Does your heart start racing and leave you wanting to escape specific situations? Do you experience sudden, intense attacks that seem to have no obvious reason? Do you feel weak, exhausted or scared for minutes or hours afterwards? Are you worried that you won’t be able to get through your day or week due to repeated panic attacks? Or are you avoiding situations out of fear of having another panic attack?
You may become nervous or anxious about the consequences of a panic attack at work or in public, or fearful that you might faint, vomit or experience diarrhea. Unexpected or intense panic can make you think that you are having a heart attack, stroke or about to faint, adding to the overwhelming emotions and symptoms you are already experiencing. You may believe that your panic is caused by the situations you are in and you might try changing your life to avoid experiencing another attack. And when your fear does arise, difficulties coping and finding support can leave you feeling trapped and alone.
Panic is a physical response to intense fear or terror. Panic attacks, however, are sudden intense fear or terror that triggers severe physical reactions where there is no real life danger. Often times you recognize your response is disproportionate to the situation, but haven’t been able to change it. During a panic attack, you may fear that you are losing control, going crazy or dying. And although the panic may only last 11 to 13 minutes for some, the physical and emotional symptoms can last all day. During a panic attack, you may experience:
- Racing heart or heart palpitations
- Tightness or pain in your chest
- Rapid, shallow or difficult breathing
- Nausea, sweating, upset stomach
- Shaking and/or trembling sensations
- Dizziness, light headedness or faintness
- Feeling unreal or disconnected from reality
- Fear of dying, going crazy or losing control
The physical symptoms of panic can often lead you to seek treatment for a medical condition, and you may become increasingly hopeless as you struggle to find an effective solution. You may wake up one day and realize that you can’t remember the last time you were able to make it through your day or week without experiencing a panic attack or worrying that one could occur at any moment. Do you wish you could understand why you’re experiencing these attacks and find a way to make them stop?
Millions of adults suffer from panic attacks every year. As a result, and because of the physical symptoms associated with panic, a majority of those who do have severe panic attacks believe they are dealing with a medical condition. The truth is that 1 in 20 Canadians will experience severe frequent panic attacks in their lifetime, and many will not access appropriate panic attack treatment.
While you may have struggled to find effective relief in the past, I offer panic attack treatment that addresses the source of the attack as well as symptoms and triggers. With professional support, you can reduce the occurrence of the panic attacks and begin enjoying life again.
At InnerPath Psychology, I can help you learn to control and reduce your panic attacks and symptoms. I understand that your panic symptoms, triggers, motivations and needs are unique, and I tailor your panic attack treatment to meet your specific personality, history and needs. The approach we use in sessions will depend on the type of panic you are experiencing as well as any co-occurring disorders you may be struggling with, such as anxiety or depression. With effort and commitment, you can learn to manage or overcome your panic in a relatively short period of time and begin to feel free again.
We will begin your panic attack treatment by completing a history to identify why you are experiencing panic and how long you have been dealing with panic symptoms. Your fears may be influenced by grief, or trauma over the loss of a loved one, for example, and your recovery may depend on addressing these issues in addition to panic. If you are having trouble coping with uncomfortable or painful panic symptoms, I provide resources, techniques, and strategies to help you interrupt your body’s natural response and regulate your emotions and physical sensations. By using relaxation or breathing techniques, and learning how to identify triggers, you can effectively reduce anxious thoughts and better cope with stressful situations.
In sessions, I use a variety of evidence-based approaches to help you understand and address how anxiety and panic affect you physically, mentally and emotionally. Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), you can better understand what happens to you mentally, emotionally and physically during panic attacks and what you can do to relax your mind and body. The more you understand about your physical response to panic, the more control you can feel over your recovery. For some, EMDR Therapy can help address past distressing events that may be triggering present panic attacks as well as process the overwhelming experiences, emotions or trauma panic attacks have left with you. Furthermore, a combination of CBT and EMDR Therapy can help retrain your nervous system so that your body stops reacting with panic symptoms when you are in uncomfortable or vulnerable situations.
For over eight years I have helped my clients understand their physical response to panic, why they are experiencing symptoms and what they can do to find lasting relief. With professional panic attack treatment, you, too, can reduce the frequency and seriousness of your panic attacks and regain a sense of calm and control in your life.
But you may still have questions about panic attack treatment…
What if my panic attacks aren’t treatable?
While it can feel like you are stuck– especially if you have tried solutions in the past that didn’t work or didn’t last – in my experience panic is treatable. In fact, many clients see meaningful recovery in just a few months. However, effective panic attack treatment can take longer depending on your motivation and a variety of other factors. If you are dealing with other concerns like anxiety or depression, for example, it may become necessary to address those issues in addition to panic.
I’m worried if I seek panic attack treatment I’ll find out that I’m going crazy.
It is normal to feel like you are going crazy when you experience severe or prolonged panic symptoms. Your body has released adrenalin at the wrong time, in preparation for fight, flight or freeze, however there is no real life danger. But, you are not going crazy, and there is a reason your panic arises when it does. In sessions, we’ll be able to effectively identify what’s causing you to panic and develop solutions that can provide you with lasting relief.
I’m dealing with a medical issue, not panic.
The physical sensations and symptoms that occur during panic can be intense and frightening. A racing heart and tightness or pain in the chest can be misinterpreted as a heart attack or stroke. While you should consult with your physician to rule out any medical concerns, don’t be discouraged if there is no medical cause found. Clients often report these symptoms to their physician or go to the ER on multiple occasions rather than a professional psychologist. If you have consulted with your physician with no apparent success in relieving symptoms, I would encourage you to consider panic attack treatment at InnerPath Psychology to address the cause and physical symptoms.
You Can Feel In Control Of Your Life
If you are ready to manage and overcome your panic attacks, or if you have additional questions about panic attack treatment, I invite you to contact me at 403-510-8914 or to schedule a complementary 30-minute telephone consultation.