What is a Panic Disorder?
Panic disorder involves having recurrent, unexpected panic attacks, as well as fear of having more panic attacks and/or changing your behaviour in an effort to avoid having more panic attacks.
What is a Panic Attack?
- Have you, all of a sudden, had intense feelings of anxiety, fear, or panic?
- Did you have feelings of doom or an urge to flee?
- Did this involve a few of the following symptoms?
- Heart palpitations
- Trembling or shaking
- A choking sensation or a lump in your throat
- Difficulty breathing or feeling like you are being smothered
- Discomfort or pain in the chest
- Nausea, stomach problems, or sudden diarrhea
- Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
- Feeling like things around you were unreal, or that you were detached from yourself
- Fear of losing control or going crazy
- Fear of dying
- Tingling or numbness in parts of your body
- Chills or hot flashes
Treatment for Panic Disorder can help you to:
- Decrease and better manage your overall stress levels
- Recognize signs of panic and decrease your frequency of panic attacks
- Feel less distressed about the physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety
- Reduce your avoidance of places and situations, so that you can get back to living the life you want
- Feel more confident to go out and get things done, the way that you used to
Why is the treatment for Panic Disorder important?
People often try to avoid things that trigger their anxiety.
While this can be helpful in the short term, it can often lead to serious long-term consequences. Avoidance tends to increase and prolong fear of places and situations, making your safety zone smaller and smaller over time, and can ironically increase the frequency or fear of panic attacks.
Therapy for panic attacks or panic disorder can help you to regain control over your life, by helping you to manage stress and anxiety, gradually increasing your safety zone, and expanding your capacity for joy, fulfillment, and getting things done like you used to.