Panic Attacks

Do you feel like you’re going crazy?

When panic and phobias dominate your life it is not unusual to think you are going crazy

When you have a panic attack:

  • You feel short of breath, like you can’t breathe
  • Your heart is pounding
  • You have chest pains
  • You feel like you’re losing control
  • You think you’re going to die
  • You’re shaking or trembling
  • You feel like you’re losing your mind

Panic disorder is a real illness that can be successfully treated

It is characterized by sudden attacks of terror, usually accompanied by a pounding heart, sweatiness, weakness, faintness, or dizziness. During these attacks, people with panic disorder may flush or feel chilled; their hands may tingle or feel numb; and they may experience nausea, chest pain, or smothering sensations. Panic attacks usually produce a sense of unreality, a fear of impending doom, or a fear of losing control.

Panic disorder affects about 6 million American adults and is twice as common in women as men.Panic attacks often begin in late adolescence or early adulthood, but not everyone who experiences panic attacks will develop panic disorder. Many people have just one attack and never have another. The tendency to develop panic attacks appears to be inherited.

People who have full-blown, repeated panic attacks can become very disabled by their condition and should seek treatment before they start to avoid places or situations where panic attacks have occurred. NIMH 

Take the first step in managing your panic attacks

Panic attacks are very real and potentially quite emotionally disabling. In the first instance you should consult with your doctor who will be able to rule out any medical causes, and recommend the most appropriate treatment for your anxiety and panic attacks.

The good news is that panic disorder is highly treatable, with a variety of available therapies. These treatments are extremely effective.The psychologists at Tri-City Psychology Services use a combination of cognitive and behavioral therapies when treating panic disorder. (Medication might also be appropriate in some cases).

*It is important to understand that panic disorder, like any other emotional disorder, isn’t something you can either diagnose or cure by yourself. An experience clinical psychologist or psychiatrist is the most qualified person to make this diagnosis, just as he or she is the most qualified to treat this disorder. *American Psychological Association

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