"Having frequent panic attacks is no laughing matter. Especially when considering not many know how to treat this issue properly. Most simply don't have the training, knowledge, experience or credentials. But be hopeful! Your symptoms are treatable! It's what we do. And your panic attack or panic disorder therapy doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg! We have many cost options to assist you. With a little effort and consistent progress, you won't feel the fear of having another one like the woman in the photo above any longer. So READ ON and SCROLL" - Dr. April
Call The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management
Learn how to stop panic attacks now and get your life back!
Main Office Phone: 310 - 429 - 1024
Panic Disorder and Panic Attack Help, Therapy and Treatment:
The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles offers a special Panic Disorder and Panic Attack treatment program with incredibly high success rates for those suffering with panic attacks and the hallmark symptoms. Dr. Craig April, as seen on A&E's hit TV show "Obsessed", is one of the foremost anxiety and OCD doctors in the country and the Director of the program. We treat adults, teenagers and children. If you are having difficulty with panic attack symptoms and are curious about our anxiety attack treatment options, please call us at (310) 429-1024 or click here to email us.
*We Design Our Panic Attack Treatment Program in Los Angeles To Fit Your Needs, Specific Panic Symptoms and Budget.
The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management
is located in:
- Los Angeles (serving Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Santa Monica and the San Fernando Valley): 310-429-1024
Panic Disorder and Panic Attack Treatment at The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles:
- Individual therapy sessions
- Phone Therapy sessions
(for those who can't visit the office or are outside of the area when appropriate)
- Support Groups
Offering Specialized CBT Therapy for Panic Disorder, Panic Attacks and Anxiety
The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles offers a special panic disorder and panic attack treatment clinic. Although panic attacks can be very frightening for all who suffer with them, they're highly treatable. In fact, with scientifically-proven CBT, they're not as difficult to overcome as you might think with expert help! Because the proper treatment for panic attacks and panic disorder is so very specific and focuses on one powerful particular strategy, treatment doesn't have to be lengthy, either. As long as one does the homework and learns the proper tools, suffering with panic attacks and panic disorder can be resolved. If you're having panic attacks, trust you have finally found the right place for panic attack therapy!
People that seek us out for help with panic attacks and panic disorder have usually been suffering for far too long. Many have wasted time and money on trips to the emergency room, on medication, or on regular talk therapy. None of these can resolve panic attacks or panic disorder. That said, it's understandable that many go to the hospital or a medical doctor initially because they fear they have a medical problem or life threatenting issue based on panic attack symptoms mimicking medical disorders like heart problems, breathing disorders, thyroid issues and other illnesses. Unfortunately, because medical doctors are not anxiety treatment specialists or experts, they don't know how to treat panic attacks and panic disorder. Most don't even know how to diagnose it. And yet, they often prescribe medication that doesn't resolve panic attacks and only makes matters worse, due to addictive benzodiazapenes and their reinforcing of an avoidance pattern.
Many people with panic attacks and panic disorder don't tell anyone for fear of embarrassment or lack of understanding. This often results in their suffering in silence, which only adds to their pain.
Call The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management
Learn how to cure panic attacks now with CBT and break free!
Main Office Phone: 310 - 429 - 1024
What is a Panic Attack?
Your first panic attack probably came without warning, as most panic attacks do. More than likely, this experience was brought on by an intense amount of stress building in your life. This eventually set off the fight or flight response, leading to an adrenaline surge the likes of which you had never experienced before. Considering the fact that most panic attacks occur when there is no real external danger putting your life at risk, it can be challenging to cope with the adrenaline dump without the release that accompanies fighting off a real external attacker or running for your life in a true life or death emergency. The mind usually searches for control when faced with panic. Unfortunately, your desire to get rid of the adrenaline response and tendency to fight it, only digs you deeper into the experience of panic, usually leading to the developement of Panic Disorder.
The definition of a panic attack is often described as a period of intense fear with several physical sensations and cognitive symptoms.
The physical sensations and cognitive symptoms of a Panic Attack usually include four or more of these:
- Pounding heart, quickened or rapid heart rate, or heart palpitations. Many feel like their heart is bursting out of their chest or fear they're about to have a heart attack. This can also include chest pain and tightness in the chest.
- Sudden sweating and perspiring. Some feel suddenly warm or experience a hot flash.
- Feeling like you're trembling and shaking all over. Some describe this as feeling extremely jittery.
- Feeling short of breath. Many feel like they can't breathe or fear they're going to stop breathing.
- Feeling like you're choking.
