Panic attacks involve episodes of severe terror that leave you exhausted and discouraged. Panic disorder comprises frequent panic attacks that can have a devastating effect on both you and your loved ones. Our providers, at Ohio Psychiatric Services, provide safe, effective treatment for panic attacks and panic disorder. The team can help with your debilitating symptoms so you can participate fully in your work and social life. To schedule a consultation with a team member, call the office in Lancaster, Ohio, or book an appointment online today.
What is panic disorder?
Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by repeated episodes of intense fear known as a panic attack. Many people experience a panic attack at some point in their lives. But when you have panic disorder, frequent panic attacks occur suddenly, usually without an apparent cause.
If you have panic disorder, you may feel ashamed, exhausted, and debilitated. Your symptoms may prevent you from performing daily tasks, participating in social activities, and even leaving the house. Panic disorder can have a devastating effect on your work, personal life, and physical health.
What are the symptoms of panic disorder?
A panic attack often occurs without warning, causing intense terror and an extreme sense of lack of control. Physical symptoms can accompany a panic attack. These may include:
- Rapid heart rate
- Trembling or shaking
- Hot flashes
- Abdominal cramping
- Dizziness or faintness
Panic attacks often involve chest pain and shortness of breath. For this reason, many patients mistake a panic attack for a heart attack. However, most panic attacks subside within 30 minutes.
Even a short panic attack can feel terrifying. When you have panic disorder, you may develop intense fear about when you will have another attack and avoid situations because you worry about having one. Severe cases of panic disorder can lead to a condition called agoraphobia, an extreme fear of being out in public.
What causes panic disorder?
Researchers do not yet understand why panic attacks occur without the presence of actual danger. Some factors that increase your risk of panic attacks include:
- Stressful life events
- Certain personality characteristics
- Brain chemistry
Some research indicates that the nervous system of patients with panic disorder may interpret harmless bodily sensations as dangerous threats.
How is panic disorder treated?
The team at Ohio Psychiatric Services has extensive experience designing personalized care plans to address panic disorder. Your plan may include counseling and the use of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This evidence-based technique helps you retrain your thinking and develop strategies to recognize that situations do not actually present a threat of danger.
Medications, including antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, can help control your panic symptoms. The providers at Ohio Psychiatric Services partner with you to find the right medication and the proper dosage for your individual needs.
You do not have to suffer through constant, debilitating panic attacks. To schedule an evaluation, call Ohio Psychiatric Services, or book an appointment online today.