What is Panic Disorder?
A panic attack is an intense fear reaction (also called the fight of flight response) that is not in line with the true danger of the situation (it is a false alarm). The intense fear response is a natural way to react when one is exposed to extreme danger.
Panic Attacks can include several of the following symptoms:
- Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
- Trembling or shaking
- Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
- Feeling of choking
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Nausea or abdominal distress
- Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
- Chills or heat sensations
- Paresthesias (numbness or tingling sensations)
- Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
- Fear of losing control or going crazy
- Fear of dying
For some people, the fear of having panic attacks can lead to panic disorder. That is, the intense fear and worry about having a panic attack can lead to changes in one’s lifestyle. For some people, worry about the return of panic often leads to the avoidance of situations in which help may not be available or from which escape is difficult. People with panic disorder often feel like they are having a heart attack or stroke, losing their mind, or on the verge of death.
How Common is Panic Disorder?
Panic Disorder is a very common. Panic disorder affects between 3 and 6 million Americans. It is twice as common in women as in men. It can appear at any age, but most often it begins in young adults. Not everyone who experiences panic attacks will develop panic disorder. Many people have one attack but never have another. For those who do have panic disorder, though, it’s important to seek treatment. Untreated Panic disorder can become very disabling.
Is There Panic Disorder Treatment?
Effective panic disorder treatments are available to those who are suffering from this debilitating disorder. One of these interventions is cognitive behavior therapy for Panic Disorder. This Panic Disorder treatment focuses on changing the patient’s anxiety-provoking beliefs related to bodily sensations and changing the way their body reacts. Panic Disorder treatment at the Anxiety Treatment Clinic usually consists of exposure to feared stimuli (e.g., the bodily sensations) and revisiting thoughts about those fears (e.g., what are the chances that this is a heart attack when I have had it a 100 times and my doctor says that I am okay). This treatment is difficult in that the person has to face his or her fears, but it is effective with almost 80% of people no longer qualifying for Panic Disorder following treatment (see below for many articles on the effectiveness of the treatment we use). Our goal is to make the treatment work as quickly as possible, so that people can live their life to the fullest as quickly as possible. All of our therapists are extensively trained and continuously educated. We break the mold of traditional therapy by getting out of the office and into the situations that cause anxiety. We do all of this in a caring manner with high expectations for change.
For more information on Panic Disorder treatment in the South Florida areas of Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and West Palm Beach, please
- Call or text us at: 754-444-2694
- email us at Anxietytreatmentclinic@gmail.com
- or Fill out this form
Articles on the Effective Panic Disorder Treatments We Use
- McHugh, R. K., Otto, M. W., Barlow, D. H., Gorman, J. M., Shear, M. K., & Woods, S. W. (2007). Cost-efficacy of individual and combined treatments for panic disorder. The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 68(7), 1038–1044.
- McHugh, R. K., Smits, J. A. J., & Otto, M. W. (2009). Empirically Supported Treatments for Panic Disorder. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 32(3), 593–610. doi:10.1016/j.psc.2009.05.005
- Roy-Byrne, P. P., Craske, M. G., & Stein, M. B. (16). Panic disorder. The Lancet, 368(9540), 1023–1032. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(06)69418-X
- Sánchez-Meca, J., Rosa-Alcázar, A. I., Marín-Martínez, F., & Gómez-Conesa, A. (2010). Psychological treatment of panic disorder with or without agoraphobia: A meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 30(1), 37–50.
- Teachman, B. A, Marker, C. D., & Clerkin, E. M. (2010). Catastrophic misinterpretations as a predictor of symptom change during treatment for panic disorder. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78(6), 964–975.
- Teachman, B. A., Marker, C. D., & Smith-Janik, S. B. (2008). Automatic associations and panic disorder: Trajectories of change over the course of treatment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76(6), 988–1002. doi:10.1037/a0013113