604-685-4325

Panic Attacks

Panic Attack Treatment – Downtown Vancouver

Electra Health Floor – 970 Burrard Street, Vancouver BC Open 7 days a week from 8 am to 8 pm 604-685-4325 (HEAL)
Panic disorders are a treatable medical illness, don’t suffer alone in silence.
Talk to someone who cares about you.
Electra Health Floor’s experienced psychological counsellors can provide short-term and long-term treatment for panic attacks and/or anxiety at our downtown Vancouver location.

If you are suffering from panic attacks or unmanageable anxiety, seeing a psychological counsellor will help you identify the cause of the panic attacks and anxiety, and then help you to deal with the problem.

Panic Attacks, Why should I be concerned?

The everyday use of the word depression usually refers to a passing state of emotion, perhaps a moment of sadness, pain or exhaustion. The key difference from the illness of clinical depression is that the feelings pass naturally and people continue being fully engaged in day to day activities. When depression is used to describe an illness the implications are much different.

What is a Panic Attack? – Do I need treatment?

A panic attack is characterized by a sudden, discrete and intense perception of terror and fear usually accompanied by physical symptoms. Panic is associated with all the anxiety disorders. If you’ve ever been out in public and suddenly noticed your heart beginning to pound, your skin starting to feel clammy and wet, or you find yourself breathing in shallow short breaths and notice your vision begin to blur, you may have experienced a mild panic attack. In more severe cases you may observe yourself feeling trapped or edgy in situations that previously never bothered you. For example, a crowded movie theater, a busy grocery store, on public transportation or being out socially. Sometimes your sleep becomes disrupted and you wake up as if in a nightmare. In states of heightened fear and anxiety, you may notice your surroundings fading in and out. You’re so frightened; you take yourself to the nearest Emergency Room. Your presentation often includes physical symptoms such a:

  • panic attack treatment downtown vancouverPalpitations
  • Pounding heart
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Shortness of breath or smothering
  • Feeling of choking
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Nausea or abdominal distress
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded or faint

In more severe panic attacks, people may experience:

  • Derealization (feelings of unreality)
  • Depersonalization (being detached from oneself).
  • Panic attacks usually involve a general Fear of:
  • Losing control
  • Going crazy
  • Dying.

Other people experience:

  • Paresthesias (numbness or tingling sensations)
  • Chills and /or hot flushes

How common is Panic Disorder?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, panic disorder affects over 6 million adults in North America. Some people experience only one panic attack in their lives, while others can be functionally disabled by frequent attacks, up to several times a day. Panic attacks are more common in women than men.

Why is it important to get a proper diagnosis?

Panic Attacks are frightening and can mimic medically treatable conditions. For example, if a racing heart beat, shortness of breath and chest pain are the primary symptoms for you, cardiac disease must be ruled out. Panic attacks are horrible! People use everything they can to get through the moment.

Panic Attack Treatment – Downtown Vancouver

Electra Health Floor – 970 Burrard Street, Vancouver BC Open 7 days a week from 8 am to 8 pm 604-685-4325 (HEAL)
Panic disorders are a treatable medical illness, don’t suffer alone in silence. Talk to someone who cares about you.

What can I do to help myself?

If you are concerned you may be experiencing panic attacks seek help. Spend time researching the topics of panic and anxiety. Knowledge is power. Your local library and book store are a great resource. The out-patient department of your local hospital often run groups for anxiety, stress management etc. You can seek counseling on a one to one basis. The nature of a panic attack may lead people to avoid others for fear of embarrassment. Avoidance behaviors can further complicate the situation. By not dealing with the fear and anxiety, you may be making it difficult to perform a job, go for a walk outside, carry out family You can learn behavioral techniques to reduce or stop the undesired behavior associated with panic. For example, relaxation and deep breathing techniques can counteract the growing wave of anxiety and agitation. You may find it helpful to explore stress management techniques and ways of putting balance into your life. Make sure to get down time. You can explore your local leisure services calendar; join a private gym, yoga session or art class. The activity is not the key factor here. The important thing is that you find the element that contributes to the result of decreased life stress and helps you to put balance into your life. Cognitive therapy teaches you how your thoughts contribute to your symptoms. You could explore the relationship between your thoughts, emotions and behaviours. With time, you’d learn skills to change your thought patterns and reduce the intensity of your reactions. When you combine the new cognitive thoughts with the behaviours of relaxation and deep breathing you may find confronting and tolerating your fearful situations becomes easier. You may prefer treating panic attacts using holistic therapies, for example, naturopathic remedies, nutritional and/or herbal supplements, acupuncture, biofeedback, massage therapy, aroma therapy (Lavender has been found to relax and relieve stress), energy work, prayer, meditation and yoga. Whatever you choose, give it time. The best results for dealing with panic and anxiety happen over time. The time and commitment you give to your own recovery will benefit you in the long run. Overall, be gentle with yourself and spend time with the people you love. Lisa West, MSW Clinical Social Worker

Downtown Vancouver – Panic Attack Treatment

Electra Health Floor – 970 Burrard Street, Vancouver BC Open 7 days a week from 8 am to 8 pm 604-685-4325 (HEAL)
Panic disorders are a treatable medical illness, don’t suffer alone in silence.
Talk to someone who cares about you.

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