Panic Disorder Treatment Altamonte Springs, FL

Panic attacks can be painful, frightening, and disorienting. Unfortunately, many patients experience panic attacks regularly. People with panic disorder often struggle with recurring attacks and increased anxiety. Panic disorder treatment can help ease these symptoms.

If you have ever searched for “panic disorder treatment near me,” you will find it available at Florida Psychiatric Associates in Altamonte Springs and the surrounding area. Our team works with patients to get to the root of their symptoms. We offer a wide range of services to ease anxiety and prevent panic attacks. Call us at (407) 960-5633 to learn more.

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Understanding Panic Disorder

People with panic disorder suffer from severe episodes of anxiety. Many different circumstances can trigger their anxiety. Sometimes, the panic disorder occurs alongside other anxiety disorders or phobias. These phobias or triggers may worsen panic disorders. Patients with panic disorder often became fearful of triggering another panic attack.

They might avoid certain people, places, or situations. As a result, panic disorder can be lonely and isolating. Fortunately, treatment can help ease these symptoms. Panic disorder treatment empowers patients to take control of their lives.

“Panic disorder treatment empowers patients to take control of their lives.”

Understanding Panic Attacks

People with panic disorder experience chronic panic attacks. During a panic attack, they might experience physical symptoms like:

  • Chest pain
  • Chills
  • Dizziness or numbness
  • Flushed skin or hot flashes
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating

Panic attacks can also trigger psychological symptoms, including a sense of impending doom; fear of death, illness, or injury; and a sense of detachment.

During a panic attack, many people fear having a heart attack. Some seek out emergency medical care or a cardiovascular checkup. Patients often feel embarrassed or ashamed when told they have been experiencing a panic attack.

The symptoms of panic attacks and heart attacks can be similar. Unlike heart attacks, panic attacks are not life-threatening. However, they can be intensely uncomfortable. If a patient suspects a panic attack, they should not hesitate to seek medical care. A medical provider can ease their symptoms and offer guidance.

“Unlike heart attacks, panic attacks are not life-threatening.”

Causes of Panic Disorder

Researchers cannot pinpoint what causes panic attacks. The condition appears to have a genetic component. If patients have family members with anxiety, they might be more likely to develop panic disorder. Some patients might be born with increased sensitivity to hormones like adrenaline. These factors could increase the risk of panic disorder.

Panic disorders might also have an environmental basis, and many people develop panic disorders after a traumatic experience or major life change. Stress can play a role too. Patients who have suffered health problems, job loss, or divorce sometimes develop panic disorder. New parents might also be at a higher risk of panic disorder. While panic attacks can be excruciating, they are not life-threatening. Panic attacks do not appear to cause heart problems or other serious health problems. However, they can take a toll on a patient's quality of life.

People with panic attacks often miss weeks of school or work. They may fall behind and struggle to meet their obligations. Some people may even turn to drugs or alcohol to numb their symptoms. Without treatment, patients may develop suicidal thoughts or self-harming behaviors. Those who experience panic attacks should seek guidance from a qualified medical provider who can determine whether they have panic disorder. They also recommend treatments to reduce one's risk of future panic attacks. Treatment can make panic disorder symptoms easier to manage.

“Treatment can make panic disorder symptoms easier to manage.”

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Diagnosing Panic Disorder

As part of one's evaluation, a medical provider may perform a complete physical exam. During this exam, the provider looks for problems with the heart or lungs. They may also check one's hormones and thyroid function. Sometimes, hormonal imbalances can trigger symptoms that mimic panic disorder. Patients can also expect to receive a complete psychological evaluation. The provider may ask them to describe their symptoms. They may ask how often one has panic attacks or when their symptoms started. The provider might also ask how their symptoms have affected their life.

Drugs and alcohol can worsen panic disorder symptoms. During one's evaluation, the provider may ask how often they use these substances. Patients must be truthful about drug and alcohol use. Providers depend on their patients to provide accurate information, and they use this feedback to develop a personalized treatment plan.

“Sometimes, hormonal imbalances can trigger symptoms that mimic panic disorder.”

