Panic Attack Therapy and Counselling

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Panic attacks can also be classified as a disorder in the DSM-5. Panic Disorder can be defined as being characterized by sudden attacks of terror, often accompanied by a pounding heart, sweaty hands, forehead, armpits, physical weakness, can involve gasping for air, faintness, or even dizziness.

Panic Attacks Burlington ONWhile these attacks are happening a person can feel chilled, may also flush, hands may tingle or feel numb, they may experience nausea, chest pain, or sensations of suffocation.

When a person fears their own unexplained physical symptoms they are manifesting a symptom of panic disorder. A person having panic attack sometimes believe they are having a heart attack, losing their mind, or are about to die. Because they can’t predict the next attack or  worry intensely dreading the next attack anxiety heightens which can also be common with those that have this disorder.

Panic attacks have known to occur at any time, even during sleep. A panic attack usually peaks within 10 minutes, but some of the symptoms may last even longer. It is imperative to get treatment as soon as possible, because early treatment can often prevent agoraphobia. A person with panic disorder may find themselves going from physician to physician for years and repeatedly visit emergency rooms and clinic searching for help until they are correctly diagnosed. This is sad, because panic disorder very treatable and is one of the most treatable of all anxiety disorders, especially when one obtains EMDR (link) treatment which is known for it’s amazing healing ability, which can help change thinking patterns and end this vicious cycle of terror.

Panic Disorder Consequences

Panic disorder will often lead to employment problems, lifestyle hinderances which can lead to depression.

It is important to note that a person with panic disorder has a much higher risk of alcohol and drug usage along with potential suicidality then the rest of the general population. However, there are studies that suggest that panic disorder itself does not contain a risk factor for suicide provided their is an absence of other disorders such as:  affective disorders, substance use disorders, eating disorders, and personality disorders.

Help Tips For Panic Attacks

  • Realize that your panic attack, though frightening, is an exaggeration of normal stress reactions and aren’t harmful or dangerous to you.
  • Stop and notice your feelings, rather than fighting them and they will become less intense. If you push emotions away they will stay if you embrace them they will heal.
  • Stop where you are and stay in the present. Orient yourself to your surroundings and when you are safe notice that there is no danger around you.  Once you do that notice what happens inside.
  • Avoid thinking to yourself, “What if?” Tell yourself “So what!”
  • It’s also important to rate your level of fear using a scale from 0 to 10 (0=calm; 10=terror).  By doing so you will begin to see change in your level of fear.  Notice that your level of fear diminishes after a few minutes or even seconds.
  • Begin to breath slowly in and out through the nose while focusing your mind on your heart and a serene thought.
  • Distracting  yourself with a simple task like counting backwards, tapping your fingers, etc.

When should I get help?

Panic Attack Counselling TheropyToo many people believe that all they needs is willpower to fix their anxiety disorder, but on the contrary this will not work.  Why?  Anxiety comes from a different part of the brain that has stored memories is a dysfunctional manner and so when an environmental queue is presented the emotions arise within approximately half of a millisecond, whereas the cognitive part of the brain where the willpower is seated takes 2 seconds to responds.  This brain response often ends in a panic attack.  Never ignore your anxiety issues this will result in further problems that can lead to depression, substance abuse, broken relationships, unemployment, chronic and degenerative diseases and a range of other problems. It’s important to note that If your daily routine is interrupted by these issues you should take the next step and seek help from a professional.

Suffering from panic attacks should not be ignored, If you, or someone you know, has symptoms of anxiety disorder or panic disorder be sure to contact a psychotherapist or counsellor who can help you to move forward and heal.

There are numerous treatments available:

  • psychotherapy
  • medication
  • naturopathy
  • counselling
  • homeopathy

Panic Attack Questionnaire
Important: If you suspect that you are suffering from Panic Attacks as a result of having experienced a distressing event(s) the following questionnaire will help to determine your condition.
Take Test
  1. Are you troubled because you have witnessed or experienced an event that caused intense distress or fear involving a life-threatening event?
  2. Do you have repeated, distressing memories, or dreams where you are re-living or re-experiencing an upsetting event(s)?
  3. Do you have flashbacks or a sense of reliving an event where you feel that a distressing event(s) is happening over and over again?
  4. Do you have physical and/or emotional upset or distress when you come across things that remind you of a distressing event(s) – triggers?
  5. When you are reminded of the distressing event(s) does it affect you by avoiding thoughts, feelings, or conversations about it?
  6. When you are reminded of the distressing event(s) you avoid activities, places or people who remind you of it?
  7. When you are reminded of the distressing event(s) does your mind blank out on parts of it?
  8. When you are reminded of the distressing event(s) do you have a Loss of interest in activities of your life?
  9. When you are reminded of the distressing event(s) do Feel detached from other people?
  10. When you are reminded of the distressing event(s) do feel numb or restricted in your emotions?
  11. Do you have problems concentrating or focusing?
  12. Do you frequently feel “on guard” or “on the alert”?
  13. Do you have a frequent or exaggerated startle response?
  14. Do you have more than one illness at the same time?
  15. Do you have habits that are disturbing, costly, disrupt relationships, leave you feeling ill at times?
  16. Do you feel more disinterested in life than you would like?
  17. Do you feel worthless or guilty more often than not?
  18. Over the last several months has the use of alcohol or drugs resulted in your inability to fulfill responsibilities with family, school, or work?
  19. Over the last several months has the use of alcohol or drugs put you in a dangerous situations, for example, driving a car under the influence?
  20. Over the last several months has the use of alcohol or drugs put you in a dangerous situations, for example, driving a car under the influence?
  21. Over the last several months has the use of alcohol or drugs been causing problems for you or your loved ones?

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