Panic disorder is defined and characterised by the occurrence of panic attacks that often seem to grip a person. For panic disorder, the person must have been persistently concerned about having another attack or worried about the consequences of having an attack for at least a month (often referred to as anticipatory anxiety). For such an event to qualify as a full-blown panic attack, there must be abrupt onset of at least 4 of 13 symptoms, most of which are physical. Panic attacks are fairly brief but intense, with symptoms developing abruptly and usually reaching peak intensity within 10 minutes; the attacks often subside within 20 to 30 minutes and rarely last more than an hour.
Symptoms of panic disorder
A panic attack is an abrupt surge of intense fear or intense discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes, and during which time four or more of the following symptoms occur:
- Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
- Trembling or shaking
- Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
- Feeling of choking
- Nausea or abdominal distress
- Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light headed or fainting
- Chills or heat sensations
- Parenthesis (numbness or tingling sensations)
- Feelings of unreality or feeling detached from oneself
- Fear of losing control or going crazy
- Fear of dying
- Persistent concern or worry about additional panic attacks or their consequences (losing control, have a heart attack, going crazy)
People prone to panic attacks show behaviours designed to avoid having panic attacks such as avoidance of exercise or unfamiliar situations. Experts will also determine if the disturbance is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance or hyperthyroidism or cardiopulmonary disorders.
WHAT TREATMENT HELPS?
The effectiveness of psychotherapies on reducing anxiety, stress and phobia is well established. In particular, cognitive behaviour therapy and clinical hypnotherapy have shown the most encouraging results.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS OUR TREATMENT?
Our panel consists of extensively trained and skilled mental health professionals specializing in cognitive behavior therapy, clinical hypnotherapy, as well as clinical and counseling psychology. In addition to their expertise in cognitive behavior therapy, clinical hypnotherapy, and clinical and counseling psychology, our panel members bring a wealth of experience and qualifications to provide comprehensive mental health support. They have undergone rigorous training and continue to stay updated with the latest advancements in their respective fields.
Medication is not usually recommended in the treatment of mild to moderate psychological problems. However, in some cases, it may be helpful to consider a combined approach of counselling and medication and we will advise on the right way to go about it.
Our mental health centers are conveniently located across Kerala, with prominent locations including Kochi, Calicut, Trivandrum, Aroor, Thrissur, and numerous other areas. We aim to provide accessible mental health services to individuals throughout the region, ensuring that quality care is within reach for those seeking support.