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949-454-0996

©2019 BY DR. CLARE ALBRIGHT, PSY.D., CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST - CA  LICENSE PSY11660

WHAT ARE PANIC ATTACKS?

HOW CAN A COUNSELOR HELP YOU WITH THEM?

 

Pounding heart, shortness of breath, overwhelming feeling of anxiety are all common signs of panic attack.

Panic attacks can escalate to panic disorder when they become frequent. They usually end up crippling the social life of the person. Leaving them socially inept and scared to venture into society.

What are panic attacks?

Panic attacks are episodes of overwhelming anxiety, they usually happen unexpectedly. They also leave the patient with a sense of intense immobility. The awful thing about panic attacks is that they sometimes have no defined triggers. They can happen anytime, even when the patient is in a peaceful place or state. Hence the unexpectedness.

 

Recurring panic attacks.

Some persons suffer panic attacks just once in their entire lives. Frequent panic attack patients suffer episodes of panic attacks in situations where they feel out of control.

Recurring panic attacks are triggered by recurring situations. Persons who feel helpless in crowded places, crossing the roads, speaking in public, on a bridge, in airplanes or even meeting new people, will suffer episodes of panic attacks. These events will most often act as triggers for them.

Symptoms of panic attacks.

Some common symptoms of panic attacks include:

   •  Choking feeling.

   •  A sense of loss of control.

   •  Shortness of breath.

   •  Palpitations or racing heart.

   •  Feeling detached from the immediate surrounding.

   •  Intense discomfort.

   •  Nausea.

   •  Feeling of dizziness.

   •  A sense of dying.

   •  Hot and cold flashes.

   •  Numbness.

   •  Sweating.

   •  Trembling.

  • Shaking 

  • Heart palpitations

  • Chest pain

  • Trouble concentrating

  • Ringing in the ears

  • Tingling in the extremities

 

Why you should see a counselor.

When panic attacks become frequent, they destabilize the life of the patient. These persons become unable to function well in the society. Most persons suffering from panic attacks will choose to stay indoors. Withdrawal from society and life in general becomes a coping mechanism.

Frequent panic attacks eventually become a disorder. This disorder begins to dictate the patient’s life.

They abandon all their dreams for the illusion of indoor comfort.

 Luckily, there are ways to treat panic attacks and help the patient live a healthy life.

Using psychotherapy, a counselor helps a patient return back to a life of well-being.

The treatment process requires the patient to be open and willing. Seeking treatment is the first step towards overcoming panic attacks.

At first, having panic attacks may seem okay and easy to live with. After a while, the attacks begin to define the life of the patient.

What are Panic Attacks and How are They Treated?

 

Despite the fact that society as a whole is becoming a lot more understanding, the sad reality is that there does appear to still be a certain stigma associated with mental health. It is thought that around 25% of the entire population will experience a mental health disorder at some point in their lives. Out of these individuals, 5% will experience some form of an anxiety disorder.

 

Anxiety disorders can manifest themselves in a variety of different ways, with panic attacks being a prime example. It is not fully understood what actually causes a panic attack, but the good news is that they can be treated. Counselors in particular are highly trained and highly skilled when it comes to treating panic attacks, and so with that said, let’s now take a look at what panic attacks are and how they can be treated.

 

What are panic attacks?

 

Panic is a very extreme form of anxiety. Panic attacks can strike at any time, and often come on suddenly, with no prior warning signs. An individual affected by a panic attack may experience feelings of confusion, fear, terror, and sometimes even anger. Panic attacks can affect a person’s judgement and may cause them to act and think irrationally. Panic attacks are not dangerous, though to the person suffering with the attack they will feel as if they’re in danger.

 

Panic attacks can be brought on by many different things and are often the result of mild anxiety building and building until it eventually boils over. They typically last a few minutes, with 5 – 30 minutes being the general baseline. Sometimes a person may only experience one panic attack in their entire lifetime, whilst in other cases an individual may experience several in one day. Signs that you are having a panic attack can include:

 

How can counselors treat panic attacks?

 

If you suffer with anxiety and/or panic attacks, seeking professional help from a trained counselor is one of the best things you can do. Counselors are very highly trained, fully qualified, and experienced when it comes to treating panic attacks and other forms of anxiety too for that matter. Counselors will treat panic attacks in a variety of ways. To begin with, they will provide a number of therapeutic interventions to help alleviate the anxiety the patient may be experiencing.

 

A few tried and tested treatment methods implemented by counselors treating panic attacks include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, (CBT) breathing exercises, and visualization techniques. If deemed appropriate, medication may also be prescribed. SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) for example, have been found to be effective, especially used in conjunction with the CBT techniques.

 

Counselors will also sit down with the patient and help them to understand their disorder and talk to them about how they can deal with it. They treat patients as individuals as they recognise that each case is unique and therefore provide personalized care for each individual. Counselors help put the patient’s minds at ease as they help them to understand their issues and to see that panic attacks cannot cause them any real harm.

Seeing a counselor will help the patient recover their life, face the situations that cause episodes of panic attacks and live an overall healthy life.

Therapy is not magic and does not offer a quick way to healing. Rather it uses steps to help the patient on a journey to healing and well-being.

Call Dr. Clare Albright, Psy.D. CA Psychologist License PSY11660 at (949) 454-0996 at http://DrCAlbright.com