Panic attacks are emotionally debilitating incidents that can happen anywhere and at any time. Some are aware of the triggers but many never learn what causes them to experience this dreadful condition. They simply cope with it when it happens. The unpleasant feeling typically lasts for minutes at a time and then it subsides on its own. However, it can recur just as quickly, waves of panic in succession leaving a person exhausted and utterly distraught. The lack of any discernible cause compounds the problem. Patients are physically okay yet psychologically devastated and they don’t know how to get well.
The Effects of Panic Attacks
Individuals experiencing panic attacks can be so traumatized that they start developing fears that exacerbate the situation. Since the incidents can happen without warning, they are in constant state of dread about the next time it might appear. They worry that it might come up while they are out in public, possibly leading into some embarrassing situations. This thought may cause them to retreat inwardly. They will prefer to stay in places where they feel comfortable like their home and refuse to go out unless it was absolutely necessary. They may begin to withdraw from friends thinking that nobody understands them, not even themselves.
Those who suffer from panic attacks are likely to feel like they are all alone in a fight against an invisible shadow. Yet the truth is that there are more than 4 million Americans suffering from different forms of panic attack. This represents a significant portion of the adult population. The numbers may even be a lot higher as this condition tends to be grossly under-reported.
The good news is that people don’t have to live this way all their life. There are a number of treatment options available and most of them can produce tangible results within a short time span. Cognitive/behavioral therapy is a particularly effective treatment for panic attacks and agoraphobia. It is often described as a how-to therapy as it focuses on the present moment and the ways to get rid of the anxiety.
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