Panic Attacks and Disorder Treatment Questions and Answers
If you suffer from panic attacks and need more information on how to handle them when they occur, read our below Q and A page. Please call us for more information or request and appointment online. We serve patients from Salem NH, Windham NH, Atkinson NH, Plaistow NH, Pelham NH, Hampstead NH, Danville NH and Derry NH.
Panic attacks are a sudden onset of intense fear and anxiety that triggers both physical and physiological reactions even when there is no real threat or danger present. These episodic attacks can be very frightening, with the feeling of no control, symptoms of heart problems and even fear of dying. Thankfully, there are many ways to treat panic attacks to reduce anxiety, fear and promote wellbeing.
How do you permanently treat panic attacks?
Panic attacks can be effectively managed and prevented with the proper treatment and self-care practices. There are psychotherapies that can help people manage their condition and find relief when symptoms arise. Medications can also be used to manage symptoms, although this should be thoroughly investigated by a medical professional, as certain medications or incorrect doses can trigger panic attacks they are intended to prevent.
Are panic disorders curable?
Due to the extreme effectiveness of treatment, there is great debate to the curability of panic disorders. Some people experience total cessation of symptoms after receiving treatment from behavioral therapy, antidepressant medications or a combination of the two for a few months. However, others experience recurrent symptoms and complications regardless of treatment. Due to this discrepancy, there is no definitive answer to the curability of panic disorders, as medical professionals may share conflicting opinions on the matter. This is why it is important to be diagnosed by a medical professional who is certified in the treatment of panic disorders and mental illnesses.
What medical conditions trigger panic attacks?
There are several medical problems that can be linked to anxiety, including:
- Heart disease
- Thyroid problems, such as hyperthyroidism
- Respiratory disorders, such as COPD and asthma
- Drug misuse or withdrawal
- Chronic pain or irritable bowel syndrome
- Rare tumors that produce certain fight-or-flight hormones, such as cortisol
Is panic disorder a mental illness?
Yes, panic disorder is a mental illness. There are many different types of panic disorders and can be caused by biological or psychological factors, as well as certain medical conditions. Panic disorders can be hereditary, caused by stress or traumatic events, or other psychiatric problems.
How can panic attacks be prevented?
Treatment of panic disorder starts with managing panic attacks. When you sense a panic attack is oncoming, follow these steps to gain control over the situation:
Stop and take three slow, deep breaths — Diaphragmatic breathing induces a state of relaxation, whereas quick and short breaths from the upper chest triggers an adrenaline response.
Do not leave the area unless you are in real danger — To break your panic attack, it is important to show yourself that there is no reason to ‘fight or flight’ by staying and overcoming the initial adrenaline reaction.
Expand your vision — When fear sets in, tunnel vision can take over, causing feelings of isolation and being trapped. Become aware of your surroundings by slowly looking from side to side. This will help you begin reasoning that there is no danger.
Look at relaxing images or warm your hands — Consider saving happy or relaxing images on your phone, as visual cues can help redirect your focus off of any anxious or troubling thoughts. Alternatively or in tandem, running warm water over your hands can induce an immediate relaxation response.
Articulate your thoughts out loud — This helps to prevent hyperventilating. Initially, you may speak with short, rushed words, but as you gain control, you will also be able to express your feelings and thoughts deliberately and accurately.
If you or someone you know is experiencing panic attacks, come to Advanced Psych Care for treatment today. Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced in treating panic disorders and can help you find relief from your symptoms and take back control of your life. For more information on our panic attacks and disorder treatment, call our office and get in touch with a member of our specialist team. To book an appointment with our panic disorder specialist, visit our website or speak with us over the phone today.