What is a Panic Attack?

A panic attack is a scary and debilitating condition that makes any normal functioning improbable. Many people suffering from its devastating symptoms do not receive the treatment they often need due to various reasons. They are often left untreated or misdiagnosed, as there are many symptoms that can present themselves similarly, and at different times. 

panic disorder recovery

As people have different severity levels of anxiety and frequency of panic attacks, symptoms will not always be the same and can present themselves in a way to classify it as another disorder that it is not, or may also be a contributing factor. Therefore, treatment program options for people suffering from mental conditions such as panic attack disorders will vary.   

Luckily, their programs can help people who suffer from anxiety disorders such as panic attacks, such as a comprehensive mental health treatment plan coupled with panic disorder recovery therapy known as dual diagnosis treatment. With these co-occurring disorders like panic attacks and other mental health disorders, you must treat both conditions simultaneously to recover fully.

A panic disorder is characterized by extreme psychological and physiological symptoms of anxiety, which can become overwhelming and terrifying. Some people attempt to escape the symptoms by engaging in risky behaviors by believing that they can reduce their panic. This can quickly lead to full-blown panic attacks or exacerbation of pre-existing or underlying conditions. Therefore, without a comprehensive treatment plan, the consequences could be disastrous.

If you or a loved one has been self-medicating to deal with a panic disorder, you must stop. If you can’t quit on your own, a panic disorder treatment program can help overcome each condition. 

Co-occurring Mental Illness and Panic Disorders

Those suffering from mental illness and a panic disorder must understand that recovery won’t be possible unless both conditions are treated simultaneously. If the underlying causes of mental illness such as anxiety are not addressed, recovery will be difficult to achieve.

Luckily, comprehensive treatment plans for co-occurring disorders can be highly effective. They are designed and conducted by mental health specialists with extensive knowledge in treatment.

Panic Disorder Symptoms

A panic attack is the sudden rush of intense discomfort or fear that reaches a peak very quickly and includes at least four symptoms, which include:

  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Chest pain 
  • Chills
  • Derealization
  • Dizziness
  • Fear of dying
  • Fear of losing control 
  • Feelings of choking
  • Hot flashes
  • Nausea  
  • Paresthesia
  • Shortness of breath   
  • Sweating
  • Trembling 

Some people will experience limited-symptom panic attacks, which mimic full-blown panic attacks but have fewer than four symptoms.

What is a Panic Attack?

Although anxiety is usually followed by physical symptoms like a racing heart or stomach knot, the intensity and duration differentiate a panic attack from other anxiety symptoms. Panic attacks usually reach their peak level of intensity within 10 minutes and then subsides. The intensity of these symptoms and does tend to imitate other serious diseases. Examples are thyroid problems, heart disease, breathing disorders, and other illnesses. People with panic disorder often make emergency room visits, convinced there is a life-threatening issue.

Panic attacks can happen suddenly during an anxious or calm state. Although panic attacks are a panic disorder, it isn’t uncommon for people to experience panic attacks with other psychological disorders. Panic attacks are very frightening and are extremely uncomfortable. As a result, those who undergo repeated panic attacks are often worried about having another attack. They can make lifestyle changes to avoid having panic attacks by avoiding certain places or avoiding exercise to keep their heart rate low.

Types of Panic Disorders

Panic disorders are classified into six different types, which include:

Panic Disorder

Panic and anxiety are the two principal components of panic disorder. Even without any actual danger, people who are affected by panic disorder will experience physical reactions like nausea, shaking, and heavy breathing, as if a threat becomes imminent. They might also suffer from constant worry about when they’ll have another panic attack.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Those who are disturbed by negative things, even though there’s little chance they’re in danger, might have a generalized anxiety disorder. Symptoms like feeling worried all the time without any reason or anxiety so abnormal they become an obstruction to daily routines and prevent the ability to unwind.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Another type of panic or anxiety disorder is OCD. Symptoms include unwanted thoughts and behaviors that overwhelm one’s self-control. For example, the mind continuously worries if you’ve turned off the stove or iron before leaving the house. Or maybe the compulsion’s pressure to excessively copy certain routines like flicking on a light switch.

Phobias

Fear of specific activities, objects, and scenarios to an excessive degree is a phobia. The fear is out of balance even if the things you fear aren’t dangerous. Examples include fear of flying, heights, snakes, and insects. Those with phobias usually severely avoid things that scare them, as the confrontation will worsen their condition.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety and social phobia disorder are also defined by the intense fear of acquiring a bad reputation. This condition makes people very shy and causes them to steer clear of social interactions due to the fear of being embarrassed in public—a prime example of social phobia is stage fright.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Traumatic events like going to war or experiencing death events could cause people to feel frightened, sad, and detached from others. With PTSD, such negative effects endure long periods and cause hypervigilance and a failure to live normally.

How Panic Disorders Develop

There are many factors that are known to contribute to the development of a panic attack disorder. Certain things could reduce someone’s ability to cope with anxious feelings, which might ultimately cause a panic attack. Following the first panic attack, some will have chronic panic attack disorder while others won’t. At this point, a combination of genetic predisposition and individual thought processes will determine if a panic attack disorder will develop or not. 

Mental Health

Treatment for Panic Disorders 

As mentioned before, the severity level of anxiety and frequency of panic attacks are different for every person. Therefore, one treatment may work best for someone, while it isn’t best for another. That’s why there are custom panic disorder recovery treatment plans created for each person, as everyone’s symptoms and needs are unique. At Montare Behavioral Health, we introduce an innovative and dynamic therapy method to deliver sustainable results for individuals with mental conditions, including types of anxiety and panic disorders. 

Some panic disorder treatment plans include:

The customized treatment program will recognize the uniqueness and individuality of life challenges to ensure the best outcome.

Precise Diagnosis

After the intake process, patients will receive a precise and comprehensive diagnosis. The treatment staff’s primary evaluation usually includes neuropsychological testing to ensure your condition is correctly defined.

Proper Medications

Panic disorders are usually treated with antidepressants or other types of anti-anxiety medications. If the therapist prescribes medication, usage must be carefully monitored and cannot conflict with your mental health treatment program. Medication for panic disorder is used as a supplement to treatment, not a replacement. 

The best treatment plans for anxiety disorders continue to approach mental health issues from multiple angles to guarantee maximum healing. This includes holistic methods to get to the root of the issue quicker, and most importantly, being able to discover any underlying issues such as chronic conditions or other co-occurring mental illness such as depression, that may be the cause of triggering a person’s panic attacks. 

Remember, similarly with treatment protocols, medications are designed to be very specific to the user. While there are side effects that can occur as a result on top of all the other pre-existing ones, the doctor will know what medication is right for you based on an extensive examination of your medical history.

Prescription Medications and Panic Disorders

Medications like opiates and benzodiazepines commonly used to treat anxiety disorders are manufactured and prescribed because of their ability to slow or suppress anxiety symptoms from progressing or developing further. 

While medications prescribed for individuals with panic disorders can reduce the negative symptoms, they can also be easily abused and be counter-effective. Opioids are very strong medications, and if not careful, when combined with other treatments, can cause someone to become very dependent on them, as they are usually very effective at what they intend to do. 

Get Help Today

If you or a loved one suffers from a mental illness such as panic disorder, we can help. Here at Montare Behavioral Health, our treatment staff has the knowledge and experience to help with mental health and panic disorder recovery levels. Do not hesitate any longer; contact us today and allow our team to answer all questions you have!