Panic Disorder Counselling in London
What is Panic Disorder?
Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder that occurs with frequent and unexpected panic attacks. In addition to worrying about panic attacks and their implications, many individuals also report constant or intermittent feelings of anxiety that are not focused on any specific situation or events. Some individuals become overly apprehensive about the consequences of routine activities, particularly those related to health or separation from loved ones.
Demoralisation is a common consequence of Panic Disorder. Many individuals become discouraged and ashamed with the difficulties in conducting their normal routine. Major depressive disorder frequently occurs in individuals with panic disorder. In about a third of individuals with both disorders, depression precedes the onset of panic disorder. In the remaining two thirds, depression occurs at the same time or following the onset of panic disorder. The age of onset varies, but most individuals begin to experience the panic disorder symptoms between the age of 15 and 35 years. Although agoraphobia can develop at any time, it usually begins in the first year of recurrent panic attacks.
Signs of Panic Disorder
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 edition, the following criteria must be met in order for a panic disorder diagnosis to be made:
A. The individual experiences recurrent unexpected panic attacks, which are abrupt feelings of intense fear or discomfort that reach great heights within minutes, during a time in which at least four of the following symptoms occur:
- Palpitations or quickened heart beat
- Abnormal sweating
- Trembling or shaking
- Instances of shortness of breath or feeling smothered
- Feelings of choking
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Nausea or abdominal pain
- Dizziness or faintness
- Chills or hot flashes
- Numbness or tingling sensations
- Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (feeling detached from his or her self)
- Fear of losing control or “going crazy”
- Fear of death
B. One or more of the attacks were followed by a month (or longer) of one or both of the following:
- Persistent worry about having more panic attacks and/or their consequences (e.g., having a heart attack)
- A significant abnormal change in behavior in response to the attacks, such as ones intended to avoid unfamiliar situations.
C. The disturbance cannot be attributed to the physiological effects of a substance, such as a drug or medication, or another medical condition.
D. The disturbance cannot be better explained by another mental disorder, such as social anxiety disorder or specific phobia, which may involve panic attacks.
Treatment for Panic Disorder
It is possible to treat and manage panic disorder and therapy can be very successful in resolving anxiety disorders. Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps you to identify and challenge negative thinking and irrational beliefs that trigger anxiety. With your therapist, you can work to identify triggers, responses, and a plan to cope with the triggers.
For more information about talking therapies and treatment programmes available at our Clinics in London, Milan and Rome please visit our Treatment page.
We offer Psychological Therapies for Panic Disorder to Adults, Children and Teenagers at our clinics in City of London, London Bridge, London Kensington, London Islington, London Marylebone, London Oxford Circus, Milan City Life, Rome San Giovanni, Rome Piazza Bologna, Rome Garbatella and Online worldwide.
All our Therapists offer Psychological Therapies for Panic Disorder to Adults, Children and Teenagers. Click here to meet the Team.