Residential Treatment for Panic Disorder.

Residential Treatment for Panic Disorder

An occasional panic attack is not unusual in response to stress, but when they occur regularly and are out of proportion to actual stress, this may indicate a panic disorder. Like other types of anxiety disorders, there is no single cause or definitive cure for panic disorder, but treatment can be effective. Women are more often affected by panic attacks than men and often have trauma underlying the disorder. Residential treatment for panic disorder that addresses these unique needs is most helpful for women trying to build better lives while managing panic attacks.

Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that causes frightening and disruptive panic attacks. These episodes cause significant distress, anxiety, fear, and a sense that you may be dying or losing control. They also cause scary physical symptoms, like heart palpitations, chest pains, nausea, and tremors.

Treatment for this mental illness is effective, and if you struggle with panic attacks the right residential care can help you learn to manage symptoms and reduce the frequency of episodes. Women are diagnosed with panic disorder at a rate double that of men and benefit from treatment that is focused on gender-specific needs.

There is no known single cause of panic disorder, but major life stress and past trauma are important risk factors. These and any other co-occurring mental illnesses must be addressed in order to provide the best treatment and outcome.

Treatment for Panic Disorder at Helix

At Helix Treatment Centers, you’ll benefit from a treatment plan crafted by experts and tailored to your individual needs. Treatment for panic disorder is based on therapy and, if appropriate, medication. The main focus of your treatment will be therapy to help you learn to recognize triggers for panic attacks, strategies for stopping episodes before they start, coping mechanisms for stress, and learning what to do in the event of a panic attack.

Helix offers these primary treatment modalities:

Somatic Experiencing

Somatic experiencing is an integrative therapy that recognizes how trauma and other issues are expressed both physically and psychologically. It has been proven in studies to be effective for treating PTSD but can also benefit women struggling with a range of painful memories and mental illnesses. By focusing on physical sensations, you will learn how to manage and process trauma.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT will help you become more aware of the negative and inaccurate thoughts and emotions that prevent you from healing. A trained therapist will show you strategies for changing problematic thinking so that you can react more positively to difficult situations, painful memories, and other issues.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is used to manage and process traumatic experiences. It is a way of helping the brain heal and reframe trauma. In EMDR, you will be guided to remember your trauma in a safe setting and with a compassionate therapist. Using eye movements, you will begin to remove the mental blocks that have prevented you from healing from those experiences.


Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment: breathing, physical sensations, thoughts and emotions, and the world around you. It can take the form of therapy but also meditation, deep breathing, yoga, and other practices you can use later to calm and center yourself.

Relational Psychotherapy

Healthy, balanced relationships are essential for good mental health. Many women come to treatment with relationship difficulties underlying trauma and mental illness. Relational psychotherapy can be one-on-one or with a loved one. It will help you learn and change your negative patterns in relating to other people, how to communicate effectively, and how to enjoy healthier, mutually beneficial relationships.

In addition to these primary treatment modalities, Helix also offers an extensive list of supplementary treatments. These can be used as needed to provide each resident with a unique, individualized experience for healing and wellness:

  • Family therapy
  • Grief counseling
  • DBT skills
  • Relapse prevention
  • Trauma-sensitive yoga
  • Nutritional evaluation
  • Equine-assisted therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Adventure therapy
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Safe and sound protocol
  • Community peer support groups

Treatment at Helix is also comprehensive and addresses all of a client’s mental health needs. If you have trauma in your past, therapy will focus on helping you process it in a healthy way. If you struggle with other mental illnesses such as agoraphobia, which is common in women with panic disorder, they will also be covered in your treatment plan.

Why Choose Helix Treatment Centers for Panic Disorder Treatment?

Panic disorder causes a great deal of fear and anxiety. Especially for women who have traumatic incidents underlying their panic attacks, feeling safe is essential for healing and treatment. At Helix, the setting is calm and intimate, and it is gender-specific. You can feel safe here with round-the-clock staff and just a few other women residents on the healing journey with you. Treatment here is trauma-focused, so all staff and other residents are sensitive to the needs of women who have been traumatized.

Research indicates that women are more likely than men to have complicated panic disorder, co-occurring conditions, and more frequent relapses after recovering from panic disorder. Treatment programs that focus on the needs of women delves into these differences and provide care that is more effective.

What to Expect Your First Day

Panic disorder makes taking this first step to get treatment especially scary. Know what to expect when you arrive to feel more comfortable making this big change. You’ll be welcomed on arrival by your intake specialist. Together you will go through your paperwork and have the opportunity to ask any questions about the process.

Next, you will tour the facility and meet the other residents and staff. You can then get settled into your room and have some time to decompress, alone if you choose. During this time, you are free to explore the residence, talk with the other women, or walk around the grounds to enjoy the beautiful, natural setting in the hills.

Depending on how you feel, you may begin the in-depth assessment with your psychiatrist on the first day. This process helps the staff understand all your needs and diagnoses, so they can craft an individualized, effective treatment plan. You will be able to give input and help determine your personal goals for treatment.

Begin Your Recovery Journey.


Your Helix Treatment Centers Experience

Helix offers a truly unique treatment experience. As a residential facility, here you’ll have the chance to leave the stresses of home behind and focus on your own wellness and healing in a supportive, safe, and gender-specific setting. With just six beds, the experience is one of belonging to a small community rather than being a patient in a hospital. There is a strong feeling of safety and security here so that you will feel comfortable and ready to participate fully in your own treatment.

Each day at Helix may be slightly different, but in general you’ll have time for quiet, independent reflection, group therapy and support, and alternative, holistic, and creative therapies and treatments. Mornings are generally reserved for your dedicated, one-on-one therapy.

Weekends here let you allow the tranquility of the natural setting up in the hills above San Diego. You’ll be able to benefit from some recreation and adventure therapies as well as more informal outings with residents.

Lasting Change for a Better Life

Ultimately, the goal of treatment at Helix is to give you the tools you need to build a better life. Effective treatment doesn’t cure you of panic disorder or ensure you will never experience an episode again, but it does help you make positive, lasting changes that will reduce symptoms and panic attacks. The changes you make here will carry into the rest of your life, allowing you to take back control, manage stress and fear, and live well with this mental illness.

Don’t let the effects of panic disorder control your life. We’re here for you…call us today.