Calming a Panic Disorder—Counseling and Therapy in Greenville, SC

Carl was driving to work one morning, and everything was fine and normal until out of the blue, it wasn’t. Fortunately, he pulled to the shoulder safety because his heart was pounding and his fingers through his shoulder was going numb. He couldn’t breathe, and he thought he might be dying. Carl was so hot, he felt like his fever must be off the charts. He had called an ambulance, but then everything stopped. Carl started to feel normal again—exhausted but normal. When the first responders arrived, they determined that he did not have a heart attack but a panic attack.

Panic attacks can devastate without any alert or reason. When they occur more than once and disrupt life, they may have developed into a panic disorder. People may adjust their life to avoid a panic attack, but in doing so, they often miss out on important personal and professional events in their life. Others may use alcohol or drugs to numb the intense feelings that come with a panic attack, but these usually make panic attacks more severe.

Other treatments are available, and panic disorders have proven responsive to psychological treatments. Thriveworks Greenville treat panic disorders because we want our clients to live their normal life—without panic attacks or the fear of them.

Panic Disorders: What Are They?

Far more than just an unpleasant experience, panic attacks that are regular and disruptive could be a psychiatric disorder. When they cannot be attributed to another psychiatric disorder, health problem, or drug use, then they may be a panic disorder. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) describes panic disorders (DSM-5 300.01 [F41.0]) with the following:

  • Experiencing more than one panic attack that causes acute fear, anxiety, and discomfort. The attacks may last for several minutes and include at least four of the following sensations:
    • Dizziness or faintness
    • Stomach pain or nausea
    • Trembling or shaking
    • A choking feeling
    • Sensations of numbness or tingling
    • Sweating profusely
    • Shortness of breath or feeling smothered
    • Feelings of depersonalization or detachment from oneself
    • Fear of death
    • Chills or hot flashes
    • Palpitations or irregular heart rate
    • Tightness or pain in the chest
    • Fear of losing control or going crazy
  • After a panic attack or multiple attacks, responding with at least one of the following for a time period of one month or more:
    • Modifying one’s behavior—attempting to avoid a panic attack.
    • Experiencing acute worry that another panic attack and/or similar health problem (e.g., stroke) will occur.

Panic Disorders: Treatment Options

Do not skip out on life because of panic attacks. Skilled therapists can help their clients find effective treatments, and there are many options. A mental health professional may be able to tailor a treatment plan that meets your needs with the following therapies:

  • Medication: When antidepressants or benzodiazepines are combined with cognitive behavior therapy or exposure therapy, they may make those treatments more effective. These medicines may ease symptoms so that people can learn coping skills or resolve any foundational causes of the panic attacks.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: This treatment seeks to identify any traumas and unhealthy thought patterns that may be causing the panic attacks. Therapists may help their clients resolve the trauma and replace unhealthy coping habits with healthy ones.
  • Exposure therapy: This treatment aims to build effective coping skills and empower people to handle the sensations of a panic attack. Implemented in a safe space and under the supervision of a skilled therapist, people can be exposed to the feeling of panic.

Scheduling an Appointment with a Thriveworks Greenville Therapist

Many people experience panic attacks, but not everyone knows that these treatments are effective. If a panic attack has struck and if you are concerned it could happen again, know that you are not alone. Thriveworks Greenville has helped many people find the holistic treatment they need. Our therapists with individually with each client to find the right balance of exposure therapy, medication, and/or cognitive behavior therapy.

When you call to schedule an appointment with a Thriveworks Greenville therapist, here are a few things to know:

  1. A person will answer your call and help find an appointment that works for you.
  2. Evening and weekend sessions are available.
  3. New clients often have their first appointment the following day.
  4. Our office works with many different insurance companies and accepts various forms of insurance.
  5. You will never be put on a waitlist.

Life your life without panic attacks or fear of panic attacks. Call Thriveworks Greenville today at (864) 952-4048 to start treatment for a panic disorder.