Anxiety, Panic Attacks,
and Panic Disorder

Anxiety is our responsibility

Family responsibilities, demanding schedules, and work make stress seem uncontrollable and inescapable, resulting in increased anxiety.

Anxiety is often exacerbated by poor stress management. Therefore, acknowledging our own responsibility in creating our stress is the first step in controlling it.

Therapy for anxiety is designed to help an individual take control of their lifestyle, thoughts, and emotions, so they can learn healthier ways to deal with their problems.

This is where therapy and reinforcement from friends and family can help.

Controlling anxiety caused by stress

Identifying stressors and habits are the first steps to controlling stress-causing anxiety.

When we focus on what we can control, eliminate the realistic stressors, develop consistent distressing habits, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy diet, relax, and get enough sleep, these activities will ease stressful feelings and lessen anxiousness.

Be intentional about alone time whether it be yoga, meditation, taking a bubble bath, listening to music, or watching a funny movie.

Finally, don’t feel like you must resolve your stress and anxiety alone. Reach out to family, friends, or a therapist to provide positive reinforcement and support.

What are panic attacks and panic disorder?

Panic attacks are brief episodes characterized by extreme fear. Sometimes they are mistaken for a heart attack or a stroke, but they are psychological rather than physical in nature.

Symptoms include chills, nausea, sweating, chest pain, palpitations, shaking, or feelings of suffocation. Panic attacks can occur suddenly and usually peak within 10 minutes and generally end within 20 to 30 minutes.

Persistent panic attacks = panic disorder

Sometimes panic attacks are an isolated occurrence; but if a person has at least two panic attacks and lives in fear of a panic attack happening again, they may have a panic disorder.

Panic attacks can happen without an obvious cause, but persons with panic disorder may develop phobias related to something they associate with panic attacks.

Panic disorder is classified as an anxiety disorder. Like other forms of anxiety, it is commonly treated with a combination of medications, healthy life-style changes, and therapy.

Anxiety patients also are encouraged to do breathing exercises, get regular exercise, and avoid stimulants.

Seeking help for anxiety and panic attacks?

Contact me at (616) 236-3281, and we can set up a free consultation and begin to address your concern.