As you walk down the first aisle, your heart beats faster and faster the further you get from the exit. It’s not just the grocery store though. You’ve also noticed it happens in restaurants now. You haven’t been to a mall in a while either. The doctor’s office? Forget about it. When you have to stand in line to buy something at the store, you begin to sweat and start to weigh out how badly you really need the cereal. Perhaps you should come back and get it later when the store isn’t so crowded. You only drive on certain roads, at certain times, and try not to go too far from home. What if you need to get back? What if you start feeling bad?
On the one hand, you hate that you’re living your life this way. On the other hand, if you don’t, you know you’ll have another full-blown panic attack. The last time that happened, you’re pretty sure you almost had a heart attack. You got out of the store just in time. The memory alone is enough to get your heart beating faster and make you start to feel a little light headed.
Sound familiar? Many individuals experience a panic attack at some point in their lifetime. Some people, like yourself maybe, start to worry A LOT about having another one. If your fear of having another panic attack has led you to start avoiding different activities and situations in your life, you may be experiencing what is known as Panic Disorder.
Panic disorder is what happens when a person becomes intensely afraid of having another panic attack and begins to adjust their life around this fear. Sometimes they start to avoid certain places like the grocery store, crowded restaurants, movie theaters, or shopping malls. Sometimes they start to avoid certain activities like exercising, driving, and traveling. As you start avoid more and more place and activities, you can feel your life getting smaller and smaller. 50-60% of people with panic disorder, also experience depression as a result.
The good news is that there is a treatment that can help. I offer a treatment program for Panic Disorder than can help you get your life back. The treatment is based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and has been proved effective in multiple clinical studies. The better news is that it doesn’t require medication. In fact, research shows that people who successfully complete this type of treatment without medication find the results to be more lasting and effective.
If you or someone you know is struggling with panic attacks and feel your life getting smaller because of the fear of another one, call us today to make an appointment to get started. Clients I’ve worked with report feeling less anxious, better able to cope with their anxiety when it happens, and have started taking back the pieces of their lives that they’ve given up to Panic Disorder.