Panic Disorder Treatment: Moving Beyond a Life of Panic Attacks
Guest Contribution by Jennifer Birch
Do you sometimes get so anxious and feel that you’re heading towards impending doom? You might be panicking. But if it happens when you’re not in a life-threatening situation, you may be one of the 40 million adults in the US who have a panic disorder. Anxiety and panic disorders affect 18.1% of the American population every year and in a city as large as Houston panic disorder is common. The good news is that there are effective panic disorder treatments.
Understanding Panic Disorder
A panic attack is usually experienced as an abrupt and intense period of fear and anxiety. Someone having an attack may experience cold sweats, numbness, shortness of breath, and other signs of panic. Someone with this disorder can panic over something insignificant, such as walking near a building undergoing construction work; or something vague, such as experiencing negative thoughts. Panic attacks can also come from paranoia.
However, not a lot of people that have anxiety disorders know they are suffering from the condition. And what’s worse is that not many seek professional panic disorder treatment.
While worrying and panicking are natural aspects of our fight-or-flight system, panicking and worrying every time can be nerve-wracking. Attacks may even lead to emotional outbursts, bad decisions, and even depression. Panic disorders can be debilitating especially when working or studying because our psychological well-being is the foundation for business and/or learning success. Because panic hinders the mind’s ability to make sober and objective decisions, it can lead to professional or academic mishaps.
Albeit there is no single way to treat the condition, there are various approaches that you can take.
Panic Disorder Treatments
First off, you have to minimize stress. Researchers have discovered that workplace anxiety can lead to emotional exhaustion. Minimizing your emotional exhaustion can make you less prone to panic attacks. Stress is a part of life, but it should be kept at manageable levels through improving your work-life balance.
Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT is known to be an effective panic disorder treatment. CBT has proven effective for a range of other issues such as depression, anxiety orders, and substance abuse. This treatment usually involves thought restructuring, relaxation training, and exposure therapy. It is based on the idea that the best way to approach panic disorders is to train the patient to deal with the emotion, rather than avoid it.
You can help manage anxiety by having a regular routine and turning off electronics. Having a regular routine, especially a bedtime routine, can ease your mind because it helps breed familiarity. This predictable flow of activities minimizes overthinking and also acts as a ‘home button’ every time something unexpected and panic-inducing comes up. For example, if you have an unexpected visitor at your house and it makes you panic, just do your usual routine and let the visitor adapt.
This is also the case with electronic gadgets such as mobile phones. These devices are sources of endless content, emotions, and interactions, most of which do not really have a bearing on your life. Instead of fretting over your life choices after seeing your high school classmate enjoying a vacation in Europe, just turn off your phone and mind your own business.
Seek Help From a Therapist
Of course, the best way to deal with a panic disorder is to get professional help. Therapy and third-party counseling are invaluable, and the experts can provide a tailored program specifically for your individual case. Seeking help is always the first step. At Eddins Counseling Group we have several therapists that specialize in treating anxiety and panic attacks. Call us at 832-559-2622 or book an appointment online.
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