Anxiety is a normal part of everyone’s life. However, if your excessive worry and fear completely immobilize you on a frequent basis, then you may be suffering from a panic disorder. At 2nd Chance Treatment Center in Phoenix, Glendale, and Gilbert, Arizona, the mental health specialists take a personalized approach to care and offer individualized treatment plans for managing your panic disorder so you can live a full and happy life. Call the office or request an appointment online today.
What is panic disorder?
Panic disorder is a condition in which you have repeated unexpected feelings of fear and worry that last several minutes. This feeling of prolonged fear is a panic attack.
Panic attacks can occur at any time. If you suffer from a panic disorder, you may always worry about the next attack, which may interfere with your daily life and responsibilities.
Doctors are still researching the cause of panic disorder, but certain factors may increase your risk of developing the disorder, such as genetics, stress, or changes in brain structure. You may also be at risk of a panic disorder if you have a temperament that leans toward more negative emotions, such as anger, frustration, or annoyance.
What are panic disorder symptoms?
Panic disorder symptoms can vary in type and severity. Common symptoms include:
- Repeated panic attacks
- Feeling an impending doom during your panic attack
- Constant worry about your next panic attack
- Avoidance of places where you previously had a panic attack
Your panic disorder may also cause physical symptoms, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or upset stomach.
How is panic disorder diagnosed?
The team at 2nd Chance Treatment Center conducts a comprehensive evaluation when you come to the office with symptoms indicative of a panic disorder. During your evaluation, the team reviews your medical and psychiatric history, as well as your symptoms.
To be diagnosed with a panic disorder, you must meet specific criteria, including:
- Frequent, unexpected panic attacks
- Ongoing worry about your next panic attack
- Panic attacks aren’t caused by an underlying medical condition
Blood work and an evaluation by your primary care physician are also recommended to rule out a medical cause for your panic attacks.
How is panic disorder treated?
The mental health experts at 2nd Chance Treatment Center develop personalized treatment plans to help you manage your panic disorder based on the severity of your symptoms. Psychotherapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can help you understand the underlying cause of your panic disorder and help you develop strategies to maintain control over your worry and fear.
Medications such as anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants may also be included as part of your treatment plan. Though effective, antidepressants can take time to work, which is why CBT is paramount to managing your panic disorder.
Don’t let your panic disorder disrupt your life. For comprehensive and compassionate care, call 2nd Chance Treatment Center or book online today.