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 have persistent fear of having a panic attack in a situation in which they cannot escape or get help. 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. Those with panic disorder typically fear a catastrophic outcome from panic attacks; for example, I am going to lose control of myself, I am going to die, I am going to go crazy, and/or I am 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