Panic attacks aren't life-threatening, or a sign of serious illness, but they can feel very frightening and dreadful. If you've ever had a panic attack, you're likely all too familiar with the trembling, shortness of breath, and feeling of impending doom.
For individuals coping with panic attacks, identifying triggers that lead to intense episodes is helpful in managing the panic disorder.
The licensed psychologists, psychotherapists, and counselors at Wellness Road Psychology are dedicated to helping you live a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life. Millions of Americans live with panic disorder, and of those, nearly half experience episodes severe enough to significantly impact their daily lives.
You don't have to deal with panic disorder alone. The mental health professionals at Wellness Road Psychology can help you identify triggers, manage panic attacks, and reduce the impact on your daily life so that you feel and function better.
Understanding panic disorder
Panic attacks are sudden and overwhelming, and though they may only last a few minutes, they can seem like forever. Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by unexpected episodes of intense fear accompanied by a host of physical symptoms including:
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
- Chest pain
- Sense of impending doom
- Fear of losing control
The way each person experiences a panic attack varies from person to person. If you have repeat episodes of sudden panic attacks, it's wise to talk to a mental health professional.
Panic attack triggers
Often panic attacks seem to come out of nowhere with no identifiable trigger. However, often with some deep digging and guidance from a mental health professional, it’s possible to identify potential triggers so that you can get relief from panic attacks.
Some situations that may trigger a panic attack include:
- Relationship conflicts
- Financial stress
- Side effects from medication
- Sensitivities to certain substances, such as caffeine
- Traumatic events
- Social outings
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Elevated stress levels
- Excess worry
- Substance abuse
Keeping a journal where you detail your panic attacks can be helpful in identifying potential triggers. It’s helpful to make a note of where you were and what you were doing when a panic attack arose. This information is helpful in identifying patterns and making connections with situations, places, thoughts, people, and things that may be triggering your panic attacks.
Treatment for panic disorder
Identifying certain situations that may trigger a panic attack can help you manage panic disorder better. Even if you think your panic attacks have no identifiable cause, your provider can look for patterns and make associations that you may otherwise be unaware of.
Understanding circumstances that increase the likelihood of having a panic attack can help you feel more in control.
The goal of panic disorder treatment is to reduce the frequency and intensity of your panic attacks to restore an optimal level of functioning. The team at Wellness Road Psychology offers individualized treatment for panic disorder and will perform a comprehensive evaluation before discussing treatment options.
Your provider will work closely with you and use evidence-based approaches to reduce your symptoms. Therapies commonly used to manage panic disorder include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Exposure therapy
- Panic focused psychodynamic psychotherapy
In addition to psychotherapy, medications are sometimes used to help manage symptoms of panic disorder.
If you’re struggling with panic disorder we can help. Reach out to our compassionate team of mental health professionals by calling the office nearest you to schedule a visit, or booking your appointment online. We have offices in New York City, and Dobbs Ferry, New York. Take control of panic disorder and start feeling better today.