4 Questions to Ask Your Therapist About Panic Attacks
At Success Health System LLC, our trained professional will help you to find relief with panic attacks and work with you to deal with them when it happens! Call Us today for more information or simply schedule an appointment online! We have 3 convenient locations to serve you in West Plains MO, Columbia MO, and Olathe KS.
While panic attacks occur without any threat of danger, they can be alarming and frightening to experience and leave one feeling shaken and vulnerable after they end. As such, it is important to take panic attacks seriously even though they do not pose a danger to one’s life or immediate health. At Success Health System LLC, our board-certified psychiatrist and mental health professionals have an abundance of experience and expertise in providing compassionate and thorough care to individuals dealing with panic attacks. We would be pleased to help you find relief from panic attacks and coping strategies for how to deal with them when they happen!
What is a panic attack?
A panic attack is connected to your body’s instinctual fight, flight, or freeze response to danger. With that in mind, a panic attack is your body’s attempt to warn you that you could be in danger so that you can protect yourself. However, panic attacks typically occur without the threat of danger. In this way, a panic attack is your body doing the right thing at the wrong time.
Panic attacks often occur in response to major changes in one’s life, such as divorce or a new baby, or to traumatic or stressful events in one’s past, such as an auto accident, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse or assault, serious injuries, or other events that caused significant pain or distress to one’s mind or body. A panic attack disorder can also have its roots in one’s family history.
What does a panic attack feel like?
Since panic attacks typically occur without an actual threat of danger, the feeling of a panic attack can be incredibly startling and shocking. As such, many individuals who have experienced panic attacks liken the experience to losing control or having a heart attack, as they occur with a sudden rush of intense fear and discomfort. With that being said, panic attacks generally happen with at least four of the following sensations or thoughts:
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Chills or hot flashes
- Dizziness or light-headedness
- Excessive sweating
- Heart palpitations
- Fear of losing control, dying, or having a psychotic episode
- Feeling of unreality or being detached from one’s own body
- Feeling of choking
- Nausea, upset stomach, or vomiting
- Numbness or tingling
- Shaking or trembling
- Shortness of breath, the sensation of being smothered, or tightness in your throat
While the symptoms of a panic attack can feel as though you are experiencing a life-threatening medical emergency, it is important to remember that panic attacks are not life-threatening but are instead the presence of a false alarm going off in your body.
What is the difference between a panic attack and an anxiety attack?
The main difference between a panic attack and an anxiety attack is that panic attacks are unprovoked and unpredictable, while anxiety attacks occur in response to an external stressor and dissipate once the stressor goes away. Although a person can have panic attacks because of a past traumatic experience, they typically occur at random, such as during a business meeting, while sleeping, or when you are out grocery shopping.
How long can a panic attack last?
While a panic attack can feel frightening, it is important to remember that they are temporary. Most panic attacks last between two and ten minutes before gradually subsiding.
If you are dealing with panic attacks and would like help from a psychiatrist or mental health professional, we would be happy to help at Success Health System LLC! We invite you to schedule an appointment through our website or by giving us a call. We serve patients from Olathe KS, Columbia MO, West Plains MO, Harg MO, Prathers Ville MO, Midway MO, New Century KS, Olathe KS, Overland Park KS, Carson MO, Pomona MO, and Potters Ville MO.