What are Panic Attacks?

A panic attack is defined as the emergence of four or more physiological sensations (e.g., heart race, dizziness, light-headedness, stomach distress, trembling, feelings of derealization) peaking in intensity within 10 minutes.  More information on panic attacks here. 


What is Panic Disorder?

Panic attacks are common in all anxiety disorders and in the general public (approximately one-third of the population has had a panic attack in the past year). However, those who suffer from panic disorder, the occurrence of even a single panic attack may be so distressing that they develop an intense and persistent fear of having another one. They fear a catastrophic outcome will occur (i.e. I'm going to lose control of myself, I'm going to die, I'm going to go crazy and/or I'm going to embarrass myself).

Often, people with Panic Disorder tend to avoid situations that might elicit a panic attack (called Agoraphobia). Examples of avoided situations: locations (airplanes, traffic, large open spaces); foods (caffeine, sugar, alcohol); emotions (excitement, anger, anxiety); and activities (exercise, sex).

Before seeing Taylor, I was struggling with OCD behavior, compulsive exercise, and learning how to cope with my past in a healthy way. He was very patient, understanding, and non-judgmental, which allowed me to uncover problems that were essentially being pushed aside. I used to get uncomfortable and self-conscious about discussing certain things that happened when I was younger, but the environment that he creates is very welcoming and I felt at ease when memories came to mind. He also asked me…
Anon, Edgebrook, Chicago