The fear you feel during a panic attack is real. And anyone who says it isn’t hasn’t been in your shoes.
But the danger that the fear represents isn’t real. Panic attacks don’t cause death, insanity, and very rarely fainting. So when you respond to a panic attack the way you might respond to real danger – for example by fleeing or avoiding situations or places – you only feel good for a little while. Running away or avoiding doesn’t cure panic disorder. It doesn’t solve the problem of panic.
Instead, you start to condition yourself into thinking “well, I got out of that, I’m safe.” Sadly, you only feel safe for a little while. Your efforts to avoid or rely on rituals to feel better actually lead to more symptoms of panic and make things worse. Panic attacks keep coming.
And that’s the trick of panic. That’s the way it invades and tries to dominate a person’s life. Your world gets smaller, as the fear remains or gets bigger.
Maybe a little part of you already knows this. Still it’s hard to break the panic cycle without support. As of now, you are not alone.
If panic attacks and the fear of them has impacted your life, know that you are not alone. Some basic facts:
- For one out of 75 people, panic and anxiety disorders are a serious condition.
- It usually appears during teen years or early adulthood, often showing up with stressful and major life transitions, even good ones like leaving home, graduating from college, getting married, having a first child, and so on.
- All ethnic groups are vulnerable to panic disorder.
- Women are twice as likely to get the disorder as men.There is also some evidence for a genetic predisposition; if a family member has suffered from panic disorder, you have an increased risk of suffering from it yourself, especially during a time in your life that is particularly stressful.
- And if you’ve suffered some real trauma in your life that caused great fear or loss, or perhaps were taught the world is a dangerous place, then you might be predisposed to having panic attacks.
But you don’t have to be a statistic. You can break the panic cycle and never be tricked again by panic.
Therapy for Anxiety Attacks Will Let You Feel Good Again
Studies show that persons with panic disorders can and do live normal, satisfying lives. But treatment is key.
I work with people to solve the panic problem by counseling them new ways to watch and think clearly and accurately about what is happening in their body, mind and feelings. With support and practice, my clients learn the best ways to think and act whenever panic symptoms arise.
Here are some of the methods that I use to help you get past panic attacks:
- Education about what panic attacks are and how they happen
- Breathing and self-calming techniques to help you feel better faster (especially helpful in early part of your treatment)
- Therapy techniques designed to change your fear by helping you see that you are safe and sound, even when or if panic symptoms arise
- Gradual exposure, at your pace, to the panicky feelings and the situations that you might be avoiding.
At my office, we work on this at your pace, respectfully and with support.
With the right support, guidance, and by making the right changes, you can learn to overcome fearful panic attacks. Make the decision to get back to feeling good again. Contact me at (914) 768-3740, or email me here.