WHAT IT IS
For anyone who has ever had a panic attack, you can attest: the attacks come out of nowhere and create shock and fears you are going to die. Each year, anywhere from six to nine million people in the US will experience Panic Disorder, which is characterized by the recurrent fear of panic attacks and recurrent, unexpected panic attacks themselves. Common symptoms of Panic Disorder include dizziness, feelings of being on-edge, hypervigilance, palpitations, shortness of breath and choking sensations, sweating, and shaking or trembling.
For treating Panic Disorder, we utilize a protocol for Exposure Therapy. This approach is systematic and exposes a person to the panic sensations through a specific type of exposures known as interoceptives. Oftentimes, there will be an element of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that will complement this approach to provide education and skills on how to manage recurring thoughts and fears in a more adaptive way.