A panic attack is a form of intensive anxiety and fear where the attacks come about suddenly, include both physical and psychological symptoms and are experienced very emotionally, with the person afflicted feeling threatened and almost incapacitated. But no one has to live with panic attacks – counseling and therapy for panic attacks have a high success rate.
Panic attacks usually peak within 10 minutes, but can last up to 20 or 30 minutes. Symptoms can include chills, excessive sweating, hot flashes, nausea, cramps, chest pain, trouble swallowing and dizziness, as well as psychological symptoms like feeling of dread or fear of losing control or fear of dying.
Panic disorder, on the other hand, is a more complex condition. According to the DSM-5, panic disorder if diagnosed if:
- the individual has recurrent panic attacks (minimum four in a four-week period)
- at least one of the attacks is accompanied by persistent concern or worry about additional panic attacks or their effects (i.e., having a heart attack) and/or significant change in behavior due to attacks
According to the National Institute for Mental Health, 2.7% of the US adult population suffers from panic disorder. If left untreated, it can lead to a “cycle of fear” that can either trigger new attacks or leave the person afflicted feeling vulnerable, isolated and emotionally impaired. Panic disorder can have severe consequences regarding one’s professional and personal interactions, and can make the sufferer feel unconfident, dependent of others and under significant stress.
Here at our Pittsburgh office we provide both panic attack counseling and panic disorder therapy. Our qualified counselors and therapists can help you find out more about panic attacks and panic disorder, and help you learn skills and techniques to better fight your condition. We can also engage you in cognitive-behavioral or exposure therapy and, if need be, prescribe medication.
If you are looking for help (or just information) in Pittsburgh, please get in touch with our office and we’ll be more than glad to provide you with information or schedule a session with one of our staff.