Panic Attacks

When having a panic attack you are overcome with a sudden feeling of intense fear. Some symptoms you may have during a panic attack are shortness of breath, dizziness, shakiness, sweating, chest pain, fear you are dying or fear you are going crazy. Panic attacks often appear to have no trigger, appear suddenly and include a strong urge to escape and reach safety. There is often an ongoing anxiety in panic disorder that another panic attack will occur. This may result in avoiding certain situations in an effort to avoid another panic attack.

Research shows that two years after receiving Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, most people remain panic free. In contrast, individuals who receive prescription medication for panic attacks often experience a recurrence of panic attacks when medication is discontinued.

Panic attacks are very treatable. CBT teaches the skills necessary to stop panic attacks. Treatment includes education about the physical symptoms of anxiety and panic, relaxation techniques, learning to decrease the fear of body sensations and exploration of thoughts and images that may contribute to anxiety and panic.