Panic Disorder Specialist

Gregory Haley, MD -  - Psychiatrist

Alianza: Healthy Thinking

Gregory Haley, MD

Psychiatrist located in Scottdale, GA and Atlanta, GA

There are few things more frightening than having your first panic attack. After the crisis is over, however, panic attacks have an ongoing impact on your psychological health, potentially developing into panic disorder. Dr. Gregory Haley has extensive experience helping patients with panic disorder, creating a customized treatment plan that works for their individual needs. To learn more about treatment for panic disorder, call Alianza Healthy Thinking in Scottdale, GA and Atlanta, GA or book an assignment online.

Panic Disorder Q & A

What is panic disorder?

Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder, but it’s an intense and extreme type of anxiety. When you have panic disorder, you have panic attacks followed by one or both of the following:

  • Persistent worry about having another panic attack or fear about losing control or having a heart attack
  • Significant change in behavior that’s designed to avoid having another panic attack

Panic attacks occur randomly; some people have several in a day, while others go for months or years between attacks. They’re also unpredictable. The surge of fear can develop when you’re in the middle of doing something you enjoy, for example.

What are the symptoms of a panic disorder?

Although panic attacks are the primary symptom of panic disorder, they cause distinct symptoms. The physical symptoms are so severe and real that it feels like you’re having a heart attack. Most patients are fearful they’re dying during a panic attack.

You may have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Dizziness or faintness
  • Choking sensations
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Pounding heart, fast heart rate, irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath or feeling like you can’t breathe

How is panic disorder treated?

When you have your first panic attack, it’s important to be evaluated by a medical doctor to be sure a physical illness didn't cause your symptoms. When underlying causes are ruled out, Dr. Haley can conduct a full psychiatric evaluation and address the mental health issues of panic disorder.

The team at Alianza Healthy Thinking offer individualized and comprehensive treatment for panic disorder. A variety of medications may be prescribed that effectively alleviate your symptoms, such as:

  • Antidepressants: several types of antidepressants are approved to treat panic disorder
  • Benzodiazepines: approved to relieve panic disorder; used only on a short-term basis because they’re habit forming

Several types of psychotherapy are available that help you recognize your fears and learn ways to manage panic attacks. Some behavioral therapies gradually expose you to the situations you worry will trigger a panic attack, so you can learn to fight your fears.

Compassionate help is available for panic attacks and panic disorder. To schedule an appointment, use online booking or call Alianza Healthy Thinking.

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