Are You Struggling With Symptoms Of Panic?
If you have ever had a panic attack, you know that this can be one of the scariest experiences there is, especially when you don’t know what it is.
Your heart starts to pound, you feel like you can’t breathe, you feel nauseous or dizzy.
You wonder if you’re going crazy. It feels like you’re losing control. You’re afraid for your life.
You might even have gone to the emergency room, sometimes repeatedly, afraid you’re having a heart attack, aneurysm, or other life-threatening emergency. But they don’t find anything physically wrong.
You’re having a panic attack.
If you’ve had a panic attack, chances are you might start to live in fear that it will happen again. The experience of the attacks, coupled with the fear about them (which may also lead to a restriction or avoidance of everyday activities) can result in a diagnosis of panic disorder.
But you don’t have to live your life in fear.
You’re Not Alone
If the above description rings true for you, know that you’re not alone. Each year, up to 11% of Americans experience a panic attack. Panic attacks typically begin during the teen or young adult years though can occur at other points in life too.
When a panic attack leads to significant fear about future attacks that impacts our functioning, a diagnosis of panic disorder might be warranted. An estimated 2.7% of adults in the U.S. experienced panic disorder in the last year, while 4.7% of adults experience panic disorder at some point in their lives. Panic disorder is more common in women than men, with women being about twice as likely to meet criteria for panic disorder.
Panic Attack Therapy
At Gatewell, we understand how scary and disabling this experience can be, and we have years of experience working with folks struggling with panic attacks using the most evidence-based techniques. Panic attack therapy will help you learn to cope with the attacks; the more confident you are in coping with them, the less you will fear them.The less you fear them, the less control they’ll have over you.
What To Expect
In your first session, we’ll get a thorough understanding of your symptoms and concerns. We’ll ask about when the panic attacks started, how afraid you are of having another attack, if you’re avoiding any experiences because of them, and what you’ve tried so far to cope. We’ll also ask about other symptoms and get a sense of your overall history and goals for therapy. We’ll be able to lay out a plan for your treatment at this time.
How We Can Help With Your Panic
Panic attack therapy is active and engaged. You’ll learn new ways of thinking about your symptoms and responding to them when they happen. You’ll reduce your avoidance around panic triggers, regaining control of your life.
Some of the methods that we use to address panic include:
- Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT), the treatment of choice for panic attacks and panic disorder, helps you manage symptoms of panic and panic disorder by challenging your ideas about the physical symptoms occurring with the attacks and working on tolerating these symptoms without avoiding the situations that cause them.
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), which provides you skills to manage the difficult physical and mental experiences associated with panic and work on avoiding avoiding.
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which helps you to separate from some of the thoughts and sensations associated with panic, while you continue to focus on what matters most to you.
But You Might Still Have Questions About Starting Therapy To Address Your Panic Attacks. . .
Am I going to have to rehash my childhood trauma with this therapy?
Panic attack therapy is solution-oriented and doesn’t necessitate a deep dive into your childhood or any traumatic events. While you might choose to explore some deeper issues, we can help you recover from panic attacks focusing only on the present and the symptoms at hand.
I’ve heard that with panic attack therapy, the goal is to actually experience some of the symptoms purposely, to get my heart pounding or to feel dizzy. That sounds uncomfortable and too close to panic.
Yes, exposure to some of the symptoms is one of the interventions we may use. Building confidence around surviving some of these symptoms can be incredibly effective, and we can approach this in a gradual, systematic way. But, we would never use an intervention without your consent, so if this feels uncomfortable now or ever, we can rely on other approaches.
Take Back Control Of Your Life From Panic
Whether you’ve had one panic attack or many, it can feel like panic has taken over your life. With panic attack counseling at Gatewell, you can take back control, continuing to pursue your goals and dreams without being bogged down by the what-ifs associated with your next panic attack. You don’t have to continue to live in fear. There is hope. Contact us to schedule your first appointment.