Understanding Panic Disorder: Types, Symptoms and Treatment in Boise, Idaho

Around 1.7% of the adult population in the United States suffers from panic disorder in any given year.

Many people in Boise, Idaho have been diagnosed with this mental health condition and they get the proper treatment. But there are many others who struggle because of their symptoms, but they do not realize why they are having them. This can be a scary and confusing time for those individuals.

The good news is that this is a treatable condition. It is important to understand what panic disorder is – including the types and symptoms – as well as how to manage it properly.

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What is Panic Disorder?

Panic disorder is a mental health condition that is closely related to anxiety disorder. It causes people to have panic attacks. This means that individuals with this condition will experience sudden feelings of fear or impending doom when there is no danger present.

When panic attacks strike, they are extremely overwhelming. The person experiencing them feels as though they are losing control. The attacks themselves can be terrifying and the sufferer may even feel as though they are going to die.

A person who has panic disorder many demonstrate a number of physical symptoms in addition to their psychological symptoms. They include:

  • Experiencing stomach or chest pain.
  • A racing heart rate.
  • Feeling weak or dizzy.
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Problems with breathing.
  • Feeling extremely hot or having cold chills.
  • Feelings of numbness or tingling in the hands.
  • Nausea that comes and goes.

The expressions of anxiety and panic are a normal part of the human response, and experts agree that they are necessary for survival. They happen because the amygdala – which is the part of the brain that controls our nervous response – is activated. They are a way of warning of imminent danger.

But in some people, the amygdala will respond this way when there is no apparent danger at all. These are the individuals who are much more likely to suffer from panic disorder.

There are a few risk factors that may make some people more susceptible to having panic attacks. They include:

  • Having a family history of panic disorder. There is a genetic connection, and people are more likely to have panic attacks if a close relative also has them.
  • Having a lot of stress.
  • Experiencing a significant life change, such as the loss of a loved one or a divorce.
  • Smoking or drinking a lot of caffeine.
  • Having a history of drug use.

Most people who have panic attacks state that they begin without any type of warning. They often happen when people are doing mundane activities, such as driving a car or taking a shower.

What are the Different Types of Panic Disorders?

Researchers have found that there are actually four different types of panic disorders, with the final type having three subtypes. They are as follows:

  • Type I – This type refers to a single panic attack as the only symptom.
  • Type II – This type involves only panic attacks, which occur frequently, but without any other depressive or neurotic symptoms.
  • Type III – This type refers to the recurrence of panic attacks. It also includes the development of neurotic symptoms over time, such as agoraphobia or generalized anxiety.
  • Type IV – In this type, panic attacks are recurring but depressive symptoms also develop.
  • Type IV-1 – This type involves the development of depressive symptoms secondary to panic attacks. Eventually, those symptoms evolve into major depression.
  • Type IV-2 – This type refers to the evolution of panic disorder into major depression.
  • Type IV-3 – This type involves both depression symptoms and panic attacks, but they present independent of each other.

How is Panic Disorder Treated?

There are many ways to treat panic disorder, which is why practitioners need to tailor treatment to the individual. People all have various needs when it comes to their mental health. It is critical to take those needs into consideration before prescribing treatment.

Here are some of the most common ways panic disorder is treated:

  • By prescribing antidepressants. These may be used as more of a long-term solution. The right antidepressants can stop panic attacks from occurring at all.
  • By prescribing benzodiazepines, which are often referred to as anti-anxiety drugs. These medications are often used as a quick solution when panic attacks strike. They are typically only taken as needed, although some people may need to take them regularly.
  • Using cognitive-behavioral therapy. This can be helpful because it shows people how to change their perceptions of their circumstances, as well as their negative thinking patterns.
  • Using panic-focused psychodynamic psychotherapy, or PFPP. This helps people to uncover past experiences and emotional problems that may be contributing to panic disorder.
  • Using exposure therapy. This is a form of treatment that involves exposing the individual to situations that may be triggering their panic attacks. This is done in a controlled environment so that new coping techniques can be learned.

Finding Panic Disorder Treatment in Boise, Idaho

There are a few different ways for people to get help for panic disorder in Boise, ID. It is very important for anyone who struggles with these symptoms to get the type of help that will work best for them. The following are all examples of quality treatment options.

Psychiatrists are doctors that specialize in treating various mental health conditions. Some offer therapy services as well, but what sets them apart is their ability to prescribe medications. If one of their patients is in need of an antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication, a psychiatrist is very knowledgeable about what to prescribe for them.

Therapists and psychologists are not medical doctors, which means that they cannot prescribe medications for their clients. But these professionals can offer psychotherapy, which is known to be just as important. In some cases, it may even be more important because of the need to work out issues that are related to the mental health condition.

It is not uncommon for therapists and psychologists to work alongside psychiatrists. Both types of treatment are vitally important; especially when it comes to treating a condition like panic disorder.

Medical doctors also often treat patients with panic disorder. They are able to prescribe psychiatric medications that can help prevent panic attacks and calm people down when they have them. But most do not offer any type of therapy and if that is needed, they will usually provide referrals for professionals they know and trust.

In rare cases, the symptoms of panic disorder may become so severe that inpatient hospitalization and treatment is needed. There are entire wards of hospitals that are dedicated to providing these services. But in order to qualify, the individual generally has to show that they are a danger to themselves or someone else.

Promise: Offering Panic Disorder Treatment in Boise, Idaho

At Ashwood Recovery, we understand how difficult mental health issues like panic disorder can be. Those who suffer from this condition are much more likely to use drugs or alcohol as a way to manage their symptoms. But even if they do not, they need professional help and a way to get relief from their suffering.

Our program, Promise, is a mental health treatment program for people who suffer from acute psychotic and severe psychological issues. It offers partial hospitalization, or day treatment, for those who need it. We have found that once our clients get the support they need, they are better able to manage their conditions.

All of our clients receive personalized treatment plans to help them reach their own, personal goals. Our curriculum is varied, and it may include:

  • Trauma therapy
  • Building new skills
  • Setting and achieving goals
  • Music therapy
  • Mental health education
  • Art therapy

The program includes support groups, medication management, medical services and even crisis intervention services, if necessary.

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Get Treatment for Panic Disorder in Boise, Idaho

If you think you may meet the criteria for a panic disorder diagnosis, we are here to help you at Ashwood Recovery. We know that you may be experiencing some scary symptoms right now, but please know that treatment can make such a difference.

If you live in the Boise, Idaho area, and you need treatment for panic disorder, please contact us.

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Our admissions coordinators are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They'll verify your health insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and make sure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free.

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