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Panic Attack Treatments at Wellness Psychiatry

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If you or someone you know suffers from panic attacks or panic disorder, Wellness Psychiatry is here to help. Our qualified medical staff and therapists are dedicated to assisting you in regaining your independence by reducing the frequency and severity of panic attacks.

Diagnosis

Identifying the root cause of panic episodes is the first step in treating the condition. To identify whether you are suffering panic attacks, panic disorder, or any underlying issue that may mirror panic attack symptoms, our committed team will work closely with you. Our procedure of diagnosis may include:

  • A thorough history of physical and mental health symptoms, diagnoses, and treatment
  • Blood tests to assess thyroid function and rule out other medical conditions.
  • A comprehensive psychological assessment to discuss your symptoms, fears, stressors, avoidance behaviors, and family history.
  • Self-assessment questionnaires and discussions about substance use if applicable.

Panic Attack Treatment

If you want to lessen the frequency and severity of panic attacks and improve your ability to go about your regular life, it is recommended you start therapy. Depending on your unique situation, we can recommend a combination of psychotherapy and medicine. Based on your needs, preferences, medical history, and the severity of your symptoms, and we will make treatment recommendations.

Psychotherapy

Talk therapy (or psychotherapy) is commonly the first line of defense against panic episodes and panic disorder. It teaches you about panic attacks and how to deal with them. Particularly useful in treating panic disorder is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT involves a methodical, therapeutic approach to gradually confronting situations that trigger panic attacks. Your worry will subside as you gain experience with tools to manage your symptoms. Avoidance behaviors related to panic episodes can be overcome with the help of therapy as well.

It may take a few weeks or months, but you should start to feel better when your panic attacks subside. Sessions designed to maintain symptom management or treat recurrences may be indicated.

Panic Attack Medications

When used in conjunction with psychotherapy, medication can be an effective means of alleviating the distress caused by panic attacks and, in some cases, the depression they can cause. Panic episodes can be treated with several different medications:

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

These medications are the go-to for treating panic attacks because of how well they work and how few adverse effects they have. Fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft) are SSRIs approved by the FDA for the treatment of panic disorder.

Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)

Medications belonging to the SNRI class, such as venlafaxine (Effexor XR), have also been proven effective in treating panic disorder.

Benzodiazepines

Lorazepam (Ativan) and clonazepam (Klonopin) are two examples of benzodiazepines sedatives that can be used to treat panic attacks quickly and effectively. The risk of addiction and other negative effects, however, means that they are only ever recommended for temporary usage.

Your doctor may suggest trying a different medicine or a combination of medications if the first one isn’t doing the trick. All medications may cause unwanted side effects, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about the possibilities.

How to Stop a Panic Attack

Managing and preventing panic attacks can feel impossible, but there are ways to cope with their intensity. Here are 12 strategies that have the potential to be helpful right now and in the future:

Seek Counseling

Counselling techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and others can help with panic attacks and panic disorder. They can teach you to reframe anxiety-inducing scenarios and learn effective new coping mechanisms.

Take Medications

Medications like SSRIs can be useful in reducing the severity of panic attacks in certain people.          

Use Deep Breathing

Hyperventilation and panic attacks can be alleviated with the practice of deep, diaphragmatic breathing. Take four calm, deep breaths in via your nose, hold for a second, and then let them out through your mouth.  

Recognize the Attack

Realizing that your panic attack is not a life-or-death situation can help alleviate some of the associated anxiety. Don’t worry, this too shall pass.

Close Your Eyes

If you’re in a stressful situation, closing your eyes may help you relax and concentrate on your breathing.

Practice Mindfulness

The sense of disconnection can be lessened via the practice of mindfulness. Keep your attention on your immediate environment and your bodily feelings to avoid losing touch with reality.

Find a Focus Object

Try focusing on anything specific to take your mind off of your anxiety. Keep your thoughts active by describing it in detail to yourself.

Use Muscle Relaxation Techniques

Tension can be relieved, and stress reduced with the help of progressive muscle relaxation. Work your way around your body, relaxing each muscle group in turn as you practice.

Visualize Your Happy Place

Reduce your tension and anxiety with some guided imagery. To redirect your thoughts, picture a peaceful, relaxing setting in your mind.

Engage in Light Exercise

Maintaining a regular exercise routine can help reduce anxiety, but engaging in strenuous activity during a panic attack is not advised. Try out some low-impact activities like swimming, yoga, or walking.

Keep Lavender on Hand

The relaxing effects of lavender make it useful for treating anxiety. Follow the directions carefully and keep the concentrated oil off your skin to ensure a safe experience.

Repeat a Mantra

It can be helpful to repeat a mantra to yourself in your mind that gives you comfort and stability, such as “This too shall pass,” whenever you feel an anxiety attack coming on.

