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Does PTSD Cause Panic Attacks?

For those who struggle with PTSD, panic attacks are not an uncommon side effect of this condition. They can happen often and without warning, especially if the person’s symptoms are not being treated.

Both PTSD and panic attacks can be debilitating, especially if they are co-occurring. This is why it is important to understand how these conditions can affect you, and where you can find the treatment and support you need to manage your symptoms effectively.

What Is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can develop after someone has experienced a traumatic event, such as war, abuse, natural disaster, or a serious accident. This condition can be developed by anyone at any age but is particularly common among veterans and victims of abuse.

People with PTSD often experience flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts about the traumatic event. They may also avoid anything that reminds them of the event, as this can make them feel more on edge and easily startled, interfering with their daily lives and relationships.

There are several symptoms someone with PTSD may experience, both physical and emotional. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Being easily startled or scared.
  • Always being on guard or feeling on edge.
  • Engaging in self-destructive behavior, such as reckless driving or excessive drinking.
  • Difficulty sleeping and recurring nightmares.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Irritability, aggression, and mood swings.
  • Overwhelming feelings of guilt or shame.
  • Stomach discomfort and nausea.
  • Muscle aches.

If left untreated, a person’s PTSD can become so serious that they are unable to live normal, functional lives and can even pose a threat to the people around them. This is why it is so important to seek professional help if you are struggling with this condition.

    What Are Panic Attacks?

    Panic attacks are sudden episodes of intense fear and anxiety that trigger severe physical reactions, even if there is no real danger or apparent cause. They can be very frightening and overwhelming, causing individuals to feel like they are having a heart attack or losing control of their surroundings and body.

    These episodes can be accompanied by several symptoms, including:

    • Physical symptoms: Pounding heart, rapid breathing, sweating, trembling, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, chills, hot flashes, numbness, tingling sensations, and dissociation.
    • Mental symptoms: Intense fear, sense of impending doom or danger, fear of loss of control or death, feeling overwhelmed, desperate need to escape.

    While most panic attacks will usually last anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes, some have been reported to last up to an hour. The number of attacks a person may have can vary depending on how severe their condition is. Whereas some people have attacks once or twice a month, others have them several times a week.

    Can PTSD Cause a Panic Attack?

    People with PTSD are more likely to experience panic attacks than the general population, as both conditions involve heightened sensitivity to stress and danger cues. This means that PTSD and panic attacks can often co-occur and share some symptoms.

    Of course, it is important to understand that PTSD does not directly cause panic attacks. With that being said, those who have this condition can experience symptoms of panic. If unable to remove themselves from a triggering situation or get help at that moment, these feelings of panic can worsen until they result in a full-blown panic attack.

    These episodes can often be more severe and long-lasting for individuals struggling with PTSD, as they may cause them to feel like they are reliving a traumatic experience. Because of how intense these panic attacks can be, it is important to seek professional support if you are struggling with PTSD.

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    PTSD Counseling Can Help

    If you or a loved one has PTSD and are experiencing panic attacks as a result of your disorder, there are several treatment options available to help manage these symptoms. A PTSD therapist or treatment center can provide counseling services and support to help you understand your PTSD and develop healthy coping mechanisms for your condition.

    There are several benefits to PTSD counseling, including:

    • A safe space to recover: Talking about a traumatic experience can be difficult and painful. A trained PTSD therapist can offer you a safe and confidential space to share your story without the fear of judgment, allowing you to begin to process and understand what happened.
    • Healthier coping skills: Therapists can teach you different techniques for managing your PTSD symptoms, such as relaxation exercises, mindfulness practices, and stress management strategies to help you cope with your symptoms in a healthy and productive way.
    • Improved relationships: PTSD can often strain relationships with your loved ones. PTSD counseling can provide you with the tools and skills to communicate more effectively and work on rebuilding trust and intimacy within your relationships.
    • Co-occurring disorder treatment: Many people with PTSD also suffer from other co-occurring mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse. A therapist or treatment center can help you address these issues in a structured and safe environment.

    These are just a few of the many benefits that come with seeking professional support for your PTSD. Having this condition can be a serious burden for you and the people around you, but with the right help, it is possible to achieve a happier and calmer life.

    PTSD Treatment at Royal Life Centers

    At Royal Life Centers, we strive to provide a safe and holistic environment for those struggling with a variety of behavioral health issues, including PTSD. We use a blend of traditional and alternative methods to target our guests’ minds, bodies, and spirits in their healing journey.

    This allows us to provide a holistic and individualized treatment experience that addresses your PTSD at its core. Through providing individualized and comprehensive treatment plans, we ensure that you receive the recovery support and skills necessary for achieving lasting sobriety.

    Some of the many therapies and treatment options you will have access to at our facilities include:

    • Individual and group therapy
    • Family therapy
    • Adventure therapy
    • Behavioral therapy
    • Activity therapy
    • Equine therapy

    Getting on the path to recovery can feel scary, but we are here to help you through every step of the way. At Royal Life Centers, your health and well-being are our top priority. Reach out to us to learn more about how our programs can help you and how you get started on the path to recovery today. 

    Take the first step towards a new life with better mental health today. Contact us today by calling 877-RECOVERY.

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