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Panic Disorder and Panic Attacks
Anxiety Disorders are among the most common type of mental health issue in Canada, and one in every ten people are suffering from one of the disorders. Anxiety Disorders include Phobias, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Panic Disorder.
A Panic Disorder often appears in one’s late teens or early adulthood, and can be brought on by a number of factors. One might experience Panic Disorder after a difficult life transition, such as a move or loss of a loved one. Panic Disorder can also occur when an individual has grown up in an environment that causes them to feel on edge, anxious, uncertain about the future, and where their nervous system is on high alert (such as an abusive, argumentative, or unstable family situation).
Panic Disorder is characterized by Panic Attacks, which are “a sudden surge of fear that comes without warning and without any obvious reason.”1 Panic Attacks subside after a few minutes, but the brief time in which they occur can feel like hours.
Symptoms of a Panic Attack can include:
- racing heartbeat
- difficulty breathing
- terror that is almost paralyzing
- dizziness, lightheadedness or nausea
- trembling, sweating, shaking
- choking, chest pains
- hot flashes, or sudden chills
- tingling in fingers or toes
- fear that you’re going to go crazy or are about to die1
A Panic Attack can be terrifying, as the individual feels a complete loss of control over their mind and body. Over time, suffering from Panic Attacks can lead to social withdrawal and avoidance of certain people, situations, or objects, for fear of triggering an attack. Experiencing occasional Panic Attacks is common, but if you are suffering from repeated attacks, coupled with a fear of future attacks, you will need help in overcoming this issue. A Clinical Therapist at Dalton Associates will be able to assess and recommend treatment for your specific symptoms. A combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Relaxation Techniques is often beneficial for those suffering from Panic Disorder. Contact us at 1.888.245.5516 to connect with the support you need.
1. American Psychological Association (2012). Panic Disorder. Retrieved from: http://www.apa.org/topics/anxiety/panic-disorder.aspx?item=2#
2. Canadian Mental Health Association (2012). Understanding Mental Illness: Anxiety Disorders. Retrieved from: http://www.cmha.ca/mental-health/understanding-mental-illness/anxiety-disorders/
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