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Symptoms of a Panic Attack

Intense feelings of fear or worry can strike suddenly and cause a variety of physical and mental symptoms known collectively as a panic attack. Examples of such symptoms could be:

  • Heart palpitations or racing heart
  • Sweating
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Chest pain or difficulty breathing
  • Discomfort or pain in the chest
  • Discomfort or sickness in the stomach
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Feverish tingling or numbness
  • Perceptions of disconnection from one’s physical environment
  • Concern about losing control
  • Fear of death

Prevention

Even though it’s not always practicable, you can lessen the likelihood of having a panic attack by doing the following:

  • Doing breathing exercises every day
  • Exercising on a regular basis
  • Eating healthily and keeping blood sugar levels steady
  • Reducing Intake of Caffeine, Tobacco, and Alcohol
  • Getting help from a counsellor or other experts
  • Getting involved with nearby support groups

Get help from a psychiatric nurse practitioner or psychiatrist if panic attacks are interfering with your everyday life, career, or personal relationships. Wellness Psychiatry is here to help you conquer your panic attacks and take back control of your life.

Providers Who Work With This Condition

Amanda Farrell
PMHNP-BC

Amanda provides care in our Lakewood office and virtually. She accepts Aetna, UHC, Cigna, and BCBS. Amanda is a Board Certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP). She received a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota before going on to become a Registered Nurse and PMHNP. She has experience working with children, adolescents, adults, and geriatric patients.

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Wellness Psychiatry Therapy Provider darby kolo
Darby Kolo
MA, LPC

Darby provides psychotherapy appointments in our Lakewood office and virtually. She accepts Aetna and UHC. Darby is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She has experience working with children, adolescents, and adults. She uses multiple treatment approaches including CBT, DBT, Mindfulness Based and Solution Focused Therapy.

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Ellen Hughes
PMHNP- BC

Ellen provides care in our Lakewood office and virtually. She accepts Aetna, UHC, Cigna, and BCBS. Ellen is a Board Certified psychiatric mental health purse Practitioner. She has her Doctorate in Nursing Practice. She joined Wellness Psychiatry in November 2022 with the goal of providing compassionate, evidence-based care to a wide variety of patients.

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Wellness Psychiatry Therapy Provider jordan gough
Jordan Gough
PMHNP candidate

Jordan provides care in our Lakewood office and virtually. Jordan’s passion lies in caring for individuals throughout all stages of life, with a distinctive focus on pregnant and postpartum women, those facing the challenges of infertility or perinatal loss, and individuals dealing with premenstrual or perimenopausal mood changes. Additionally, she finds great fulfillment in supporting assigned female at birth adolescents who are navigating the complexities of mood fluctuations, grappling with academic performance challenges, or experiencing a combination of both.

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Wellness Psychiatry Therapy Provider Kenzie Rambicure
Kenzie Rambicure
LCSW

Kenzie provides psychotherapy appointments in our Lakewood office and virtually. She accepts UHC and Aetna. Kenzie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Her practice involves the modalities and foundations of EMDR, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Poly-Vagal Theory, Systems Theory, Psychodynamic Theory, Empowerment Perspective, and the mind-body connection.

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Laura Oconnell
PMHNP-BC, FNP-BC

Laura provides care in our Winter Park office and virtually. She accepts Aetna, UHC, Cigna, BCBS, and the Grand County ACHES AND PAINS vouchers. Laura is Board Certified Family nurse practitioner. She returned to school to further her education and skills in psychiatric care thus working towards her psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.

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what our clients say

I was extremely apprehensive on my first visit because I was in a very bad mental state. Amanda was very thorough, very friendly, and made me feel very comfortable from the very beginning. As I recovered I looked forward to our visits but in the end we mutually decided that it was time for me to leave the nest and fly away. If I ever need her I can always call on her. There was something about the layout of the office, the furnishings, and the calming energy that always put me at ease. My first encounter with psychiatric counseling was definitely a positive experience and something that I'll cherish.
Charles
This office is amazing! Anyone who struggles with mental health or neurodivergence knows how frustrating and overwhelming advocating for yourself can be. I recently transitioned from a GP to seeing Jordan Gough with Wellness Psychiatry. My hope was to have a bit less frustration with medication management for ADHD. Transitioning to this office has been a life changing experience. I left my first appointment feeling supported and understood for the first time in 20 years. I feel like Jordan honestly cares and listens. Her compassion and empathy is palpable and I honestly feel like I have someone who WANTS to help me.
Briana
Wellness has been awesome. I’ve seen Jordan Gough for the last couple weeks now. As an adult being treated for ADHD for the first time in my life, I walked into the experience a little nervous. Jordan has made me feel comfortable from the get-go. She does a great job of making sure I understand all the science-y stuff that goes into ADHD and treatment without making me feel dumb or confused. If Jordan, as a knowledgeable, professional, and caring psychiatrist, is the standard for Wellness then you know the place is great.
Erin
This is the best psychiatry practice I have been to. Everyone I have worked with has been empathetic and understanding. The office feels very warm and I feel very taken care of. I always know when I call or email, Riley will be super responsive to my needs. Highly recommend!
Ellen
Amanda has been incredibly helpful. I'm much happier and more productive.
Bob
Wellness Psychiatry goes above and beyond. Everyone from admin to clinical staff. The team fosters warmth and are very attentive to your needs. Addressing mental health has felt overwhelming but this team makes it me feel comfortable and supported. Thanks!
Jodi
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