Effective Panic Attack Treatment
“I was sitting in a meeting, when I suddenly began to feel like everything was closing in on me. I just had to get away. I got up and left the office and went out to the parking lot, and I sat in my car for an hour. Since then, I’ve been avoiding meetings whenever I can. I just want to get this under control.”
What is a Panic Attack?
Panic attacks are a reality for one out of every 58 adult Americans in any given year, yet few people realize that this condition is so common. Some 15% of all Americans between the ages of 18 to 54 will experience a panic attack at some point .
For many, a panic attack can lead to an ongoing battle with anxiety that wreaks havoc on productivity, relationships, and quality of life. But that doesn’t have to be the case if you are proactive and seek early intervention from a therapist trained in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
A panic attack is a short but intense feeling that overwhelms you with anxiety or dread. Symptoms that accompany the attack include blurred vision, shortness of breath, and/or dizziness. You may experience the urge to flee. You may even feel like you are dying or incredibly ill.The symptoms may mimic medical problems such as a heart attack or a stroke.
Where do Panic Attacks Occur?
They can happen almost anywhere. For some people, a crowded place can trigger an attack. For others, driving on the freeway may lead to intense fear. Some people struggle with exercise, social situations, or even emotionally intense movies.
Regardless of what triggers your attacks, CBT offers a time-limited, highly effective approach to treating panic.
What is Panic Disorder?
After having a severe panic attack, a person may begin to fear having more attacks. This fear of another episode can actually lead to more panic attacks. This ongoing fear and avoidance of panic attacks is known as panic disorder.
The 2.7% of Americans who develop panic disorder live their lives in fear of experiencing further panic attacks. This leads them to avoid important activities, which can lead to further anxiety and depression.
How can Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy help?
Seeing a CBT-trained therapist after an initial panic attack can be extremely helpful. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) works by helping you understand the beliefs and behaviors that contribute to panic attacks. A CBT therapist can teach you to how to deal with anxiety so that you can head off an oncoming panic attack.
Even if you have had panic for a long time, your therapist can help you make a plan to get in control of your panic attacks and stop avoiding situations that make you nervous.
Can I Undergo Panic Disorder Treatment from Home?
Many people find it inconvenient or time-consuming to travel to a therapist’s office. If that is the case, you may wish to consider therapy over Skype–an approach that researchers have found effective for the treatment of panic disorder.