Panic attacks can leave you living with fear and dread, but therapy can help.
If you struggle with panic attacks, you may feel as though fear dictates your life. The intense, uncomfortable anxiety can strike out of nowhere. You might be paralyzed with immense dread and physical symptoms that affect your ability to live a normal life, pursue a career, or even maintain close relationships. MySpectrum offers in-person and online therapy for panic attacks and panic disorder, so you can take back the reins.
MySpectrum delivers therapy for panic attacks in Virginia, with services accessible no matter where you are in the state. Our professional, compassionate therapists are available in-person and via teletherapy. Visit our North Chesterfield home office or our up-and-coming Springfield location for therapy that is comfortable and convenient.
The Diverse Spectrum of Panic Attacks
Mental health professionals recognize two basic types of panic attacks:
- Expected panic attacks: These attacks occurs when you are subjected to specific triggers, such as a phobia or troubling thought
- Unexpected panic attacks: These attacks occur suddenly without specific indication or cause; not associated with phobias or conscious thoughts
A panic attack may only happen on occasion, but some people have panic attacks that occur on an ongoing basis. Panic disorder is characterized by chronic panic attacks. In some cases, the attacks can be a sign of another -mental health condition, such as bipolar disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Extreme panic attacks could result in an individual developing agoraphobia, an anxiety disorder in which a person fears places or situations that make them anxious. Often, those who have panic attacks in public tend to develop the fear of having panic attacks in certain public places and situations, thus leading into the development of agoraphobia.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Panic Attacks
Most often, panic attacks strike with no warning and hit peak anxiety levels in just a few short minutes — you could be driving, at work, with friends, or even asleep. While the variations are noteworthy among different types of panic attacks, the general symptoms are consistent. Some signs and symptoms may include:
- A sudden sense of threatening doom or danger
- Heart rate acceleration
- Feeling like you are having a heart attack
- Shaking or trembling
- Feeling short of breath or tightness in your throat or chest
- Digestion upset; nausea, diarrhea, or cramping
- Chills or hot flashes
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, faintness, or headache
- Feelings of detachment or numbness
Through panic online therapy, most individuals realize that some of their physical ailments — such as tension and fatigue — are related to the attacks they experience.
The physical symptoms associated with having panic attacks can be very intense. And exhausting. Sometimes, panic attacks are accompanied by derealization and dissociation whereby an individual seems disconnected from the experience as a way of the mind and body’s way of coping with the experience.
*Please note that if you experience physical symptoms of panic attacks, make sure to consult with her primary care doctor to rule out any underlying causes.
Risk Factors for Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder
People who are at risk for panic attacks or a panic disorder tend to have several similarities, including:
- Having a family history of panic disorders
- Experiencing traumatic events, such as a violent assault, serious accident, or sexual abuse
- Facing major life stresses, such as a sudden loss of a loved one
- Being a smoker or habitual caffeine user
- Having a history of childhood abuse
- Experiencing drastic life changes, such as having a baby or getting divorced
In addition, teens and young adults tend to be most affected by panic disorders, and females are more likely to have panic attacks than males.
How Panic Attack Treatment Can Change Your Life
Dealing with a panicked mental state can be scary, but cognitive behavioral therapy for panic attacks and anxiety therapy can be highly effective. Therapy helps you navigate the underlying causes that can trigger attacks, whether they are biological, environmental, or emotional in nature. By addressing these underlying triggers and learning new coping mechanisms, you can gain control over your thought processes and physical reactions when faced with panic and overwhelming anxiety.
MySpectrum builds individualized psychiatric wellness service plans that target your needs, whether you are dealing with occasional panic attacks or an ongoing disorder. Many people who deal with panic disorder have underlying trauma that spurs the attacks, which can be addressed through trauma therapy or therapy for veterans and first responders https://myspectrumcc.com/tele-vet-first-responder-therapy/. Telestudent therapy is also available for students throughout the Virginia facing trauma or panic attacks.
Finding your way through emotional challenges can help you take back control of your life. Contact MySpectrum today to find convenient counseling for anxiety and panic attacks.