Panic Disorder Counselling
The majority of people experience panic attacks once or twice in their lifetime. According to the American Psychological Association, 1 out of 75 people might suffer from a panic disorder in their life. It is characterised by the continuous fear of having another panic attack when you experience one, and you always worry about the occurrence of more panic attacks.
Women experience this disorder more commonly than men. It begins when a person is under intense stress. However, the majority of people suffering from panic disorder get better by treatment. Therapy is beneficial as it helps you to recognize and alter the way you think about a panic-inducing situation. Discuss the situation with your primary care doctor if you are bothered by something or experienced similar to the symptoms of panic attacks.
What is Panic Disorder?
Panic disorder occurs when you undergo recurring unexpected panic attacks. It is a sudden reaction of intense fear or discomfort even when there is no real danger or apparent cause that results in severe physical reactions. This overwhelming terror can be very frightening. It can lead you to severe physical symptoms such as sweating, breathing difficulties, and racing heart. Panic disorder cannot be prevented. However, you can reduce the symptoms of it by changing your lifestyle, for example by avoid stimulants, such as alcohol and caffeine, as well as illicit drugs.
How to find a Panic Disorder Therapist
If you are looking to find the perfect Panic Disorder therapist it is crucial to make sure that they have the appropriate qualifications, knowledge and experience. At Expat Therapy 4U we only accept therapists who have full professional proficiency in English and are highly experienced in working with people from culturally diverse backgrounds. The clinicians we approve share our values and commitment to provide high quality therapy to the expatriate community in the private sector across Europe and online worldwide. We strongly believe that therapy changes lives, and being accredited ensures all our therapists are qualified to a high standard. You can find a Panic Disorder therapist who is insured to practice and accredited with a recognised membership body online here.
Symptoms of Panic Disorder
Signs of panic disorder start to emerge in teens and young adults under the age of 25. If you already experience around 4 panic attacks and you are living in a fear of having another panic, then you are suffering from panic disorder.
It produces intense fear, which begins very quickly and without any warning. It typically lasts for 10 to 20 minutes. However, in severe cases, symptoms may end for more than an hour. The symptoms often vary for everyone and the experience is also different.
Some of the common symptoms of Panic Disorder
Racing heart rate and palpitations are one of the significant leading symptoms at the time of panic attacks. Nausea, tightness or chest pain, shortness of breath, headache, dizziness, chills and sweating are some of the other symptoms of panic attacks.
There is no clear reason of the occurring these symptoms. This is because the signs are not compared to the danger level that are present in the environment. These attacks can significantly affect your functioning and are very difficult to predict.
Recalling a panic attack or fear of a panic attack can result in another attack.
Causes of Panic Disorder
Although the exact reasons of panic disorder or panic attacks are unknown, the tendency to have panic attacks runs in families. There also linked with major life transitions such as entering the workplace, graduating from university, getting married, or having a baby. In addition, intense stress such as the loss of a loved one, divorce, or the loss of an ideal job can trigger panic attacks.
Panic attacks can also occur due to physical attacks or some mental conditions. It is important to see a doctor to find out the possibilities if you are suffering from panic attacks.
The following factors can also play a major role in having panic disorders:
- Intense stress.
- Some changes in the function of the brain.
- Temperament that is most sensitive to negative emotions.
It has also been found that body fight and flight response to danger is also one of the reasons for panic disorders. However, it is unclear why panic attacks occur when there is no real danger present.
Recommended treatments for Panic Disorder
Therapy is one of the most effective methods of tackling panic disorder and panic attacks. It reduces the symptoms of the disorder.
It focuses on the behaviors and thinking patterns that triggering or sustain your panic attacks as well as assist you to look at your fears in a more realistic way. For instance, while driving if you have panic attack, then what could be the worst thing that can happen? You might take your car to the side of the road, or maybe you avoid crashing your car and get a heart attack. The experience of panic becomes less terrifying once you learn that nothing truly disastrous is going to happen.
Exposure therapy for Panic Disorder
It allows you to experience the physical sensations of panic in a controlled and safe environment. It gives you an opportunity to learn healthier ways of coping. In this therapy, you may be asked to hold your breath, shake your head from side to side, and even hyperventilate. These kinds of activities lead to different sensations that are exactly similar to the panic attacks, and you become less afraid of these sensations when exposed to them. In this way, you feel a significant sense of control over your panic.
Exposure therapy for Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia
In includes exposure to the events and situations that you avoid and that lead you to fear. In this therapy, you learn that you have complete control over your emotions and the situation is not as harmful as you think.
Medication for Panic attacks
Medicine are usually used to reduce or control some of the symptoms of panic disorder. However, they do not resolve or treat the problem. This treatment method is effective in severe cases but it should not be the only treatment method to rely on. It is most effective when combined with other treatments, such as change in lifestyle and therapy.
Antidepressants and Benzodiazepines are generally prescribed by doctors for the treatment of panic attacks.
This condition can be managed and overcome, even though the symptoms of this disorder can be quite frightening and overwhelming. Identifying and recognising symptoms is the first and crucial step to overcome this disorder so that it can be treated and your life can be improved.
Further Readings on Panic Disorder
About Expat Therapy 4U
Expat Therapy 4U is the result of 5 years’ experience running The International Psychology Clinic, the first private therapy service based in London specialized in multilingual and multicultural therapy.
The platform is run by Dr Martina Paglia. Dr Martina is a leading dual qualified Clinical and Counselling psychologist who helps patients by providing bespoke psychological services including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Counselling and Psychotherapy in London and online worldwide.
Our network comprises highly qualified and experienced private therapists who have made a positive difference in the lives of thousands of expats worldwide. All members of our community are highly experienced working in cross-cultural environments.
We are passionate about delivering first-class patient-centred, safe and effective care. If you would like to work with a warm, inclusive, caring and professional English-speaking therapist in Europe or online worldwide you have come to the right place.
If you are looking for the perfect expat Therapist in Europe or online worldwide, our team is dedicated to help you find your best match. We offer a client guarantee where clients can re-book with a different therapist if they are not satisfied with their first therapy session.
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