Panic Attacks

Reach out for help if you are suffering from panic attacksPsychiatrist For Panic Attacks

Anxiety can manifest itself in many different ways. Many people who suffer from anxiety may also experience panic attacks. Have you experienced a terrifying, paralyzing, or overwhelming surge of fear?

You may be aware of what triggers a panic attack for you, or you may have experienced a panic attack with no apparent cause. Panic attacks leave you feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and terrified of having another attack. The fear of having another panic attack is so strong that some people avoid situations where they may occur. If you have experienced a panic attack, you can get effective help to avoid or minimize future attacks.

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Why are physiological symptoms experienced as part of a panic attack?

A panic attack is typically experienced through physiological symptoms as well as emotional stress. Many of the same reactions that you experience in a panic attack occur when your body goes into a fight or flight response, releasing large amounts of adrenaline and other stress hormones in the body. If a bus was hurtling towards you through a red light, your body would react instinctively. You would feel your heart rate accelerate and your breathing would speed up. Many of the same reactions occur in a panic attack.

The chemical events happening in your body can create an intense sense of dread and you may even think that you are about to die. Understandably, people often believe they may be having a heart attack or a medical emergency when they are having a panic attack.

Checklist of physical symptoms that may occur during a panic attack

  • Heart pounding
  • Trembling
  • Shaking
  • Overheated
  • Shivering
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Checklist of emotional symptoms that may occur during a panic attack

  • Fear of loss of control
  • Fear of death
  • Sense of impending doom
  • Feeling detached from reality
  • What triggers panic attacks?

For some people, panic attacks happen only once during an unexpected or stressful situation. For others, panic attacks recur in response to triggers that you experience.

Research suggests that genetics, major stress, a temperament sensitive to stress or prone to negative feelings, and changes in the way your brain functions all play a role in contributing to panic attacks. For many people, the first panic attacks come on suddenly, seemingly without warning, but over time you may be able to identify situations more likely to trigger a panic attack.

Diagnosis of panic disorder

Diagnosis requires a full assessment in order to determine that we are in fact dealing with panic disorder. We will seek to rule out potential medical causes when diagnosing panic disorder. Panic attack symptoms can resemble symptoms of other serious health problems, such as a heart attack, so it’s important to get evaluated by a physician.

Some people may be especially sensitive to substances, such as caffeine or other stimulants, that can trigger a panic attack. As part of the assessment, we will check for emotional and physiological factors that may be at the root of your panic attacks and anxiety.

Treatment and prevention of panic attacks

Panic attacks are hard to manage without help and they tend to get worse without treatment. Fortunately, panic attacks tend to respond well to treatment. Over time, and with effort, a significant number of people experience a reduction in the frequency of attacks, and lower intensity of attacks that still occur. In some cases, future panic attacks can be completely prevented.

In treatment, we will work to understand what your triggers are and how you can better manage those triggers. You can learn coping skills to control your anxiety and avoid future panic attacks.

In therapy, Dr. Dhrymes will work with you to understand what is happening in your body before and during a panic attack. When you understand what is going on from the beginning, you will have a better chance of avoiding or controlling panic attacks. If a panic attack still occurs, the experience can be less distressing and less disabling.

Dr. Dhrymes will suggest treatment options based on your needs and goals. Treatment options include psychotherapy, medication, stress reduction measures, relaxation techniques, and lifestyle changes. As a board-certified psychiatrist, Dr. Dhrymes can provide psychotherapy as well as provide medication. Dr. Dhrymes will work with you to match the treatment to your specific experiences, goals, and needs. Psychotherapy may include elements of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and other modalities.

Successful treatment enables you to participate in events and situations that you may have been avoiding because of the fear of getting another panic attack.

Psychotherapy – first-line treatment for panic attacks

In therapy, we can identify and restructure negative thinking patterns that cause fear and trigger anxiety. Therapy in a safe, controlled environment can help you become less threatened by the physiological sensations of panic, and this will help diminish your attacks. Therapy helps you build coping skills and tools that you can use in your everyday life.

Seeing results from treatment can take time and effort. You may start to see panic attack symptoms gradually reduce over time. In some cases, panic attacks may completely cease. You may schedule occasional maintenance visits to help ensure that your panic attacks remain under control or to treat recurrences. Private, concierge psychiatric treatment for anxiety means that you get holistic care tailored to your needs.

Additional treatment options for panic attacks

Medication is often most effective when part of a broader, holistic strategy to improve your well-being.

  • Learning and practicing relaxation techniques
  • Medication
  • Lifestyle changes

Contact us today

If you’re suffering from panic attacks or an anxiety disorder, reach out for help. In therapy with Dr. Dhrymes, you will be given the tools to manage your symptoms and pave the way for a calmer, healthier life. Having anxiety does not mean you can’t find happiness.

If you need help, book an appointment with Dr. Dhrymes today.