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 Portland 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.
Panic attacks can be a very emotionally painful experience, especially when they occur without warning. A sudden episode of intense fear is accompanied by at least four physical symptoms that include:
- heart palpitations
- chest pains
- trouble breathing/shortness of breath
- flushing or chills
- fear of losing control or dying
- sensory distortions
- and others
According to the DSM-5, panic disorder is diagnosed in people who experience recurrent panic attacks and are preoccupied with the fear of having another attack, which can significantly influence their habits and their everyday life. For example, they can develop so-called avoidance behaviors – and avoid any situation in which a potential attack may occur.
However, counseling for panic attacks has a very high success rate, and can be immensely helpful for a sufferer. Panic disorder, unfortunately, often remains undiagnosed and untreated.
If left untreated for an exceeding amount of time (months, or even years), panic disorder can intensify to a point where it becomes a serious hindrance to a person’s day-to-day functioning.
Persons struggling with panic attacks or panic disorder can be faced with various problems and can find even the simplest daily activities extremely challenging:
- Their anxiety regarding the onset of another attack may be so intensive, that they end up actually causing an attack themselves, by responding to the physical symptoms of a perceived attack with increased fear
- They may avoid all situations where panic attacks might occur (usually places where it had already occurred, like elevators, public transport, street, social gatherings, public events, etc)
- They may attempt to hide their attacks from family and friends, which can lead to serious disturbances in the area of interpersonal relations
- They may even quit their jobs
Here at Portland, our qualified counselors and therapists can help you understand the underlying causes of these conditions, and offer you the most effective treatment for panic attacks and panic disorder, including consultations, relaxation techniques and breathing exercises to ease the symptoms, cognitive restructuring, and various behavioral techniques, such as progressive exposure to panic attack triggers to overcome the anxiety and fear.
If you recognize any of the mentioned symptoms and conditions, feel free to contact our Thriveworks office in Portland, ME for assistance, or further information.