Here Some Useful Information on Panic Disorders
Individuals with a panic disorder experience sudden intense attacks of anxiety. These attacks are often repetitive and can occur at any time. These attacks are often referred to as panic attacks. Panic attacks will often arise unexpectedly in individuals. They can erupt suddenly and rapidly intensify. Some individuals mistakenly identify the symptoms of a panic attack as being a heart attack because of the similar symptoms of these two medical conditions.
Panic attack symptoms are unique and individualized for each person. Individual experiencing a panic attack typically report symptoms such as chest pain, feeling faint, overwhelming fear of losing control, intense fear of death, upset stomach, difficulty breathing, a chocking sensation, feeling detached, sweating, chills, shaking, rapid heart rate, numbness in extremities, and hot flashes. Panic attacks must be experienced for at least 6 months and involve a majority of the symptoms above to be considered to be a panic disorder.
Panic disorders can be experienced at the same time that an individual also has a different anxiety or psychological disorder. It is important that panic disorders, whether experienced as a singular disorder or as a compounded disorder, can be treated. Panic disorders can be treated and managed in the following ways.
Antidepressant medications have been shown to be effective in the treatment of panic disorders. The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil are commonly used to manage panic attack symptoms. Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), benzodiazepines, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and anti-seizure medications have all been found to be helpful medications in the treatment of panic disorders. If one type of medication does not seem to fit the unique needs of an individual another type of these medications could potentially help.
Relaxation skill building is extremely important for learning how to manage anxiety and stress that mount during and before panic attacks. Taking regular walks, reducing and abstaining from consuming caffeine, and taking time to relax are all important relaxation techniques for managing stress. Relaxed breathing skills are also important for an individual with a panic disorder to learn. Relaxation skills should be utilized regularly in an individual with this disorder’s life. Additionally, they should be utilized as soon as an individual begins to feel a panic disorder come on.
Eliminating caffeine, alcohol, and drugs. These stimulants can make the panic symptoms worse and can make panic attacks occur more frequently. These drugs increase stress and anxiety levels in the body and create an environment a chronic stress environment within the body. Each stressor that arises in life is intensified when these stimulants are present within an individual.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common counseling treatment method for panic disorders. This treatment focuses on changing the way that the brain processes information and transforming the behaviors of the individual.
Education about the body’s natural stress response can be extremely valuable for individuals with a panic disorder. This information can help the individual understand how their body manages and processes stress. It can normalize the stress experience and assist individuals in reducing their anxiety surrounding how their body manages stress.
Daily assignments to reduce and manage stress are critically important. To transform the body’s response to stress the individual must daily make a conscious effort to slowly change how they respond to and react to stress. Individuals can try out different and new coping methods and strategies to see which ones can help them to overcome their anxiety.
Overcoming a panic disorder will take time and may require trial and error. Individuals should not grow discouraged if they are unable to completely eliminate their panic attacks right away. Instead, individuals should work to at least slowly reduce the intensity of their experience of anxiety.