Ralph G. Kuechle, Ph.D. provides panic attack anxiety therapy in Newport Beach, CA. Panic attacks are brief episodes of extreme fear. They may be mistaken for heart attacks or strokes, but are actually psychological rather than physical and often rooted in irrational fears or distorted thinking. Panic attacks can occur suddenly and usually peak within ten minutes. Most panic attacks end within 20 to 30 minutes. A technique that has become successful at reducing and even eliminating these attacks is called cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT or talk therapy helps patients correct distorted out of balance thinking that can lead to anxiety and depression.
Some symptoms include:
- Chest pain
- Feelings of suffocation
Sometimes panic attacks are isolated incidents, but if a person has had at least two panic attacks and lives in fear of having another, they may have panic disorder. A panic attack can happen without an obvious cause, but people with panic disorder may develop phobias related to something they associate with panic attacks, including open spaces, and large crowds.
Panic disorder is classified as an anxiety disorder, and like other forms of anxiety, it is commonly treated with a combination of therapy, medications, and healthy lifestyle changes. Anxiety patients are also encouraged to do breathing exercises, get regular exercise, and to avoid stimulants.