You start sweating, your mind is racing out of control, your hands get clammy, you feel like you can’t breathe, and your heart is pumping so fast you think it’s going to explode. You look around and wonder if other people can tell that you are having a panic attack. You start worrying that you will never stop being anxious and that your panic attacks will keep happening forever. You might have even thought about whether there could be something really wrong with your health. You have tried to make yourself relax and tried to stop having panic attacks but you just don’t know how. Maybe you’re not even sure if what you’ve experienced is a panic attack.

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What are Panic Attacks?

Many people who suffer from anxiety have had the terrifying experience of having a panic attack. A panic attack feels like a sudden wave of fear, extreme discomfort, or intense anxiety that can last minutes or even hours. A panic attack has a beginning, an end, with a horrible peak and surge in the middle. When you experience a panic attack you might feel a few of these symptoms below all at once:

  • Heart palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
  • Sweating suddenly
  • Feeling shaky or having tremors
  • Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing,  or a sensation of being smothered
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Nausea, diarrhea, or major stomach distress
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
  • Getting chills or flashes of heat
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (feeling detached from yourself)
  • Having an intense fear of losing control, going crazy, or dying

Panic attacks can feel so overwhelming to some people that they end up avoiding doing activities or going to places that they associate their panic attacks with. For example, a person that experiences a panic attack while driving on the highway becomes so worried about it happening again that they end up avoiding driving on highways completely. Another example can be a teen that experiences a panic attack at school while taking a test and starts calling out sick and missing school for fear of having another panic attack. Have you ever avoided going to a place or doing something because you were afraid of having another panic attack?

Learn How to Break the Panic Attack Cycle

The good news is that panic attacks can be treated. I specialize in using a research and evidence based therapy called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It is has been scientifically proven to be highly effective in treating panic attacks. In counseling I will teach you practical techniques to stop engaging in the negative and irrational thinking patterns that cause your panic attacks. I will give you the tools you need so that you can learn how to be more calm and get your body to a relax before a panic attack even starts. Imagine feeling like you are in control of your life again, that your mind is at ease, and you are no longer dreading the next panic attack. Please contact me to schedule an appointment today to learn the techniques that will help you overcome your panic attacks.

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