Panic

You knew your anxiety was increasing, but then one day things go over the top…and you have your first panic attack. Your heart is racing and beating out of your chest, it is hard to breathe, and you’re sweating and wanting to flee. You’re scared you are having a heart attack or are afraid you’ll somehow lose control and act in an irrational or embarrassing way. You want to either go to the ER or flee the situation immediately.

Eventually the episode comes to and end, but the experience has been so awful that you start to live in fear that it will happen again. You live either with panic attacks or fear of having another one, or both.

You’re thinking, Hmm, the last one of these happened at the grocery store, so I’d better avoid going there! Or, I had an attack while, driving, so I’d better stay close to home! You avoid settings that remind you of previous panic attacks, or come to rely on the presence of others, having your cell phone with you, or medication in your pocket to help you remain calm when you’re out and about.

The problem is, you find that these strategies don’t work and are holding you back. You wish you could be free of them. Meanwhile, while you’re putting in all this effort, you realize that your panic attacks are not only continuing but increasing in frequency. Despite all the work you’re doing, your world keeps getting smaller, your sense of independence is going down, you are increasingly upset with yourself, and you’re tired of fearing the next episode. You’ve given up having fun and are just trying to survive and cope with panic.

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You’re right to wonder if there is a better way. There is. Panic attacks are highly treatable! A trained therapist can help you understand that panic attacks trick you into thinking you are in danger when you’re actually not. What you’re having is discomfort from anxiety. And while you may not believe this right now, we can get you onboard to where you truly view your panic attacks in a different light and learn how to cope with them effectively. Once you do that, you will worry less about having another one, and they will decrease in frequency and are likely to go away.

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Counseling for panic attacks will :

  • Teach you what to do in the midst of an attack
  • Help you get back out in the world, doing the things you used to do before all this began
  • Decrease your use of avoidance as a coping strategy
  • Increase your autonomy so you don’t need to rely on others to go places and do things
  • Stop living with that sense of dread that it will happen again
  • Reengage with life and the things you enjoy
  • Feel positive about yourself and your ability to cope again

Counseling for panic attacks can change your life. We know it’s hard to take that first step. But once you come in for even that first session, we know you’ll feel better talking to a counselor who not only gets it, but can teach you the specific steps you need to take to overcome your panic attacks and get on with your life.

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