Affect 1 in 5 People
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Panic disorder is a kind of anxiety disorder that is characterized by recurring unexpected attacks of fear and lasts for several minutes or longer. These attacks, also called panic attacks, are marked by a fear of losing control or a fear of disaster even when there is no imminent danger. These episodes are characterized by bouts of extreme anxiety in response to prompting stimuli or other stressful situations. When these bursts of incapacitation and loss of control strike more erratically, persistent concern about future attacks can gradually alter one’s behavior to take on a negative hue. Over time, this type of acute anxiety can trap an individual into the cage of uncertainty, forcing him or her to harbor the perception that his or her world is crashing down. Panic attacks can occur anytime and those suffering from them often worry about the possibility of another one.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), about 6 million American adults suffer from panic disorders in a given year. When left untreated, a panic disorder can lead to other mental problems, social isolation, problems interfering with daily life activities, academics, work or social life. The symptoms of a panic disorder may be frightening and overwhelming, but adequate and timely treatment at panic disorder treatment centers can help in reducing the symptoms and in improving one’s quality of life.
Beyond the occurrence of panic attacks, individuals with a panic disorder may experience an overlaid sense of worry as well. This heightened concern may be fueled by a belief that the attacks signal the presence of a serious medical or mental illness or by social embarrassment and a fear of being judged in a negative light. An individual may even spend a lot of time worrying about the occurrence of the next attack.
The worry may extend into upcoming episodes and evolve into a constant state of anxiety. A typical characteristic of a panic disorder is exaggeration of physical symptoms or side effects of medications not even related to the disorder. Individuals with panic disorder experience different types of worrisome thoughts that can build up one’s anxiety and can trigger an attack, creating a vicious cycle of symptoms, forcing the person to change his or her normal conduct to minimize or prevent episodes of panic. However, avoidance behavior may not be effective in cases of unexpected panic attacks, as attacks can occur even during sleep.
Panic attacks can occur anywhere and anytime. While a panic attack usually reaches its peak within 10 minutes, most usually end within 20 to 30 minutes. Though the exact cause of panic disorder is not known, some of the factors that can play a role are genetics, several biological processes, stressful life transitions and brain and body functions. Panic attacks can also be caused due to several medical conditions and physical triggers. Its onset is usually noticed in late teens or early adulthood. Compared to men, women are twice as likely to get panic attacks.
According to ADAA, a panic attack is an abrupt onset of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes. Some of the symptoms of panic attack are:
Since many of these symptoms often mimic those of breathing disorders, heart conditions and other illnesses, many individuals suffering from a panic disorder are unaware of their real and highly treatable disorder.
Medication, psychotherapy or a combination of both usually helps manage the problem. Treatment for panic disorder at panic disorder treatment centers, Los Angeles, California, focuses on reducing or eliminating one’s symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), considered as the first-line of treatment for panic disorder, can help one react differently to feelings accompanying panic attacks. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the type of medication used for treating panic disorder may involve beta-blockers, benzodiazepines, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
While beta-blockers help control some of the physical symptoms, SSRIs, SNRIs and benzodiazepines can help address other symptoms of panic disorder. At Sovereign Mental Health, our team of experienced clinicians and mental health professionals employ cutting-edge treatment methods for comprehensive intervention in a compassionate and supportive environment. Treatment for panic disorder at Sovereign Mental Health Group involves a pre-assessment that helps determine the best medication and psychotherapy depending on one’s symptoms and medical history. At Sovereign Mental Health, we offer a range of evidence-based therapies, including CBT, individual and group therapies, exposure therapy, and experiential therapies like music, meditation, yoga and equine therapy. Offering each of our patient with the best-in-class treatment options, Sovereign Mental Health is dedicated to identifying the root cause of the illness to help the individual overcome panic attacks.
It may not be possible to prevent panic disorder, but one can always reduce its symptoms with effective medication and psychotherapy under the care of a licensed clinical professional. For those looking to find the best-in-class treatment options or trying to locate top-notch treatment facilities, nearby, call or chat online with our representatives at our 24/7 helpline number 866-973-7164 and let us help you in your recovery.
Sovereign Health Group is a residential rehabilitation treatment provider that has programs and services devoted to mental health conditions. To learn more about our continuum of care, speak with one of our expert treatment consultants and begin the journey to recovery today!
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