Panic Disorder Treatment Centers
Many suffer from panic attacks that are identified as attacks of overpowering fear that suddenly occur. These attacks usually last for a few minutes and involve the inevitable fear of losing control or disaster even if there is no clear reason. Due to the attacks being spontaneous, individuals who suffer from panic disorder become instilled with fear as they always anticipate the occurrence of the next attack.
Every year 6 million adults experience panic disorders, which usually develop during the early childhood years. Unlike men, women are twice as susceptible to experiencing panic disorders. However, suffering from panic attack does not mean that someone also has a panic disorder. It is very common for people to experience one attack and they never experience it again.
Panic disorder often takes place without any specific reason and without any warning. The panic attacks occur suddenly and can happen frequently. Though there are no obvious reasons and no logical explanations, panic attacks are characterized with having fear an impending disaster. Unlike other mental disorders, panic attacks are identified through physical symptoms, which can resemble heart attack symptoms. In general, panic attacks are considered as a disorder which significantly affects an individual’s lifestyle, relationships, work, and home.
An attack is not predictable and may happen any time. If identified that the attack was associated with a particular location, then it is advised that the patient avoid that location. There are people who fear that another attack may happen any time. Usually the individual will display symptoms such as those of agoraphobia, which is a fear of open spaces. This fear pushes them to stay inside their home most of the time in fear of the anticipation of a panic attack. This disorder can be treated, which when done during the early stages, has a much higher chance of succeeding.
What are the causes?
There is no identified cause yet of the panic disorder. However, it is suspected that such issue is hereditary as it is manifested in many families. Experts consider that the specific area of the brain that controls fear is significantly involved. There are several risk factors related to stimulating that portion of the brain that include chronic stress, major changes in life, currently undergoing a traumatic stress, history of trauma specifically during childhood days, death of a loved one or serious illness, and history of panic attacks or panic disorder in the family.
What are the symptoms?
Panic attacks are the main symptoms of a panic disorder. The other symptoms include avoidance of locations where attacks have previously occurred, illogically sensing doom or impending danger, losing self-control when an attack happens, suffering from constant anxiety that an attack may happen again, and repeated panic attacks that happen suddenly and frequently which are characterized as feelings of fear that last for about 5 to 10 minutes.
Panic Disorder Treatment
Of all the anxiety disorders, panic disorder is the most treatable. However, it may take a long time before it is detected because the symptoms may mirror the symptoms of other disorders or diseases. Around 50% of patients with panic disorder are also diagnosed as having depression. Treatment centers provide an initial assessment that is designed particularly to identify and treat underlying morbidity that coexists.
When patients are admitted in a health care facility, they undergo a detailed and comprehensive assessment. A professional staff member, who is an expert in the field, conducts the assessment. They look for conditions that occur while the panic attacks take place. Then a treatment plan is designed and later implemented to reduce the patient’s risk of suffering from attacks again.
Psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy, antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication, or the combination of both are involved in the treatments. Studies have shown that the cognitive behavioral therapy is successful in helping many patients become free of symptoms for a long period of time. Individual psychotherapy as well as group psychotherapy are also implemented.
As part of the therapy, patients are encouraged to have positive changes in their lifestyle. These can include equine therapy, starting an exercise program, meditation, yoga, art therapy, limiting alcohol and caffeine, and following a healthy diet. Depending on the patient’s situation, these elements of the therapy are balanced to ensure success of the treatment. This means that experts suggest the inclusion of certain lifestyle changes to help the patient cope with their situation and be able to stay away from panic attacks and the disorder.