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North Oakland Counseling LLC   (248) 841-4080 - Therapy & Counseling for Individuals, Couples & Families
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September 2011

Symptoms, Causes & Treatment of Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder

A panic attack is a sudden surge of overwhelming fear and anxiety that often strikes when the individual is away from home, but can also happen any time and anywhere. While panic attacks are usually triggered by a specific situation, they may also occur when the person is relaxed or even asleep.  Signs and symptoms develop abruptly & out of the blue and may last from 10 minutes to an hour.  The person may experience symptoms such as heart palpitations, dizziness, nausea, & may even feel that he/she is going crazy or dying.  Some sufferers may also experience Agoraphobia ( fear of public places ) trying to avoid crowded places, shopping malls, and other situations they fear may trigger the panic attacks.  A panic attack could be a one time occurrence, but most sufferers experience recurrent episodes of the disorder. 
The exact causes of panic attacks are unclear, they may be connected to life transitions, severe stress, or even medical conditions.  But regardless of the cause, panic attacks and panic disorder are treatable conditions utilizing one or combination of the following:
1- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy ( through counseling & psychotherapy), this method is proved to be the most effective form of treatment for panic attacks & panic disorders.

2-Exposure therapy , involving exposing the person to the feared situation in a safe and controlled environment. This method is very effective for those suffering from panic disorder with agoraphobia.

3-Medications,  antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs can be used temporarily  and are very useful in controlling & reducing symptoms. Medications, however, are most effective when combined with other treatment such as psychotherapy, behavioral modification as well as relaxation techniques.   

Positive Charges

- Always find the best in people.
- Don't be afraid to be yourself.
- Open the door to new friendship.
- Keep learning new things everyday.
Stretch outside of your comfort zone.
- Expect big things from your life.
- Praise yourself everyday.
- Make time everyday for solitude and reflection.
- Be thankful for each day & count your blessing instead of your problems.

A positive Mental Attitude urges you to:

-Seek the truth.
-Take constructive action.
-Strive to achieve the highest ideals you can conceive consistent with good physical and mental health.
-live intelligently in your society.
-Abstain from that which will cause unnecessary injury.
-Start from where you are and go to where you want to be regardless of what you are or what you have been.
                                                       Napoleon Hill
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Health insurance

We added CompCare to the list of health insurances accepted at North Oakland Counseling.
For additional information please visit the fee section on our website: www.northoaklandcounseling.com 

Diagnostic Criteria of Common Eating Disorders

These are the technical definitions of Anorexia and Bulimia:
Anorexia:
-Loss of 5-15% of normal body weight coupled with refusal to maintain normal body weight
-Extreme fear of gaining weight
-Distorted body image ( feeling fat when very thin)\Absence of three or more consecutive menses/period ( Amenorrhea)

Bulimia
-Recurrent episodes of binge eating ( rapid consumption of large amount of food in a discrete period of time, usually less than two hours
-Feeling a lack of control during binges
-Regular episodes of self-induced vomiting, use of diuretics, strict dieting or vigorous exercise
-Minimum of two binges per week for at least three months
-Persistent over-concern with body shape and weight

Psychological treatment of eating disorders:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CPT): Assist the individual to think differently then his/her behavior will change accordingly.
Supportive Psychotherapy: Help the individual cope with stressful events.
Behavioral Techniques: Provide the person with several techniques to modify his/her behavior.
Interpersonal Therapy: Help the individual resolve interpersonal problems such as dependence, impulsive behavior,  conflicts with parent, unresolved anger, & fluctuation of mood.

The 7 habits of highly effective people

In developing our own self-awareness many of us discover ineffective scripts, deeply embedded habits that are totally unworthy of us, totally incongruent with the things we really value in life. We don't have to live with those script. We are responsible to use our imagination and creativity to write new once that are more effective, more congruent with our deepest values and with the correct principles that give our value meanings.

Psychology Today.com

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