Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
Call 510-394-4686 for a FREE Phone Interview
Matthew Lindgren is a panic attack therapist who offers therapy for panic attacks and anxiety in Oakland.
Panic attacks are terrifying physical symptoms that cause you to feel as if you were dying. Quite often, people first find out that they are experiencing panic attacks when they seek medical help for what often feels like a heart attack.
If you've answered "yes" to any of these questions, you may want to consult with a panic attack therapist like myself to determine if you or someone you love is suffering from panic attacks, so you can receive the therapy you deserve.
Panic attacks symptoms are usually much more physical than psychological, which is why people often confuse panic attacks with a medical problem. It is very important that you check with a medical doctor to ensure that you do not have a medical condition that might account for your symptoms.
Some physical symptoms of panic attacks, from the DSM-IV, include:
Because panic attacks often shows up as physical symptoms, it can be very helpful to work with a somatic therapist, like myself, who can help you recover from both the psychological and physiological symptoms of panic attacks.
Panic attacks happen when our minds separate our fear of a traumatic event from the experience of the traumatic event itself. In a dangerous situation, it can be helpful to not feel our fear so that we can meet the demands required to survive, and so we have developed an instinctual response that allows us to do exactly that.
Instead of becoming destabilized by fear and unable to cope, your mind and body automatically set aside the fear and emotions for later. It's sort of a "Buy now, Pay later" plan. Unfortunately, many people find that they have no idea what to do when their body decides it's ready to process the overwhelming fear. Our culture doesn't really handle fear very well, and most people have no idea how to help someone who is having a panic attack. The fear appears suddenly and is overwhelming, and maybe you don't feel ready to handle it. So, it goes away, but tries to come back, again and again.
The fear response wants to complete, but every time it pops up, you become overwhelmed and it never completes. Eventually people become afraid of the panic attacks themselves. The fear from the panic attack might become associated with the places where you experience it, for example, in the outside world, so that you naturally want to avoid those places. Many people who have panic attacks become agoraphobic, or afraid of leaving their homes, for fear that they might have a panic attack in a place where they feel vulnerable or unable to protect or care for themselves.
The good news is that panic attacks can be relatively straightforward and easy to treat. One of the reasons I like to work with people who suffer from panic attacks is because I used to have them myself. I know first hand that you can feel better, and I am happy to show you how.
The keys to treating panic attacks involve systematic desensitization, or a gradual lessening of fear responses, around events or situations that trigger attacks, as well as trauma and PTSD work with the original event or events that created the fear. Unlike friends and relatives, I am able to be with you and show you how to process and work through panic attacks so that you can feel whole. I can offer you the support to help you learn to work through the fear and live a life free from panic attacks, in Oakland.
In my work with people who suffer from panic attacks, I find that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), EMDR, and somatic experiencing techniques tend to be the most effective. I often supplement these therapies with mindfulness based therapy, which can help you build the ability to observe and react appropriately when you feel panic so that the panic need not escalate to a full attack. I offer these therapies to people who suffer from panic attacks in Oakland.
Panic attacks can happen in a variety of anxiety disorders. I specialize in helping people recover from a variety of panic related disorders, including:
Call 510-394-4686 for a free phone consultation.