© 2013 by BKO Counseling Services                    AFFORDABLE SAN DIEGO THERAPIST - Brian K. Oltman Psy.D., LMFT

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Having Panic Attacks?

It seems to go without saying that panic attacks are pretty unpleasant and really scary. What's worse is that, once panic attacks have happened, your mental and emotional reactions to them may actually increase the odds of their happening again. It happens like this during a panic attack, you think scary thoughts, like "This'll never stop," or "I'm gonna die, go crazy, or publicly embarrass myself." Once you've had a panic attack, you might naturally start to worry about having another one. You expect that next time, it WON'T end, or you WILL die or go crazy or embarrass yourself.  This type of worry can actually heighten your physiological arousal level and make it easier to have future panic attacks. It's like walking around with a totally full cup of coffee all the time you're a lot more likely to have spill-over when you're brimming full with anxiety. (Incidentally, you're also more likely to have panic attacks when you're brimming full of coffee.)


One of the worst things about panic attacks is the fear and anxiety about having more panic attacks. This "fear of fear" can become so intense that you begin to avoid certain people, places, and activities for fear of having another panic attack. Eventually, some people even 
have trouble leaving their homes because of the fear of panic attacks!
It's easy to see how panic attacks can be so upsetting and life-altering that many people become depressed or turn to alcohol or drugs as a result. Ironically, drugs and alcohol often only serve to increase problems with panic and depression.

 

You Can Get Help!! People who seek treatment for panic attacks have VERY good chances of having success. In fact, research shows that 70 to 90% of people who seek treatment and follow through with it will experience relief.  The treatment of panic attacks usually involves learning new skills. Once you learn these skills, you can practice them on your own. Since the skills are relatively easy to master, you can be sure that you'll know what to do when a panic attack starts and how to reduce the likelihood of future attacks.  Call for your appointment today!

 

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