Panic attacks are a type of anxiety disorder caused by a sudden looming sensation of fear. Almost 6 million adults or 2.7% of the U.S. population are affected by panic disorder with women twice as likely to be impacted. Most of the time, panic attacks are accompanied by perspirations, heart thumping, and a fear of death.
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Many people find panic attacks affecting their personal lives with almost 45% labeling the magnitude of their panic disorder as serious. Predicting a panic attack is extremely difficult; however, a few common causes include alcohol withdrawals, emotional trauma, and low self-esteem. Online therapy for panic attacks is an effective and affordable method that can offer therapy to people suffering from panic attacks.
This article explains the common causes and symptoms of panic attacks. It also dives into online therapy available for panic attacks that is effective and helpful!
Data Source: National Institute of Mental Health
Causes of Panic Attacks
Panic attacks can be caused by several reasons including stress, emotional burden, lifestyle, hereditary, and mental or physical illness. Different people are prone to various triggers that lead to panic attacks and can last up to 10 minutes.
Let’s have a look at the most common causes of panic attacks:
- Phobias: People suffering from phobias (fear of different things such as heights or spiders) are prone to panic attacks when exposed.
- Self-doubts: Individuals with low self-esteem and high self-doubts may find themselves susceptible to panic attacks.
- Side-effects: Different types of addiction including alcohol, drugs, and even medicines can trigger panic attacks on withdrawal.
- Emotional trauma: Emotional changes in life such as divorce, death of loved ones, or losing financial livelihood can also lead to panic attacks.
Symptoms for Panic Attacks
Most panic attacks are accompanied by physical and emotional symptoms such as shortness of breath and fear of death. Feelings of losing control (72%) and feelings of heart attack (38%) are the most common symptoms.
These symptoms can last between five to twenty minutes and sometimes cause a lingering after-effect for several hours.
Let’s explore several self-defined symptoms of panic attacks.
1. Breathing Difficulties and Dizziness
Many people report dizziness and feeling faint when having a panic attack. This is usually accompanied by shortness of breath and feeling suffocated due to breathing difficulties. Experiencing a racing heart that is either beating too fast or missing beats is also a common symptom.
2. Perspiration and Numbness
Sweating uncontrollably with feelings of nausea and choking is also common during panic attacks. Many people also feel a numbness or tingling effect in different body parts. Sometimes, there’s also a sensation of chest tightness accompanied by choking.
3. Negative Feelings
Negative feelings are also often associated with panic attacks such as fear of going crazy. This causes fear of losing control in many people leading to heightened anxiety. Many people also feel fear of death combined with feelings of unreality in panic attacks. Warm or cold flashes are also common symptoms of panic attacks with episodes of sudden temperature change.
Why Choose Online Therapy for Panic Attacks?
Online therapy can be an effective and convenient solution to address panic attacks. According to a recent study, with the rise in secure applications and internet access online therapy can prove to be an effective treatment option.
Convenient and Easy
With the rise in mental health issues, demand for therapists has also increased in recent years. By choosing online therapy for panic attacks, you can conveniently schedule appointments of your choosing. Likewise, there’s no stress to plan and travel your routine around the appointments as with online therapy. You are in charge.
According to one poll of 90,000 people, one of the main reasons people avoided therapy was the fear of the stigma of mental health. Online therapy can help you overcome this stigma by communicating with your therapists online from the privacy of your home. Post panic attacks, many people feel a lingering fear of daunting tasks such as physical therapy appointments. These can be easily addressed by getting online therapy from the comfort of your home.
Accessible and Consistent
Panic attacks can happen to anyone at any time and they are quite difficult to predict. Online therapy provides accessible therapy options for people residing in remote areas or with limited mobility. Similarly, panic attacks require psychotherapy which can take several sessions depending on the severity. With online therapy for panic attacks, you can stay in touch with your therapist even when traveling or busy.
Therapy and Treatment for Panic Attacks
Recurring panic attacks can be cured either with medication, therapy, or both. The most common method to address panic attacks is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Let’s take a look at the different types of therapies available for panic attacks:
Medication can be used to cure panic attacks in many cases depending on the severity of symptoms. This can include anti-anxiety medication including clonazepam and lorazepam which are part of benzodiazepines.
Other medicines are also prescribed such as fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, and escitalopram which are anti-depressants. Stress-blocking medication (beta blockers) such as atenolol and carvedilol can also be beneficial.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is also employed by many therapists to reduce panic attack anxiety. This involves the therapist talking about your reaction before and at the onset of the panic attack. CBT is a powerful therapy that can teach you to react differently and stay in control during a panic attack. By changing patterns of thoughts and behaviors, CBT can help in reducing panic attacks considerably.
Changes in Routine
Several lifestyle changes can also help in overcoming panic attacks. You can start focusing on a healthier routine with exercise, yoga, and a nutritious diet plan. Similarly, avoiding stress-inducing conditions such as toxic places and interactions can also reduce your anxiety and panic attacks.
What Does Online Therapy for Panic Attacks Entail?
Although online therapy provides a convenient and accessible option, many people are unaware of what it entails. Let’s understand the details of online therapy:
- Opting for a credible online therapist: You need to first research different therapy providers online and opt for one that fits your requirements.
- First session with therapist: The first season for panic attacks is a conversation about yourself with the therapist. To avoid distractions, you should choose a calm and quiet corner in your home.
- Follow-up sessions: In the subsequent sessions, the therapist will employ different trusted therapies such as CBT or exposure therapy for treatment.
- Online resources: Many therapists may also provide you with online resources such as reading material, audiobooks, and short videos to control anxiety.
How Can I Benefit From Online Therapy for Panic Attacks?
Opting for online therapy for panic attacks can help you overcome them considerably with time. You can benefit from online therapy for panic attacks in the following ways:
- Take Things In Your Control: By consistently following a healthy routine prescribed by your online therapist, you can start taking things under your control.
- Understand Managing Strategies: Learning online to manage a panic attack by reading to yourself, focusing on an object, and breathing deeply can help you reduce panic attacks.
- Becoming Healthy Overtime: A positive mindset can help overcome negative habits and minimize panic attacks. Using online resources provided by your online therapist can help you develop more positive thoughts.