- Nausea or stomach pain and discomfort
- Dizziness. Some feel very light headed and like they're going to pass out.
- Feeling cold and having the chills.
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet (parasthesia).
- Derealization. This is feeling like you're detached from reality or outside of reality.
- Depersonalization. This is feeling like you're detached from or outside of yourself.
- Feeling like you're going insane or "freaking out".
- Feeling like you're losing control of yourself.
- Feeling like you're about to die.
(*symptoms and criteria courtesy of the DSM)
What is Panic Disorder?
Panic Disorder often develops after the first panic attack. Panic attacks, also called anxiety attacks, can be so frightening that most people never want to have one again. Therefore, they do all they can to avoid having panic sensations and symptoms again in an effort to say "goodbye" to the experience once and for all. Unfortunately, without the proper help and treatment, worry about having more panic attacks unwittingly encourages more of them. This then creates panic disorder, aka a fear of fear.
Panic disorder is defined by repeated, spontaneous attacks of anxiety or, as most call them, panic attacks. These can even happen during sleep, usually called "nocturnal panic attacks". As mentioned above, the main struggle with Panic Disorder is an individual's tendency to worry about and be preoccupied with fear of having another panic attack. This, of course, leads to many days filled with feeling on edge, tense, nervous, agitated, restless, jittery, uptight, apprehensive and anxious. To be diagnosed with Panic Disorder, one must have recurring panic attacks for over a month.
It's easy to imagine how frequent panic attacks can interfere with and even shut down life. Most people with Panic Disorder fear entering situations in which they've previously panicked. They also fear situations where they feel trapped with no easy escape or help ready and available, if they panic.
Avoidance becomes a common strategy to cope with persistent panic attacks, which can then shut down quality of life even further.
Often times, people with Panic Disorder fear dying or the feeling of being out of control or, at least, fear something terrible is about to happen and are worried about being embarrassed should they have a panic or anxiety attack in public. Fear of panic attacks can easily disrupt work or school. Especially in office meetings or school classes. Once these fears occur, Agoraphobia can develop. This is why a diagnosis of Panic Disorder is usually accompanied by a diagnosis of Agoraphobia.
What is Agoraphobia?
Although Agoraphobia is defined by its prefix as a fear of open spaces, it usually is experienced as the opposite. In other words, as mentioned in the above paragraph, the main fear for agoraphobics is to be trapped in situations where escape would be impossible, difficult or embarrassing. Also common for agoraphobics is a fear of being in situations where help is not readily available.
For those with Agoraphobia, when feeling trapped, a panic attack is usually the result. This is why Panic Disorder accompanies Agoraphobia and vice versa.
Situations, places and activities many with Agoraphobia avoid can include:
Closed in spaces, such as, movie theaters, certain grocery stores, shopping malls, specific restaurants, traffic and bridges (fear of driving can also develop with these last two). With restaurants and movie theaters, sometimes certain seating arrangements are avoided for comfort and a feeling a safety.
Crowds or standing in line, such as at sporting events, concerts, the bank and certain stores.
Being away from home alone in a place deemed far out of one's comfort zone.
Public transportation, such as buses, trains and planes.
Certain foods or drinks that could trigger the feeling of panic attack symptoms. These can include caffeine-based drinks or food items like coffee, tea, soda and chocolate. Others can include hot sauce, ketchup, fast food and junk food. Salt and sugar filled foods. And, for some, alcohol can also encourage the experience of similar panic-like feelings.
Exercise due to the fear it may cause a panic attack or because it mimics the physical symptoms associated with panic. These symptoms can include rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, sweating, dizziness and even fatigue. If exercising in a gym, part of the avoidance can be based on a desire to avoid embarassment should one have a panic attack or anxiety attack. A gym can have added pressure for those with Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia, due to its social nature with regard to status, competition, dating options and friendship opportunities.
Social Events, like parties, get togethers, lunches and more. These might be avoided, again, due to fear of embarassment if a panic attack happens and a fear one cannot escape quickly or easily.
Many people with Agoraphobia might only be willing to travel inside of a certain radius or perimeter they have decided is safe. They may even avoid leaving the house much or at all to avoid the chances they might feel trapped and panicky.
The Best and Only Real Treatment for Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder with or without Agoraphobia
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the only scientifically proven form of effective treatment for Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder. A licensed psychologist should provide this form of treatment, as they have the highest education and highest credentials in the field of psychology. CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is a natural panic attack treatment without medication. Its goal and focus is to teach those suffering how to cure panic attacks fast!
