causes.
There are some textbook ways to deal with panic attacks initially, as well as other techniques that are not as well known, but still equally beneficial.
Common techniques include grounding exercises, acknowledging that you’re having a panic attack (and not a heart attack), and relaxing your tensed-up muscles.
An example of a grounding technique would be to direct your attention to an object and focus on its details—texture, shape, etc.— which can help shift the focus away from intense, overwhelming feelings.
We also incorporate guided visualizations, somatic techniques, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Basically, we draw from a variety of research-proven interventions and provide a customized approach tailored to your unique needs.
If left untreated, Panic Disorder can lead to other complications.
Like fears of leaving your house to avoid situations that may lead to a panic attack (agoraphobia), frequent visits to the hospital to receive care for conditions that might have developed alongside your panic disorder, depression or anxiety, and even thoughts of suicide.
It’s super important to get help immediately so these complications don’t get worse.
Panic Disorder becomes a self-reinforcing feedback loop in which fear of having panic attacks causes more panic attacks.
By attacking the disorder on both sides—symptoms and the root cause—we can break the feedback loop and help restore a sense of peace in your life.
OUR PANIC DISORDER THERAPY METHODS
Therapy can successfully improve your life by helping you minimize the anxiety in your life, identify and change underlying thought and behavioral patterns that contribute to your struggles, and provide you with strategies to decrease discomfort while restoring an overall sense of peace.
Our evidence-based, scientifically proven interventions are demonstrated by research to be effective in alleviating anxiety disorders and panic attacks.
WANT TO TALK? SPEAK WITH A PANIC DISORDER EXPERT NOW
If you have any questions, contact one of our panic disorder specialists for a free consultation any time.