Counseling Services and Relationship Therapy

Panic Attacks

A panic attack is a form of anxiety that's often experienced as a sudden feeling of overwhelming fear, anxiety, and/or dread. It can last for varying lengths of time, from several minutes to considerably longer. People who have panic attacks often feel completely out of control or frozen with fear. Often, it's only after a doctor's reassurance that there's no physical cause for these symptoms that people realize that they may have had a panic attack.

Other symptoms can occur if you experience panic attacks, such as sweaty or clammy palms, dizziness, hyperventilation, shakiness, or feelings of detachment. It can be a terribly upsetting experience.

If you have had a panic attack, you may worry about having another one and start to avoid situations that cause you to panic. For example, if you had a panic attack while driving on a highway, you may start taking side roads instead of the highway. If you panic during a social gathering, you might begin to avoid going out with friends. This limits your freedom and spontaneity, and doesn't get to the root of the problem.

A panic attack may occur only once, intermittently, or may be a chronic problem. It sometimes runs in families, and a person may have a genetic predisposition to panic attacks. Sometimes, they are a reaction to extremely stressful, unexpected, or traumatic life events.

My treatment of panic attacks involves doing a thorough evaluation of your unique situation, and setting goals with you that will help to overcome your panic attacks. In general, I use evidence-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques, medications, relaxation training, and breathing exercises, along with other strategies that are based on your personal circumstances and goals.

Specialty Areas - Panic Attacks

Linda Nisonoff, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist


Ph: 630.355.5514

800 W 5th Ave.
Suite 214
Naperville, IL 60563
Get directions to my office
Copyright 2018 Linda Nisonoff