Our proven CBT for panic attacks and Panic Disorder focuses on changing cognitive distortions and false beliefs that maintain anxiety (called "cognitive restructuring"), while also teaching new behaviors that challenge and reduce anxiety.
With regard to the behavioral component of CBT for anxiety, Exposure and Response Prevention (Exposure for short) is the absolute key therapy strategy to resolving panic attacks and Panic Disorder. This involves facing sensations of panic with homework assignements designed to encourage your brain and system to adapt or get used to these bodily sensations. Rather than reacting with fear and desire to escape, one can soon experience relief by the disappearance of symptoms, along with the dissolving of this fear.
At The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management Los Angeles, exposure strategies are assigned gradually, so patients can make progress at their own pace and not feel like they're being thrown into the deep end.
Another CBT strategy in managing anxiety in general can include Mindfulness-based CBT. We teach this in the form of an anxiety meditation that encourages present moment awareness. Click for more on our anxiety zen meditation.
Simple and old unproven methods like breathing exercises, physical exercise and a special diet cannot cure panic attacks or panic disorder, despite what some might think and suggest.
Click for more on CBT treatment for agoraphobia and panic attacks.
If CBT wasn't so effective, psychologists at The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management would have sought training in other therapies or strategies, such as hypnosis or hypnotherapy, EMDR or many "quick fixes" sold online. That said, these other forms of treatment have not been scientifically proven to work for anxiety disorders, while of many them have been shown to only worsen panic attack symptoms and panic disorder. This includes traditional talk therapy, which also has been shown ineffective in treating anxiety disorders succesfully.
Call The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management
Learn how to get rid of panic attacks now and leave anxiety behind!
Main Office Phone: 310 - 429 - 1024
Individual Therapy for Panic Disorder
Individual therapy is the main form of treatment for Panic Disorder and panic attacks at The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management Los Angeles treatment clinic. All of our psychologists are trained by Dr. Craig April and offer only the best and proven forms of CBT anxiety treatment.
Phone Sessions for the Treatment of Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder
Scheduled Phone sessions with a staff psychologist at The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management Los Angeles Treatment Clinic are a great and effective form of treatment for those suffering with Panic Disorder and panic attacks. These phone sessions are available to those who are unable to visit our office due to their symptoms or can't find specialized help for Panic Disorder or Panic Attacks in their area and live too far to travel.
Why Worry About Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder?
The truth of the matter is that panic attacks are not really a danger to anyone's mental or physical health in the moments one is faced with this scary, intense and, sometimes, terrifying experience. One exception, of course, might be if someone with serious heart disease is also struggling with panic or some other potentially life threatening medical issue (though we've never seen or heard of this occurring).
Panic attacks in and of themselves cannot hurt you in the way that you fear. In other words, they do not cause death by shutting down your breathing ability or lung functioning. Panic attacks don't and won't cause schizophrenia or the breakdown of your psyche (though they can make you feel like you're losing your mind). They can't make your throat collapse or close. And panic attacks are not heart attacks. Therefore, there is no need for a panic attack hospital (nor does one exist!).
And going to the er for anxiety is most likely not going to be of much help, as there are no anxiety specialists present to assist. You might wonder (if you haven't already been there!) what happens when you go to the er with anxiety. The typical, less than helpful experience, is that an er doctor or nurse after a checkup will inform you that you've had a panic attack. And will then provide you with a benzodiazapene (Xanax or Ativan most commonly), which is just a sedative that will do nothing to actually help you overcome panic - other than to sedate you. In fact, taking these meds over time actually encourages more anxiety rather than less. Again, the reality is that panic attacks can't truly hurt you.
So, why worry about panic attacks? There are several reasons you should be concerned if you struggle with panic or Panic Disorder. Here they are:
1. Frequent panic attacks can lead you to depend on others to such a degree that you lose respect for yourself and maybe even the respect of those you care about. Your confidence can be seriously damaged.
2. Giving in to panic can severly limit your independence and the feeling of being able to live life based on your own choices or desires. Panic Disorder can interfere with accomplishing regular routines, errands or past pleasurable experiences like getting a haircut, standing in line at the grocery store, going to the movies, sitting in a restaurant with friends, driving, attending a concert or sporting event, having fun at a party, and even going to work or school. With Panic Disorder, one's life can begin to revolve around the fear of having another panic attack and the desire to avoid one at all costs.
3. Even though panic attacks can be treated and resolved with the help of an anxiety expert, there are many who are afraid to seek help for panic attack symptoms out of embarrassment, fear they'll be told they're crazy and also fear they might have to face panic head on!