Panic Disorder Treatments

Many people with panic disorder find medication helpful. If diagnosed with panic disorder, one's provider might suggest a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). These medications support the movement of neurotransmitters within the brain.

Neurotransmitters help the brain determine when to produce certain chemicals. They also regulate physical responses. Many people with panic disorders have a chemical imbalance within their brains. Medication can help support healthy brain chemistry. Cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) can also relieve anxiety and panic symptoms. During CBT, patients identify unhealthy or inaccurate thought patterns. They explore their emotions, motivations, fears, and desires.

CBT can also teach patients to manage triggering or upsetting situations. After CBT, patients often feel better able to manage their panic symptoms. Many patients achieve results by combining medication with CBT. Medication can restore healthy brain chemistry while CBT encourages healthy thought patterns; these treatments work together to support a holistic recovery.

Other treatment modalities can also help patients manage their panic disorder. A provider can discuss various treatment options in more detail during a consultation.

“Many patients achieve results by combining medication with CBT.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are panic attacks and panic disorder the same thing?

A. Many people have a panic attack during their lifetime, but not everyone who experiences a panic attack has panic disorder. Panic disorder occurs when a patient has recurring panic attacks and struggles with an ongoing fear that they might have other attacks in the future. Your therapist or psychiatrist can determine if you have panic disorder.

Q. Are panic attacks dangerous?

A. While not life-threatening, panic attacks can be frightening. Unfortunately, the symptoms of panic attacks and heart attacks remain very similar. When in doubt, seek an evaluation.

If you experience a panic attack, a healthcare provider can help. They may administer medication to provide temporary relief. Short-acting medications can stabilize your body during a panic attack, and a psychiatrist or therapist can continue your treatment afterward.

Q. What should I do if I have a panic attack?

A. During their first panic attack, many people seek emergency medical care. But if you have had panic attacks before, you might be able to recognize your symptoms and manage them at home.

Call your healthcare provider or a trusted support person. If possible, go to a quiet area and sit down for a while. Take deep breaths and remain hydrated. In most cases, symptoms pass within 15 minutes. When in doubt, seek medical guidance for further panic disorder treatment.

Q. How long does a panic attack last?

A. Most patients report that panic attacks last for about 15 minutes. However, some symptoms may linger for hours. Panic attacks often occur alongside other disorders, and it can sometimes be difficult to identify the source of a patient's symptoms. A psychiatrist can provide a complete evaluation.

Q. Is panic disorder common?

A. Panic disorder affects up to three million Americans during their lifetime. About two-thirds are women, but panic disorder affects men, too. Panic disorder can strike people of all ages and backgrounds. No matter your age or gender, panic disorder treatment can help.

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Anxiety is a feeling in which the patient suffers from worried thoughts, tension, and certain physical changes.
Anxiety disorder
An anxiety disorder is when the patient feels chronic anxiety that persists over time and prohibits them from carrying out their daily activities.
Behavioral treatment
Behavioral treatment describes the broad range of techniques used to alter maladaptive behaviors and treat mental health disorders.
Generalized anxiety disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder is a severe and persistent disorder that causes people to experience worry or anxiety that is disproportionate to the impact of a situation.
Hormonal imbalance
A hormonal imbalance is when a patient has either too much or too little of a certain hormone.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is a mental health disorder that is characterized by a cycle of obsessions and compulsions.
Panic disorder
Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder in which the patient has unexpected, chronic episodes of intense fear known as panic attacks.
Panic attack
A panic attack is a sudden, intense episode in which the patient experiences immense fear and anxiety for no apparent reason.
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health issue that people may develop after experiencing a traumatic event such as crime, combat, natural disaster, or an accident.
Psychotreatment, also known as talk treatment, is a means of helping patients with several different mental health conditions.

Learn More About Panic Disorder Treatment

Panic disorder can take a toll on your quality of life. Fortunately, treatment can help. Our team provides personalized care to support your recovery. We work with patients every step of the way to ease anxiety and prevent future panic attacks.

If you need help managing your panic disorder, let Florida Psychiatric Associates in Altamonte Springs help. Call us at 407-960-5633 to learn more about our services and policies.

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