woman sitting at table by a window holds her head because she needs a panic disorder treatment centerPanic disorder is a mental health condition that causes high levels of anxiety. Symptoms of panic attacks can be terrifying. They arrive in a swift rush and fill people with fear. When people have repeated panic attacks they may be diagnosed with panic disorder.

Patients with panic disorder suffer a series of physical symptoms including chest pains. When attacks occur they feel as if they are losing control. Frightening physical sensations are part of this disorder. They may feel like they are having a heart attack. Fear overwhelms the person. Their nervous system goes haywire and they think they may die.

Promises Treatment Centers provides treatment for panic disorder and other anxiety disorders. We use a blend of traditional, alternative and medical treatments to manage symptoms. We also address the underlying issues that may be contributing to their condition. Panic disorder treatment includes cognitive behavioral therapy and other behavioral therapies. The goal is to help clients address anxious thoughts and past trauma and emotional pain. Our psychiatric team may also prescribe medication as appropriate.

Co-Occurring Mental Disorders and Addictions

Panic attacks and panic disorder are often connected with co-occurring conditions. These must be considered simultaneously when treating panic disorder. Understanding the person’s complete mental health is the only way to offer effective treatment. Common co-occurring conditions to be aware of are:

Anxiety disorders also occur with substance abuse. Panic attack symptoms may move people to use drugs or alcohol as a way to self-medicate anxiety. They can also develop addictions to medicines taken to reduce anxiety such as Xanax.

As part of panic disorder treatment, our mental health professionals conduct thorough assessments. We then craft a treatment plan that includes treatment of panic attacks and other challenges. Clients learn healthy coping skills. They learn ways to manage anxiety without drugs, alcohol or other destructive behaviors.

When Is Treatment of Panic Disorder Needed?

Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder. It is characterized by the repeated, unexpected occurrence of panic attacks. These attacks produce uncontrollable fear and other symptoms. They occur in situations that would not normally produce this type of reaction. It is important to recognize when these become severe and seek proper treatments for panic attacks.

Symptoms of Panic Disorder

Panic attacks produce symptoms that can include:

  • Involuntary trembling
  • Facial numbness
  • Leg or arm numbness
  • Chest pains
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness
  • Sweating
  • An unexplained choking or smothering sensation
  • Fear of loss of control, loss of sanity and death

These symptoms may appear in response to high levels of stress or anxiety. Or they may be a specific phobic response to certain situations or things, or for no clear reason at all. Even when the underlying causes of an attack are known, the attacks seem unpredictable. A panic attack may last for a few minutes. But some people develop panic symptoms that last from 10 to 20 minutes up to an hour or more. Some people improve with outpatient therapy and medication. Others may need residential panic disorder treatment to manage their symptoms long-term.

Causes of Panic Disorder

The causes of panic disorder aren’t well-understood. However, researchers know that anxiety responses come from several different parts of the brain. Patients with panic disorder may have complex problems that affect one or more of these areas. The disorder may also stem from increased anxiety. They may experience isolated panic attacks and feel afraid of symptoms coming back.

Panic Disorder Symptoms in Women

Women are more likely than men to have panic disorder.

  • Women develop panic disorder roughly 2.5 times more often than men.
  • For both men and women, age is a factor.
  • About 2.5% of females between the ages of 15 and 24 have some form of panic disorder. About 1.3% of boys and men in this age group have the disorder.
  • Roughly 2% of women between the ages of 35 and 44 develop some form of panic disorder. Studies show 0.6% of men in this age group develop panic-related symptoms.

When panic attacks occur, women also have more severe symptoms than men. Women with panic disorder experience recurring panic attacks much more often than men with the disorder. Both men and women report a rapid heartbeat as the most common symptom of panic disorder. But, compared to men, women have higher rates of other symptoms. They report sensations of choking or smothering, lightheadedness and shortness of breath. Women who experience isolated panic attacks also develop these symptoms at higher rates than men.

Age-Related Risks in Women

Women in their 30s and 40s have somewhat lower risks for panic disorder than women in their late teens and 20s. Women over 50 have an increased risk for the disorder. The risk is especially high if they experience five or more stressful life events in a 12-month period.

Other factors that increase the risk of panic disorder in women over 50 include health problems such as:

  • Thyroid disorders
  • Asthma
  • Emphysema
  • Heart disease
  • A type of headache called migraine with aura

Panic-related problems in this age group are associated with depression.

Effective Treatments for Panic Disorder

At Promises, we offer many therapies to help people cope with and prevent panic attacks. We will help you deal with old trauma and pain that may have led to self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. Part of residential treatment of panic disorder will be to learn how to live a healthy lifestyle. Your treatment plan may include:

Treatment of panic disorder may include medical treatments. Our medical professionals provide comprehensive assessments. We may prescribe medications like selective serotonin repute inhibitors if needed.

The Road to Recovery Begins Here

Panic disorder and other anxiety disorders can interfere with your life. But recovery is possible. Call us today for a free, confidential consultation and learn how we can help you reclaim your life: 1.713.528.3709