If you get panic attacks you know that they’re different than anxiety attacks. You experience intense fear that comes on quickly. It’s hard to breathe, your chest is pounding, and you feel dizzy. Anxiety/panic attacks are caused by ‘triggers’, specific situations or events that cause anxiety. While these attacks can be mild, they may also include thoughts, images, or other reminders of past trauma.
Unfortunately, you know that a panic attack often just happens for no apparent reason. As frightening as a panic attack feels, not knowing what sets them off makes it that much scarier. Plus, you worry about when the next one will happen. There are underlying situations that can lead to panic attacks, like big life-changing events, the loss of a loved one, a divorce, bankruptcy. Someone with past trauma or a history of PTSD can experience panic attacks. So, while it feels like it happens out of the blue—there’s often a reason for these attacks. A trained anxiety therapist can help you find out underlying causes.
Anxiety Treatment in Winnipeg can Help Against Panic Attacks
A trained therapist can help you learn self-awareness techniques that teach you to tolerate and manger your panic attacks. Learning to tolerate the frightening feelings may sound impossible, but as someone who experienced severe panic attacks, I know it’s possible. As you learn to tolerate the unpleasantness, the panic attacks start losing their power. So, you can see you this is a big step in reducing the intensity of panic attacks. This makes the hard work of anxiety counseling worth it.
The panic attack hits and you’re overcome with fear. Initial thoughts of “I think I’m going to have a heart attack.”, change to “Ok, my chest feels super tight, but I know it’s just anxiety and this will be over in a few minutes.” Therapy for panic attacks gives you the tools to cope. Using those tools over and over the experience changes from frightening to unpleasant.
Anxiety Treatment Can Help Pinpoint the Underlying Source of Your Anxiety Symptoms
More than that, if there’s a specific source of anxiety in your life, therapy helps pinpoint what that is. Once you know the source, you can work on it to decrease your overall anxiety. Decreasing your ‘background anxiety’ means there’s less anxious energy to feel the panic attacks. With therapy for panic attacks, you learn to make frightening experiences less powerful. A trained counselor can help you identify, manage, and reduce the underlying anxiety leaving you feeling less stressed, less worried—calmer.
Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder is the most extreme form of anxiety, and it is the most complicated. People with PTSD can experience a range of anxiety problems. Examples include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, and panic. Along with that, PTSD can include other mental health problems, such as depression, drug addiction, and social isolation. Untreated, the anxiety can also worsen and cause other issues like depression and alcohol and drug addiction
Please see the separate section on PTSD here.