4. As already mentioned, with repeated panic attacks Agoraphobia can develop, creating a larger problem and more suffering.
5. It is common to start avoiding doing what you love or enjoy because it requires you to be social or be out in the world where panic attacks have occurred. This can result in a major decrease in happiness and life satisfaction.
6. Some turn to alcohol or drugs to cope with panic attacks. This then creates another problem, in addition to the continuing anxiety, because drugs and alcohol only mask the problem and do not treat it.
7. Panic Disorder can negatively effect relationships. Without proper help, continued panic attacks can interfere with daily life to such an extent that they impact a couple's ability to spend time together at home and out.
8. Consistent panic attacks can create problems at work or school. For example, one might start avoiding work meetings or classes or unable to sit in them while worrying about having a panic attack. Another problem can be a tendency to start limiting interaction with classmates, colleagues, coworkers and even the boss out of concern over panicking in their presence. Work or school performance can begin to suffer due to the focus and attention given to the fear of having a panic attack in the work place or school setting.
9. Many who have panic attacks mistakenly believe they're experiencing a serious medical condition, like a heart attack, and subsequently call an ambulance, head to the emergency room or schedule a doctor's visit. Some even do this on a regular basis. This can lead to costly medical bills and a lot of wasted time!
And last, another concern is . . .
Medication Prescribed for Panic Attacks
Panic attacks can be treated naturally without dangerous addictive medications that really only add fuel to the fire! There is no pill that can treat fear!
Due to a lack of knowledge on the part of medical doctors and psychiatrists on how to treat panic attacks, people suffering with them are often prescribed benzodiazepenes, such as Ativan, Xanax, Klonopin and Valium (aka tranquilizers or sedatives). These are extremely addictive and also have intense, potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Unbeknownst to the medical doctor, psychiatrist and patient, they also actually serve to keep the cycle of panic attacks recurring.
So, not only are these "anxiety" meds going to encourage more panic, they also create an addiction. This is a topic discussed in treatment at The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management on a regular basis.
One caveat is the prescription of certain antidepressants for panic attacks. These can reduce a degree of anxiety, but again, cannot treat or resolve panic disorder. Antidepressants are most appropriate for those that struggle with so much anxiety that it interferes with their ability to complete CBT assignments geared towards helping reduce and resolve symptoms.
Check out our popular blog posts on Anxiety, Panic Disorder and Panic Attack Treatment :
(*Just click on the separate blog titles to read each post!)
Best Panic Attack Treatment - Discusses how and why CBT is the key to beating panic.
Agoraphobia, Panic Attacks and You - Discusses the true nature of Agoraphobia and its relationship with panic attacks.
Panic Disorder can Lead to Anxiety Relief? - Discusses the indirect way Panic Disorder can be your breakthough!
Panic Disorder is a Fear of Fear? - Discusses the reality when it comes to panic attacks and fear.
Anxiety Attacks During Pregnancy - Discusses the fact that, although not often shared, pregnancy can be an anxious, stressful expeience.
Panic Disorder and Anxiety Treatment: How To Encourage Your Family Member - Discusses ways to approach a family member suffering with panic and anxiety in order to encourage them to seek help.
A Side of Anxiety and Panic Attacks for Thanksgiving? - Discusses anxiety-related experiences and pressures that many struggle with during the holidays.
Fear of Driving - Here, There and Everywhere - Discusses a fear of driving that might just be about something else.
With Panic Attacks and Phobias, The Mind Doesn't Know What's Real - Discusses the tendency of the mind to have trouble distinguishing between a real emergency and illusion.
Does Anxiety and OCD Make You More Sensitive? - Discusses the sensitive system of an OCD and anxiety disorder sufferer.
Common OCD and Anxiety Disorder Thinking Patterns Treated During CBT - Discusses some common ways of thinking that create and maintain OCD and anxiety symptoms.
Take The Disorder Out of OCD, Panic Disorder and Anxiety - Discusses the reality of neurobiological and genetic factors in anxiety and OCD, but addresses the importance of moving through fear to overcome.
Behavior Therapy Summarized - Describes behavior therapy as key in reducing anxiety
How Our Biology Makes OCD, Panic and Anxiety Reduction A Challenge - Discusses the biology of anxiety and OCD.
If you struggle with Panic Disorder or Panic Attacks, trust that your symptoms can be overcome with the proper help and treatment.
Call 310-429-1024 NOW to schedule your appointment today!