Panic Attack Disorder Therapy in Buffalo, NY—Therapists and Counselors at Thriveworks
For most of us, trusting our bodies isn’t something we think about. We don’t worry about being overwhelmed with feelings of dying during our lunch break. The possibility of our body experiencing sudden shortness of breath, a racing heart, chest pain and dizziness doesn’t haunt us.
But for over 2 million Americans, that’s not a luxury they have. Panic attacks are terrifying, debilitating experiences that can wreak havoc on a person’s well being and day-to-day life. The Thriveworks counselors in Buffalo understand this frightening experience and are here to help you regain control and trust of your mind and body.
What Is a Panic Attack?
Panic attacks are a hallmark of panic attack disorder, although they can be found in many other conditions. People struggling from social anxiety, eating disorders, general anxiety, phobias, and depression can experience a panic attack. What makes panic attack disorder unique, however, is the frequency and unpredictability of a panic attack.
Someone with a phobia of dogs may get a panic attack when they see a dog. Panic attacks have no warning. If you or a loved one has had a panic attack, know that Thriveworks Buffalo counselors are here to support you.
What Constitutes a Panic Attack?
Symptoms are different for each person. However, some common symptoms include:
- A general sense of dread or impending doom
- Numbness in hands or feet
- Racing heart
- Shortness of breath
- Feelings of ‘going mad’
- Thinking you are dying
- Racing thoughts
These are just some symptoms of a panic attack. Individual differences occur. No matter what the specificities, panic attacks are terrifying and painful. But they aren’t inherently dangerous. You aren’t at risk of dying from them. We recognize how that can be hard to understand when you are in the middle of an attack. Part of the therapy for panic attack disorder is learning more about panic attacks and how to best manage them on an individual level. Thriveworks Buffalo counselors are ready to help you through that learning process.
Panic attack disorder has some additional unique symptoms. The big two are:
- Experiencing at least 4 panic attacks in a one-month period
- The attack produces additional distress and worry about the possibility of having another attack. This may result in changed behavior.
Although this is the criteria for panic attack disorder, anyone is free to come in for therapy. Our counselors are happy to work with you no matter the official diagnosis!
What Does Panic Attack Disorder Therapy Look Like?
Education is a large part of panic attack disorder therapy. Panic attacks get much of their power from being misunderstood. You don’t have control over when a panic attack occurs, but there are methods to recognize an oncoming panic attack and make it more bearable or even shorter. Some things you might learn in panic attack disorder therapy:
- What your unique ‘tells’ are of an oncoming panic attack (sweaty, racing heart, sense of dread, etc.)
- Relaxation training- recurrent panic attacks can create a lot of stress in day to day life, which increases the likelihood of an attack. Learning how to relax when stressed is a crucial first step.
- Cognitive Restructuring- Learn how to catch negative, destructive thinking before it spirals.
- Mindfulness- This is especially important during an attack. It teaches us that the negative emotions are not part of us, and they will pass. It can shorten the length and intensity of attacks.
- Coping strategies- Panic attacks lead people feeling drained, both emotionally and physically. It’s vital to take care of yourself during the aftermath of an attack. We can figure out the best coping strategies to do that.
Panic attacks don’t have to rule your life. The counselors at Thriveworks Buffalo understand your pain and are here to help you cope with and manage it.