Panic attack disorder therapy is a specialized therapeutic approach designed to help individuals suffering from recurrent and debilitating panic attacks. During therapy sessions, individuals work closely with trained Thriveworks Columbia therapists to identify and understand the triggers and thought patterns that contribute to their panic attacks. Through panic attack disorder therapy, individuals learn to manage their anxiety, develop coping strategies, and regain control over their lives, ultimately leading to a reduction in the severity of panic attacks.
Panic attack disorder therapy often utilizes cognitive-behavioral techniques like exposure therapy and relaxation exercises to help individuals manage and mitigate panic attacks. These methods involve desensitizing triggers, reducing physical and emotional symptoms, and challenging irrational thought patterns to empower individuals to recognize, control, and reduce the frequency and intensity of panic attacks.
A panic attack is usually a one-time occurrence, but some people have repeated episodes. Panic attacks are often triggered by specific circumstances, such as speaking in public, crossing a bridge or a street, driving down a highway, etc. Understandably, and given the fears and intense emotions experienced during an attack, it can be frightening and stressful. Nevertheless, panic attack counseling and panic disorder therapy are among today’s most effective treatments.
A full-blown panic attack, for most people, includes a combination of the following signs and symptoms:
- Feeling weak, faint, or dizzy
- Tingly or numb hands or fingers
- Sense of terror, or impending doom or death
- Feeling sweaty or having chills
- Chest pains
- Breathing difficulties
- Feeling a loss of control
- “Racing” heart
- Nausea or stomach pains
Panic attacks are generally brief, lasting for less than 10 minutes. If a person experiences repeated attacks, they might be suffering from a panic disorder, a more complex condition. Besides having new and repeated attacks, panic disorder is usually characterized by constant concern about upcoming attacks and great changes in behavior aimed at avoiding anything having to do with previous attacks (according to the DSM-5).
If untreated, these behavioral changes can impact one’s life profoundly: not just because of permanent anxiety and emotional stress, but also because it can lead to embarrassment, social stigma and even social isolation, which can have lasting consequences on self-esteem, personal relations and employment perspectives. Panic attack counseling and panic disorder therapy can help deal with these problems.
There is no quick fix for panic disorder or panic attacks, and overcoming it takes time and commitment. A treatment, suited to individual needs, can include informational aspects as well as support groups, specific methods to develop a more realistic view of attacks, confront and conquer one’s fears and weaken anxiety responses to certain situations.
Our qualified and professional staff in Columbia, MD can help you start solving these issues and learning new ways to cope with them – please do not hesitate to contact our office in Columbia, MD to find out more about your condition or schedule a session.