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Counselling for Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Do you experience anxiety or panic attacks? We can help you.
What Are Panic Attacks?
Feeling anxious from time to time is a normal part of life. For some people, symptoms of anxiety can become overwhelming.
Panic attacks are sudden unexpected surges of intense fear or discomfort that occur out of the blue. Some people experience a form of panic, often referred to as an anxiety attack, which occurs in response to a particular stressor.
What Does a Panic Attack Feel Like (Anixety Attack Symptoms)
Panic attacks begin suddenly, often with no warning, and result in intense fear. Attacks last around 10 to 20 minutes but can last up to an hour in extreme cases. The symptoms of panic attacks can differ significantly between people.
Common symptoms associated with a panic attack
Racing heartbeat or heart palpitations
Shortness of breath
Feelings of choking
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Hot flashes or chills
Shaking or trembling
Feeling detached or outside of reality
Chest pain or tightness
Feeling like you might die
People who get regular panic attacks may be diagnosed with panic disorder. Panic attacks commonly occur in people with anxiety disorders such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Sometimes when people encounter a stressful scenario, they may experience symptoms similar to a panic attack, commonly referred to as an anxiety attack. Anxiety attacks may occur more often in people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). GAD is characterized by excessive and uncontrolled worry about daily life and activities. The worries can be challenging to control, time-consuming, and interfere with everyday life.
When you seek help for your anxiety and panic attacks, your therapist will work with you to identify and treat any underlying causes contributing to your episodes.
Anxiety and panic attacks can be very disruptive to a person’s life and create fear of further panic attacks, resulting in more episodes. Getting help for your anxiety and panic attacks is the best form of prevention.
Will My Anxiety or Panic Attacks Go Away if I Don’t Seek help?
If anxiety or panic attacks are not treated, they can get worse and develop into panic disorder. Treatment is the best way to find any underlying cause and to help you prevent exacerbating anxiety and panic episodes. Panic disorder can be a debilitating condition. If you have been experiencing bouts of extreme distress, you should seek consultation with a mental health professional.
What Causes Anxiety and Panic Attacks?
There isn’t one exact cause of anxiety and panic attacks. People may develop anxiety and panic attacks due to a combination of factors such as:
Family history: You are at a higher risk of developing anxiety or panic attacks if you have a family member with panic attacks, anxiety or mood disorders.
Exposure to Trauma: Trauma experienced in childhood, such as abuse, bullying, or family conflict, can increase your likelihood of developing anxiety or panic attacks. You may also develop them after experiencing major life changes, stress, or trauma later in life.
Biochemical Factors: Anxiety and panic attacks have been linked to an imbalance of chemicals in the brain involved with mood and fear responses.
Environmental Factors: Characteristics of your environment may increase your risk of anxiety and panic attacks or make symptoms worse. Some environmental risks include having overprotective parents, a poor support system, difficult relationships, instability, and major life stress.
Anxiety and panic attacks can make you feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and alone. Seeking counselling is one of the best ways to learn how to manage your symptoms and get your life back.
How are Anxiety and Panic Attacks Treated?
Anxiety and Panic attacks can be treated with counselling or a combination of counselling and medication. There are also lifestyle changes that can be made to support your recovery.
Therapy is one of the most effective treatments for building long-lasting strategies to help you cope with the symptoms of Anxiety and Panic Attacks. Therapy is not a temporary fix for the problems as you’ll learn effective coping mechanisms and techniques that you can use throughout your life.
Receiving early intervention for your anxiety and panic attacks can help reduce symptoms, prevent future episodes, and help you avoid developing full-blown panic disorder. If you already have panic disorder, therapy can help you overcome this challenging condition.
Therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy are commonly used with anxiety and panic attacks. Your therapist will help you identify the negative thinking patterns holding you back and teach you how to deal with anxiety when facing stressful events. Through your sessions, you will gradually learn to face difficult situations and feel prepared to deal effectively with panic attacks.
Counselling for Anxiety and Panic Attacks in Vaughan & Toronto
We are the largest counselling service provider in the Vaughan and Toronto area with over 18 years of experience helping people work through anxiety struggles.
If you have experienced anxiety attacks, our team of therapists specializes in helping clients identify the roots of their struggles and learn useful tools for overcoming them.
Reach out today to book a session with one of our therapists and let a trained professional help you navigate your symptoms and start living your life again.