Read through the Quick Assessment at the right. As you do, how many are you experiencing now, or have in the recent past? If you have experienced four or more of these symptoms during a relatively brief time (less than 10 minutes), you may have had a panic attack. If such attacks recur, especially if accompanied by a dread of situations, you may be suffering from a panic disorder. These feelings can trigger another episode of panic as well.
Panic is an extremely disruptive form of anxiety. Many individuals suffer from “panic attacks” which are relatively brief episodes of compressed anxiety. They seem to arise out of nowhere at times and at others may be linked to a particular circumstance or “trigger” that leads to the experience. Many individuals suffer panic while flying, driving, riding an elevator, attending a business meeting, or any other circumstances where full control is not possible. Feeling the inability to escape the situation can also lead to panic. Others may feel panic seems to come and go for no identifiable reason whatsoever.
When left untreated, panic attacks can get worse over time and can substantially limit positive life experiences. As with other forms of anxiety, panic is often treated with therapy. At times medication may be beneficial to help “take the edge off” so new skills can be learned. As with other challenges, it is important to address core issues that likely underlie anxiety and panic. Our staff can assist with the underlying issues, as well as making changes so you can enjoy more of your life. If medication is needed, we can help with that as well.
- Rapid heartbeat
- Nausea, stomach cramps
- Shortness or breath
- Feeling of smothering
- Chest pain
- Feelings of disconnection or unreality
- Hot or cold flashes
- Fear of dying, losing control or going crazy
- Trembling or shaking
- Feeling of choking
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Feeling detached from oneself (depersonalization)