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Three locations serving Los Angeles, San Diego and The South Bay!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Best Panic Attack Treatment

by Dr. Lindsay Kramer, psychotherapist and staff writer at The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles
            Have you experienced feelings of intense fear and apprehension that seem to occur out of nowhere?  Have you been completely normal one minute and the next moment your heart was racing, you are short of breath, and your sense of terror has skyrocketed?  If any of this sounds familiar, you may have experienced a panic attack.  
            Panic attacks, or panic disorder (the condition of having repeated attacks) is not all that uncommon.  Research states that approximately 6 million people in the United States are affected by this disorder.  The most defining characteristic of a panic attack is a sudden onset of terror that is disproportional or unrelated to one’s current situation or circumstance.  Physical symptoms that may occur include sweating, heart palpitations, weakness, dizziness, hot or cold chills, chest and stomach pain, breathing difficulties, and tingly or numb hands.  “I thought I was having a heart attack!” is commonly heard after one experiences a panic attack.  These attacks can occur anytime, anywhere—on a date, walking to the grocery store, or even during sleep.  Though they are frequently short-lasting (usually ten minutes or less), panic attacks can take a huge toll on one’s life.  The unpredictability factor leaves people concerned with when the next attack will transpire, which in turn can severely interfere with daily functioning.  Needless to say, panic disorder can be emotionally debilitating … unless it is treated properly and effectively.

 Treatment For Panic Attacks

           How does one get treatment for panic attacks?  What is the best treatment out there and where does one begin the process of seeking help?  If you are reading this article, you are already headed in the right direction toward recovery and relief.

            Some people in the medical field believe that medication can be helpful in treating panic attacks, particularly anti-anxiety medications (i.e. Xanax or Ativan).  However, the underlying truth to using medication to treat panic disorder is congruent to that of a band-aid metaphor, but a band-aid that hurts in the long run.  These medications, though mind-numbing, are highly addictive.  They can also encourage more anxiety by reinforcing a desire to escape.  In fact, some studies have shown that using these medications can actually produce anxiety symptoms and panic attacks. 

            So how do you “heal” panic disorder?  The key is CBT!  Cognitive-Behavioral psychotherapy has been proven scientifically effective in not only the prevention of panic disorder but also in curing the anxiety attacks, so they eventually vanish.  At The April Center, we provide Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy or CBT to assist people in learning how to deal with the panic symptoms using various specialized techniques, such as zen meditation and exposure with response prevention.  Staff therapists focus on teaching people different methods of thinking, behaving, and reacting to situations which may previously have caused heightened fear or arousal.  Working collaboratively in a safe and nurturing environment, the therapist can help the person find new and healthy ways of altering the negative thought patterns that lead to feelings of anxiety or panic.

            So, if you or someone you know is suffering from panic attacks or panic disorder, the best panic attack treatment is cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy.  So stop suffering and get started!  You can break free!

All the best,

from The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles

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The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles and The South Bay

The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management is committed to helping you remove the destructive barriers of anxiety, so that you may lead a calmer, healthier, happier life.

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