Can Rehab Help With Anxiety and Panic Attack Disorder?
Although roughly 10% of the population suffers from an occasional panic attack, approximately one in every 50 suffer from a condition known as panic attack disorder. It is characterised by frequent panic attacks that can be potentially debilitating for as long as they last. Those suffering from the most severe form of the disorder may also develop a companion disorder known as agoraphobia.
If you suspect you might be suffering from severe anxiety and/or panic attack disorder, there is help by way of outpatient and residential rehab. We will discuss both in subsequent paragraphs, but first we want to let you know how we can help. UK-Rehab is a counselling and referral service helping clients locate and access rehab treatments for a variety of addictions and mental illnesses. Moreover, because we are independent, we are able to work with clinics all over the UK.
Panic Attack Basics
A panic attack is a sudden onset of fear or severe anxiety that appears to strike without any reasonable warning. People suffering from panic attack experience more than just the emotion of fear. They also experience physical symptoms that can include all, or some, of the following:
- heart palpitations, chest pains
- sweating, hot flushes, chills
- shortness of breath
- nausea, dizziness, feelings of faintness
- pins and needles sensations, numbness
- fear of death or of losing one’s mind.
As we stated earlier, it is normal for most of us to suffer a panic attack every now and again. However, if such attacks are persistent and frequent, you might be suffering from panic attack disorder.
Panic Attacks and Agoraphobia
When panic attack disorder is left untreated, it can easily lead to agoraphobia, a secondary disorder in which the individual does not want to leave the home out of fear of having a panic attack in public. People suffering from agoraphobia can eventually find themselves in a place where they do not leave home for years at a time.
Agoraphobia can exhibit unreasonable fears of the following:
public transportation, including buses and trains
- open spaces were crowds tend to congregate
- bridges, lifts and other high places
- restaurants and theatres with no easy exit.
The fear associated with public places that the sufferer does not think he or she can control is the main characteristic of agoraphobia. When the condition is allowed to persist, some people continue developing additional fears over just about everything. Some might be afraid of certain foods; others will develop a fear of certain TV programmes, receiving visitors in the home, and so on.
Severe anxiety and panic attack disorder are mental illnesses in most cases. Sometimes they can be the result of substance abuse or addiction, but they are independent more often than not. Having said that, treatment consists primarily of psychotherapeutic exercises as long as substance abuse or addiction is not part of the equation.
The two main therapies for severe anxiety and panic attack disorder are cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and drug therapy. Prescription medications are only used with CBT to calm anxieties and fears in order to allow the patient to live as normal a life as possible while undergoing treatment.
What is the CBT? It is a therapy rooted in a combination of the behavioural therapies of the 1930s and the cognitive therapies of the 1960s. It is based on the principle that mental illness can be cured or controlled by teaching patients how to recognise – and then change – their negative behaviours. CBT is successful in about half of all cases of panic attack disorder and agoraphobia.
In cases where CBT is not successful, there are certain antidepressants that seem to work for some patients. The effectiveness of these drugs builds over time, so patients usually continue dealing with the panic attacks for several weeks after beginning medication.
More About CBT
Whether a patient seeks rehab through an outpatient or residential setting, CBT will likely be the first course of action therapists take. Here is what you need to know about CBT:
- Goals – Unlike some other psychotherapeutic treatments, CBT is not open-ended. At the start of the therapy, specific goals are established; goals the patient works his or her way through from one session to the next. By the time the therapy is complete, the patient should be able to exercise self-control over his or her panic attacks.
- Purpose – The purpose of CBT is not to just give the patient time to talk about his or her problems. Rather, it is designed to help the individual identify why he or she thinks and feels the way they do, what triggers panic attacks, and various strategies he or she can employ to prevent the panic attacks without withdrawing from society.
- Outlook – Those patients with access to CBT typically enjoy a better long-term outlook than those taking antidepressants, as long as they complete the CBT programme.
Should you decide to take advantage of outpatient treatment, it is available through private clinics, professional counsellors and the NHS. That said, CBT might not be available through the NHS or counsellors in your area. It is usually available through private clinics.
Our first recommendation to clients who call us is to consider private treatment if they can afford it. Private treatment, whether outpatient or residential, offers higher-quality care and greater success rates. The fact that private clinics do not have to deal with a bunch of other illnesses and medical conditions makes the environment more conducive to successfully treating those with panic attack disorder.
We hope we have answered most of your questions about anxiety and panic attack disorder rehab. If not, do not hesitate to call our helpline at your earliest convenience. Our trained counsellors are available to work with you and answer any questions you might have. We can even help arrange treatment as soon as you are ready to get started.
UK-Rehab does not want to see you continue living with panic attack disorder or agoraphobia. There is no reason you have to, anyway. We work with clinics and other service providers that are standing by to help you.
- Patient.co.uk – http://patient.info/health/panic-attack-and-panic-disorder
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